Scott Stewart, TWU Spartans
LANGLEY, British Columbia – The No. 4 Alberta Golden Bears prevailed in a five set match to defeat the No. 7 Trinity Western Spartans Friday night at the Langley Events Centre in Langley, B.C. The 25-18, 18-25, 25-15, 20-25, 12-15 loss drops the Spartans to 3-1, while the win moves the Bears to 5-1.
Fourth year outside Jacob Kern (Edmonton) with 16 kills and Third year outside Eric Loepkky (Steinbach, MB) with 13 kills led the Spartans, while Alex McMullin with 15 kills and Taryq Sani with 11 kills led the Golden Bears.
The Spartans opened up the match with solid blocking and serving that forced the Golden Bears into a -.069 attack. TWU had four aces and five blocks to take the opening set 25-18.
In the second set Alberta did a better job of passing the ball, which allowed them to hit at .458. With the improvements the Bears were able to take the set 25-19.
TWU once again shut down the Alberta offence, while improving their own attack. The Spartans hit at .364, while limiting the Bears to -.053. The result gave TWU the third set 25-16.
Both teams made more adjustments in the fourth set. Alberta found their attack again as they rallied to take set 25-21. Alberta hit .345, while TWU hit .280. The Spartans led 20-17 late in the set, but the Bears finished the set with an 8-1 run to take the fourth set 25-21.
The fifth set had Alberta take the early 8-6 lead at the changeover. The Bears extended the lead to 12-9, with the Spartans closing to 13-12. But TWU could not get even as Alberta took the set 15-12 and the match 3-2.
TWU Head Coach Ben Josephson
"In every volleyball game there is always a point where the match turns to one team or the other. And you don't really know that until the match is over. But today it was in the fourth set when we were up 20-17 and we gave up a 1-8 run to lose. We completely lost our focus and the ability to finish at the end of the set. And in a 15 point fifth set, they separated in the middle section and we never could catch up."
"We had the chance to defeat a really good volleyball team and we didn't and you can't give good team's new life. This is something we are going to have to talk about."
"The biggest lesson from the weekend is you can't give good team second chances. And the biggest issue for us moving forward is the passive approach to our skills. You have to stay aggressive, especially against great teams like Alberta."
- The Spartans finished the night hitting .188 (46-25-11), while the Bears finished at .174 (48-27-121).
- TWU had 12 blocks to Alberta's nine. The Spartans also had the edge in digs at 40-27.
The Spartans will now head to Winnipeg to take on the University of Winnipeg Wesmen. Game time on Friday, November 9 and Saturday, November 10 is set for 5:45 p.m. and 3 p.m. CT. The both matches can be seen live on Canadawest.TV.