VANCOUVER, British Columbia – The No. 4 Trinity Western Spartans defeated the No. 8 UBC Thunderbirds 3-0 to open their weekend series Friday afternoon at War Memorial Gym in Vancouver, B.C. The impressive 25-23, 25-18, 25-12 win puts TWU at 6-1, while the loss drops UBC to 5-2.
“I was really pleased with our performance tonight. It is always tough to go into another team’s gym and get a win and I liked how we set and worked together as a team,” commented TWU head coach Ryan Hofer. “Consistently is something that we have been working on building on from set to set and ultimately from match to match and weekend to weekend. I thought we were very consistent today. We faltered a little bit, but we served well and put a lot of pieces together and put pressure on them with our serve and block.”
The Spartans dominated the match from the service line as they finished the night with 14 aces, which is the third highest in program history for a three set match.
Fifth year outside Sophie Carpenter (Ottawa) led the Spartans with 14 kills and four service aces, fifth year outside Elly Wendel (Caronport, Sask) had 11 kills and seven digs, while fourth year setter Nikki Cornwall (Coquitlam, B.C.) also had four aces to go along with team highs in assists (30) and digs (eight). Third year middle Ashtyn McKenzie (Vernon, B.C.) had five blocks for the visitors.
UBC left side hitter Danielle Brisebois paced the home offence with eight kills. Despite the loss, she appreciated the enthusiastic crowd.
The ‘Birds were up 12-9 off a Siobhan Finan kill in the first, but the lead slipped away as Trinity Western’s Carpentier smacked a put-back kill to tie it at 12-12. A Finan deep tip caught the Spartans off guard, and UBC retook lead at 13-12.
As the Spartans pulled ahead, Brisebois unloaded on a kill that was dug into the crowd to pull the T-Birds back within two at 18-16.
Maggie Li tapped home a sneaky tip from the pike to keep UBC alive down 23-21, and the T-Birds clawed back after a Victoria Behie kill to stay in the set down 23-24. On their third set point, the Spartans converted on an Elizabeth Wendel kill to take the game 25-23.
In the second, Trinity Western used 5-0 and 5-1 runs to build a 17-10 lead. The first surge saw two aces from McKenzie while Carpentier knocked down three kills in the latter. UBC trailed by at least six the rest of the way.
Down set point, Li and Gentile came up with a huge block to make it 24-18, but Trinity Western finished a back row kill to bring the Spartans within a set of the win.
Brisebois and Emily Cicon kicked off the third with a block, and Cicon smacked home her only kill of the match to tie it up at 3-3. The ‘Birds won the next three points to go up 6-3, but the visitors were dominant the rest of the way, winning 22 of the next 28 points to ease to a 25-12 victory to shutout the Thunderbirds in straight sets.
Siobhan Finan had six digs for UBC, now 5-2 in Canada West league play. Gentile had 16 assists.
Then the two teams will match up again on Saturday, November 26 in Langley, BC. Match time is set for1:30 p.m. PST at the Langley Events Centre. The match can be seen live on Canadawest.TV.
Match Notes: the TWU record for service aces in a three set match, and overall, is 18, which was set November 11, 2012 against Thompson Rivers…the win is TWU’s third straight over UBC…the last win was at the CIS championship semi-final in Brandon…