DAVID LARKINS, Wesmen Athletics
WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Wesmen are still a team trying to find itself and, against one of the conference juggernauts, that search can be a difficult one.
The Trinity Western Spartans shook of a first-set loss and rallied Saturday night to hand the Wesmen men's volleyball team a 3-1 (19-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-17) defeat at the Duckworth Centre.
Trinity moved to 5-1 on the season, while Winnipeg dropped to 2-2.
Adrian Dyck led the Wesmen with 13 kills and five digs and Mikael Clegg had a team-high 14 digs. Middle blocker Keegan Teetaert had a career-high seven total blocks.
Wesmen head coach Larry McKay said his team is still trying to find its rhythm in a season that is just four-games old.
"Hopefully we're still learning. That's why we came to work today," McKay said. "We watched the tape and tried to learn from what we did last night, but I think we have a long way to go before we're as good as we can be this year."
The Spartans hit .217 for the match — and .417 in the third set — in sweeping the weekend series between the fifth- and sixth-ranked teams in the nation.
"We found our side-out rhythm a little bit before they did and that's why I think we won the last two sets," TWU head coach Ben Josephson said. "… The way this game goes it's kind of like a tug-of-war as long as it's just short little bursts, but once a team starts to really pull it takes a tremendous amount of energy to stay with it."
Eric Loeppky had 14 kills and five aces to lead the Spartans, who had a run of four straight points and seven of eight in the third set to turn a 12-12 game into a 19-13 advantage at a critical time.
Jacob Kern added 12 kills and six digs, and Carter Bergen had a match-high 16 digs.
The Wesmen hit the road for the first time this season next weekend when they head to Kamloops, B.C., for a pair of matches against the Thompson Rivers Wolfpack.
Photo: Kelly Morton/Wesmen Athletics