No. 3 Spartans earn three-set win over Brandon to complete sweep

No. 3 Spartans earn three-set win over Brandon to complete sweep

By Mark Janzen, Trinity Western University

LANGLEY, British Columbia – Trinity Western hit .391 as a team and committed only eight attacking errors as the No. 3-ranked Spartans rolled to a 3-0 (25-20, 25-14, 25-13) win over Brandon Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.

The trio of Sophie Carpentier (Ottawa), Elly Wendel (Caronport, Sask.) and Brie O'Reilly (Langley) combined for 25 kills and just two attacking errors, with Carpentier earning 11 kills, Wendel tallying 10 and O'Reilly collecting five.

After a back and forth battle early in the first set, the Spartans (17-3) took over in the late stages with a 5-1 set-ending run and, with momentum in its corner, the home side cruised to convincing wins in the second and third sets.

TWU had nine aces as a group, including four from Ashtyn McKenzie (Vernon, B.C.) and three from Wendel. Brandon (7-13) had four aces. The Spartans also had a 6-2 edge in blocks.

"I was pleased with the consistency that our team played with," said Spartans coach Ryan Hofer. "We just need to control our side of the court. We need to control from the baseline with our serve. We need to pass the ball well. Brandon is a good serving team, so we had to control it and get it up and forward so Nikki can work with it and find our attackers."

Spartans setter Nikki Cornwall (Coquitlam, B.C.) had 33 assists and 10 digs.

Brandon's Nikala Majewski led the Bobcats with nine kills , while Gillian Leech had a match-high 14 digs. Ravyn Wiebe had three aces.

The Bobcats were held to .100 hitting.

"Numbers-wise, it was a really good night," Hofer said. "Managing the ball is one of the most important parts about this game, especially from the attack. We need to be able to continue to improve in that area. Last night we didn't do a great job and the team wanted to turn that around tonight."

The teams traded points in the first set with neither side taking more than a three-point lead through the middle stages. With the Spartans possessing a 20-19 lead, the home side took control, launching a 5-1 run to end the set. Carpentier tallied her fifth and sixth kills of the set to put the Spartans on set point and a Wendel kill finished the set.

TWU hit .353 as a team, while Brandon was held to .156 hitting.

The Spartans went up 6-2 in the second set and never trailed. Rolling with a .385 efficiency, the Spartans pulled away in the latter stages as they took the set by 11 points. TWU had five aces and a pair of blocks to spark a dominant second set win.

The third set was more of the same from TWU. A Wendel kill put TWU up 10-4 and the Spartans put together their best set of the night, hitting .444 and only committing one attacking error. Conversely, the Bobcats struggled, hitting just .032. Coming off the bench, Alison Quiring (Brandon, Man.) set up match point with her first kill of the night before Hillary Howe (Calgary) finished it off with her only kill of the contest.

The Spartans have a bye next weekend before travelling to play Winnipeg Feb. 17-18. The Bobcats are on the road against Calgary next weekend to play Mount Royal Feb. 10-11.

Game Notes: TWU is now 18-6 all-time in the regular season against Brandon…the Spartans have won nine consecutive games against the Bobcats, including the regular season and playoffs…Carpentier is currently fourth all-time in Canada West for career kills, with 1,169 and is just five kills behind Rachel Cockrell, who is third overall.