EDMONTON –The No. 1 Trinity Western Spartans dropped a 3-1 decision to the No. 4 Alberta Golden Bears in the opening match of a two game series in Edmonton. The 25-27, 25-19, 26-24, 25-22 win for the Bears improves Alberta to 13-2, while the loss drops the Spartans to 15-2.
“We are frustrated with the loss, we felt we let sets 1,3,4 get away,” commented TWU head coach Ben Josephson. “It was a combination of them making plays and us missing plays. If we want to be a championship team we have to finish the teams off on the road. Not closing is the story of the game. And missing 26 serves isn’t good enough.”
“Over the course of the match we played well, but after 18 points we were outplayed,” added Josephson. “Tonight we let them make plays and we didn’t finish them off when we had them.”
Fifth year outside Ryan Sclater (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) with 20 kills and eight digs and fourth year outside Blake Scheerhoorn (Belleville, Ont.) with 12 kills led the Spartans attack, while Ryan Nickifor with 13 kills, four digs, and three aces and Taylor Arnett with 11 kills led the Bears.
The Spartans had the advantage early in the first, third and fourth sets, but as each set progressed to 25 points the Golden Bears were able to go on runs to take the lead and in the last three games each set.
In the opening set TWU led 16-12 and 21-16, before holding on for 27-25 win after Alberta went on a 8-3 run to tie the set at 24-24. TWU hit at .481 (16-3-27), while Alberta hit at .400 (14-4-25) in the opening set.
The second set was Alberta’s early on as they built a 16-10 lead on their way to a 25-19 win. Both teams had difficulty with their attack in the second set. The Spartans hit at .267 (14-6-30), while the Bears hit at .263 (8-3-19).
TWU led 23-20 in the third set, but Alberta closed out he set with a 6-1 run to take the set 26-24. Despite Alberta taking the third set, TWU at .167 (9-5-24) still out hit Alberta at .139 (14-9-36).
In the final set with the two teams tied at 21-21 the Bears went on a 4-1 run to take the fourth set 25-22. Once again TWU had the advantage hitting. The Spartans finished at .346 (11-2-26), while the Golden Bears finished at .231 (12-6-26).
The difference in tonight’s match was service errors by the Spartans, who had 26 to the Bears 14, and digs by Alberta, who finished with 37 digs to TWU’s 27. Alberta also had a 9-6 edge in service aces.
The Spartans and Golden Bears will match up again tomorrow night in Edmonton. The match will be streamed live on Canadawest.tv.
Game Notes: The Spartans and Bears each finished with nine blocks…TWU finished the night hitting at .318 (50-16-107), while Alberta finished at .245 (48-22-106) … Spartan setter Adam Schriemer (Winnipeg) finished with 46 set assists, while Alberta’s Brett Walsh had 35 assists…