LANGLEY, British Columbia – The No. 2 Trinity Western men’s volleyball team won its fifth straight match to start the season, picking up a 3-0 (25-22, 25-17, 25-22) win over MacEwan Friday at the Langley Events Centre.
With setter Adam Schriemer (Winnipeg) guiding the offence and collecting 42 assists, the Spartans had three players hit double-digits in kills while hitting .324 as a team.
Ryan Sclater (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) had 16 kills, while first-year Eric Loeppky (Steinbach, Man.) had 12 kills, while hitting .360, and Aaron Boettcher (Surrey, B.C.) added 10 kills. Boettcher also had five blocks, while Sclater had three aces.
The Griffins (0-7) Shane Kerrison had a team-high eight kills and Matthew Mohler had a game-high 10 digs. Max Vriend added four blocks.
“We were sloppy, but anytime you’re sloppy, it’s a large part of what your opponents are doing,” said Spartans coach Ben Josephson. “We looked like a team that hadn’t played a match in a couple of weeks. I felt that in the first and third sets, our communication just wasn’t enough. Our opponents were doing a lot of the things we thought they’d do and we weren’t communicating on it. We found a rhythm in the second set, but we just need to do a better job at being consistent with our communication.”
With the Griffins leading 14-13 in the first set, the Spartans went on a 6-1 set-defining run that put TWU ahead for good. MacEwan climbed to within two points, at 24-22, but with Sclater earning his sixth kill of the set, TWU won three points.
Early in the second set, the Spartans went on a 5-0 run that put them up 9-4 and they cruised from there. Hitting .367 as a team and with Sclater collecting another five kills and Loeppky adding four, the Spartans ran away with the set, winning by eight.
“Eric is a freak and he’s so special,” Josephson said of Loeppky, who had his best offensive night of his short career. “He trains, he learns, he wants to be great. He’ll have a good night, but brush it off like it’s nothing because he missed a couple blocks or a couple digs or his serve wasn’t great, but he has a great growth mindset with it.”
The Griffins led early on in the third set, but the Spartans quickly battled back and were up by three points at the technical timeout. The teams were even at 21-21, but two straight points from TWU put the Spartans ahead 23-21 and then, a few points later, a Loeppky kill finished the match with the home side on top.
The Spartans and Griffins are back on the court Saturday at 7 p.m. (PT) at the LEC.
Game Notes: This was the fourth week in a row the Griffins played a team currently in the U Sports Top 10…prior to Friday’s game against TWU, the played Winnipeg (No. 10), Saskatchewan (No. 8) and Alberta (No. 1)…the Spartans are 5-0 all-time against MacEwan in Canada West action…dating back to the second game of last year’s playoffs, TWU has won 12 consecutive matches, including regular season and playoff games.