LANGLEY, British Columbia – First-year Eric Loeppky (Steinbach, Man.) along with second-years Jacob Kern (Edmonton) and Pearce Eshenko (Banff, Alta.) got the start in Saturday’s game against No. 4 Calgary and the youngsters led No. 2 TWU to a 3-0 (25-23, 25-22, 25-19) win at the Langley Events Centre.
Kern had 13 kills, while hitting .526, and Loeppky had 10 kills while hitting .381 on a night when TWU hit .451 as a team. Eshenko had three kills from the middle. Joining the young duo on the outside was fifth-year Ryan Sclater (Port Coquitlam, B.C.), who had 16 kills and just one attacking error for a .600 hitting percentage.
Led by setter Adam Schriemer (Winnipeg), who finished with 40 assists, the Spartans came out flying, hitting .594 in the opening set and beating a Calgary side that still hit .292.
That sparked a short night for TWU in which the Spartans won their fourth straight to start the season with a tidy three-setter.
Calgary (0-2) was led by Keith West, who put up 15 kills and had six digs, while Curtis Stockton had seven kills.
“I was proud of the guys for adjusting most of the things we struggled with last night,” said Spartans coach Ben Josephson. “Our opponents did some really intentional things with the way we played that were effective last night. I thought tonight we had the appropriate adjustments and the athletes executed the adjustments very well. I thought Adam had a great match tonight setting the ball. When all three of your outsides hit that high of an efficiency, you are getting great quality from your setter and great attacking, but also Adam was exploiting some of the things they were giving us.
“Our serving was really poor again for the second night in a row, but our block defence was pretty good. Calgary is a tough team. They’re hard to beat. So getting a sweep on those guys was really challenging. It’s not something we were predicting, but we’re happy with it.”
After a dominant opening set, TWU’s offense slowed in the second set, with both the Spartans and Dinos hitting .182. However, similar to the first set, it was the Spartans coming out on top.
The third set reverted back to what the first set looked like with TWU hitting .500 and Calgary coming in at .250. With the score tied 12-12, Aaron Boettcher (Surrey, B.C.) got a kill and then went on a serving run to put TWU up 17-12. With a five-point lead, the Spartans rolled to the win, with Sclater putting away the winning kill.
TWU has a bye next weekend before hosting MacEwan Nov. 18-19. Calgary returns home to host Winnipeg Nov. 12-13.