By Mark Janzen, Trinity Western University
LANGLEY, B.C. – First-year outside Savannah Purdy (Victoria) had a match-high 11 kills to lead Trinity Western to a 3-1 (25-19, 17-25, 25-8, 25-20) win over Regina Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.
After the Cougars evened the match with a win in the second set, the Spartans put together a dominant third set, winning by 17 points, to take back momentum. From there, TWU (2-0) held off a hard-serving Cougars side in the fourth set to complete the weekend sweep of Regina (0-2).
The Spartans finished the night with three players hitting double digits for kills, with Hilary Howe (Calgary) and Mikaelyn Sych (Airdrie, Alta.) each collecting 10 kills. Sych also had nine blocks.
First-year libero Emma Gamache (Abbotsford, B.C.) had a match-high 17 digs.
The Cougars Jessica Lerminiaux and Diana Lumbala had 10 kills each for a Regina team that hit .099 as a team. TWU finished with a .242 hitting percentage. Regina had an 8-7 advantage in aces.
Including preseason, the Spartans are now 11-0 in 2018-19.
Picking up where they left off, the Spartans used a balanced attack to win the first set 25-19. Sych and Ashtyn McKenzie (Vernon, B.C.) had three kills apiece, with Sych also adding a pair of blocks to pace the home side. Hitting .208, TWU rolled to a six-point win. Ashlee Sandiford and Lumbala had three kills each for the Cougars, who hit .037.
The Cougars turned the tides in the second, racing out to a 6-0 lead and never trailed. Lumbala and Lerminiaux had four kills each to lead a Regina side that hit .297 as a team. The Spartans committed nine attacking errors in the set, hitting .049. The visitors also had a 5-1 edge in blocks in the set.
The Spartans responded in emphatic fashion in the third set, hitting .522 as a team and running away with a 25-8 win. Purdy had four kills for TWU in the set and had a team-high nine kills through three sets. Regina had just three kills in the set and hit -.125.
TWU took a 16-11 lead in the fourth set only to see Regina climb right back into the set with a 6-0 run to a 17-16 lead on a Lerminiaux ace. However, with the score tied 19-19, a Regina serving error sparked a match-ending 6-0 run from the Spartans. With a block from Brie King (Langley) and Sych, the Spartans took the set and the match.
TWU Head Coach Ryan Hofer
"We were up and down tonight and that was a little bit dependent on how Regina served. They're a very talented serving team, so when they would go on runs, it was hard to contain them. We need to keep working on our serve receive and getting that ball up, so our hitters can get a good swing."
On bouncing back in the third set
"We had to go back to doing the simple things. We needed to make good shots. We got caught thinking we were in hitting warm-up and just trying to plant a ball. When we're playing against a good blocking team like Regina, they're going to get you on that. We had to remind the team to go deep, go for hands, go for edges and it started to produce some good stuff for us."
• Purdy finished her debut weekend with 22 kills over eight sets to go with two aces and 11 digs.
• The Spartans had a 13-9 edge in blocks.
• TWU and Regina met once in the preseason with TWU taking the game in four sets.
• The Spartans are coming off an unbeaten preseason, including going undefeated at both the University of Regina Invitational and the West Coast Classic.
• Last year, the Spartans and Cougars split their season series, with Regina winning in five sets and TWU responding with a four-set victory in Langley (Jan. 19-20).
Recognized for quality, TWU has received seven consecutive A+ rankings for Quality of Teaching and Learning, holds three Canada Research Chairs, and wins national championships in CIS sports. More importantly, lives are changed at TWU through its whole-person, Christ-centred approach to education. With a wide array of undergraduate, graduate, and adult degree-completion programs, TWU equips leaders of character and competence to make a positive impact in the lives of others.
About Spartan Athletics
As official members of U SPORTS, the Spartans currently compete in 10 sports in the Canada West conference, including women's and men's soccer, volleyball, basketball, cross country and track & field. TWU also competes in the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) in men's hockey. Since TWU entered U SPORTS in 1999, the Spartans have won 11 U SPORTS team championships and 25 Canada West team championships.