No. 1 Spartans knock off No. 6 Dinos in home-opener

No. 1 Spartans knock off No. 6 Dinos in home-opener

Mark Janzen, TWU 

LANGLEY, BC – Sophie Carpentier (Ottawa) and Elly Wendel (Caronport, Sask.) combined for 31 kills to lead the No. 1 Trinity Western women's volleyball team to a 3-0 (25-13, 26-24, 25-22) win over No. 6 Calgary in the Spartans home-opener Friday at the Langley Events Centre. 

Wendel went off early, earning seven kills on just 10 attempts in the first set, and Carpentier carried the load the rest of the way as she collected with 16 kills with just two errors over the three-set match. Wendel finished with 15 kills and hit .385, while Carpentier also had three aces. 

TWU was dominant for the first set and a half, but with the Spartans up 9-0 in the second set, the Dinos, who were playing in their first regular season game of the year, found their rhythm and made it a game. 

After hitting .000 in the first set, Calgary hit .321 and .355 in the second set, but unfortunately for the visitors, they were up against a Spartans side that hit .395 for the match and the Dinos came up just short in the second and third sets. 

Calgary Kate Pexman had a team-high 12 kills while Hannah Tanasichuk contributed 10 kills and two blocks. 

TWU's middle attack was also particularly effective as Ashtyn McKenzie (Vernon, B.C.) had six kills on seven attempts and four blocks, while Katie Devaney (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) had five kills and two blocks. 

"We want to play well at home and be a team that is tough to beat in our own gym and I thought we were strong and played some good volleyball," said Spartans coach Ryan Hofer. "I think Calgary is a great team and it just took a little bit for them to adjust and when they did, they came out strong and it was a good battle. 

"Sophie and Elly put up some really good numbers. I thought we passed well. I thought we got the ball up to the net when we needed to and then we were able to put the ball away." 

The Spartans took a 6-0 lead in the first set and never looked back. Hitting .444 as a team and with Wendel leading the charge, TWU took the set by 12 points. 

The second set looked like it would be more of the same for the Spartans as they raced out to 9-0 lead. However, the Dinos battled all the way back and after a Tanasichuk ace, took a 15-14 lead. The teams traded points down the stretch and it was Calgary looking at set point first. But with Calgary up 24-23, TWU scored three straight points, capped by a Carpentier kill off an overpass, to win the set. 

The teams went back and forth in the third set, with TWU taking a 16-15 lead at the technical timeout. With the set tied 21-21, a Wendel kill sparked the Spartans to a 3-0 run that put momentum on TWU's side. After Calgary closed within one point, a Dinos serving error sealed the win for the Spartans. 

The teams will play again Saturday at 5 p.m. at the LEC. 

Game Notes: Wendel now has a combined 42 kills over nine sets for an average of 4.67 kills per set…following the game, TWU raised its Canada West banner from 2015-16…this was Calgary's first loss of the year after going 7-0 in preseason.