REGINA – The top-ranked Trinity Western Spartans took a three-set win over the Regina Cougars as both teams opened up the Canada West schedule on Friday night at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport.
Trinity Western (1-0) put a halt to a late Regina run in the first set with three straight points to take a 25-19 victory, then put away the match with back-to-back 25-14 wins in the second and third sets.
“Great start to the weekend. The girls played solid volleyball,” commented TWU head coach Ryan Hofer. “We really had a lot of pressure at the net and forced them to make good shots. But it was really to just set up our defence and be able to get a good opportunity to swing at.”
“Our offence could have run at a higher efficiency this evening. But I felt we passed and served extremely well.”
Trinity Western’s four returning All-Canadians did most of the damage in the win. Fifth year outside Sophie Carpentier (Ottawa) and fifth year outside Elizabeth Wendel (Caronport, Sask) both had 11 kills as the two tied for the match lead in the category. Fourth year Setter Nikki Cornwall (Coquitlam, B.C.) had 31 assists, tied for the team lead with eight digs, and added five blocks, while fourth year middle Katelyn Devaney (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) led all players with seven blocks and added seven kills.
Third year Libero Rachel Flink (Surrey, B.C.) added eight digs for the Spartans, who hit .176 as a team and had a total of 10 service aces in the victory.
Jenna Krahn, the only fifth-year player in the U of R lineup on Friday, had a team-high seven kills for the Cougars (0-1) while Ashlee Sandiford chipped in with five. Third-year libero Taylor Ungar had a match-leading 12 digs.
The first set saw the Cougars take a timeout after two straight Trinity Western points coming off the technical timeout gave them an 18-11 advantage. The home side responded with eight of the next 12 points to cut the Spartans’ lead to three at 22-19, but that was as close as they’d come. The veteran Trinity Western squad put the Cougars away with three points in a row, two of which came courtesy of Sophie Carpentier – one on a kill, and a set-clinching service ace to finish off the first.
Trinity Western finished the second set on a 10-3 run to claim a 25-14 win, and controlled the third set from start to finish after an early run of five straight points gave the Spartans a 5-1 lead.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday night (5:00) at the CKHS. The match will be streamed live on Canadawest.tv.
Match Notes: Neither team had a strong attacking night. The Spartans finished at 17.6 (36-20-91), while the Cougars finished at 00.0 (20-20-80)…TWU had a 10-4 edge in Aces…the Spartans had the edge in blocking 11-4…it was Flink’s, who is returning from injury, first Canada West/CIS match since the 2015 national championship match…