An absolutely bouncing Kenyon Court played as the venue for the weekend heavyweight battle between No. 3 Mount Royal Cougars and No. 4 Trinity Western Spartans, but it was the visitors who set the tone for the weekend, sweeping the Cougars on their home court 3-0 (25-21, 25-14, 25-13) Friday.
MRU returned home after a four-game hiatus from home-court and brought their perfect 6-0 record in 2019 back to Calgary, but that streak was emphatically snapped by the visiting Spartans who have now won four of their last five, dropping only three sets in the process.
With the result of the match on Friday night, both teams are now 13-4 on the season and are tied for second place in the Canada West standings.
Jacob Kern (Edmonton) had eight kills, five blocks and three aces to lead the Spartans, while Jackson Howe (Calgary), who was playing in the middle, had eight kills, while hitting .467, and five blocks.
Eric Loeppky (Steinbach, Man.) had six kills on nine attempts while hitting .444. Setter Derek Epp (Saskatoon) had 23 assists and a team-high seven digs.
Trent Mounter led MRU with 12 kills. Godi Jibi, who entered the game in the waning moments of the third set, had the Cougars only block of the night.
MRU finished with one ace and 15 serving errors, while TWU had seven aces and 13 errors.
Heavy net presence along with timely points separated the Spartans from MRU in the first set as they won the first set of the game 25-21. TWU led early, going ahead 8-3 and continued its pace from the game’s first point of the game, eventually building up a commanding 13-6 lead before sealing the set.
The Spartans carried the pace into the second set to take a commanding 2-0 lead as they never trailed in the second set, cruising to a 25-14 win.
MRU struggled to get on a run and was unable to generate any form of attack in the second set, posing a .091 hit percentage to the strong .333 of the Spartans through two sets.
The momentum stayed with the Spartans to begin the third set, but like it was for much of the night, TWU led throughout the set to earn the sweep of the Cougars with a 25-13 win.
The Cougars also didn’t help their own cause on the attack, accumulating 20 attacking errors compared to 10 from TWU. The Spartans finished with 11 blocks to MRU’s one.
Shawn Sky – MRU Head Coach
“(TWU) is a physical team and they took advantage of our poor serving game. We need to be us and get back to playing our system. If they get on top of you, they’ll find a way to break you down.”