Matt Johnson, Huskie Athletics
SASKATOON – The Trinity Western Spartans stayed undefeated on Saturday night, downing the University of Saskatchewan Huskies for the second consecutive game with a 3-1 (25-21, 25-18, 17-25, 25-12) victory on Ron and Jane Graham Centre Court at the PAC.
Savannah Purdy tacked on 14 kills and four service aces in the win for the Spartans, with both serving as game-highs. Olivia Heinen racked up 44 of her team's 45 assists on the night, while Hilary Howe and Emma Gamache each recorded 14 digs.
Emily Koshinsky led the Huskies with 11 kills, while also chipping in three service aces. Averie Allard added 28 assists. Shea Beaulieu recorded a team-high 14 digs.
Saskatchewan fell to 2-6 with the loss, while Trinity Western remains undefeated and moves to a perfect 10-0 in the Canada West this season.
The Huskies were quick out of the gates as they got out to a 7-2 lead thanks to two kills from Koshinsky. However, the Spartans battled back to take a 16-14 lead at the technical timeout, as Savannah Purdy recorded three aces and a kill during the run which seen the roadside go on an 8-1 rally. With the match tied at 20-20, Trinity Western was able to go on a 5-1 run to close out the first set and hop out to an early lead.
The Spartans started the second set in dominant fashion with a 9-3 run, but the Huskies were poised to scrape back as they rallied off four straight points including kills from Regan Wiebe, Mandi Fraser, and Olivia Mattern to make it a 10-8 scoreline in favor of Trinity Western.
With the set sitting at 14-10, Trinity Western went on a 5-0 to give them a 19-10 run. However, Saskatchewan showed poise to battle back as they shrunk the deficit to five after a 4-0 run.
But that was as close as the Huskies would come as the Spartans showed why they're the number three ranked team in the nation, continuing to gain stream and closing out the set strong with a 25-18 victory.
Saskatchewan started the third set dominantly as they hopped out to a 7-1 run after a Koshinsky provided a kill and an ace, with Wiebe, Taylor Annala, Georgia Hurry, and Fraser also chipping in kills. Trinity Western responded with a rally of their own to trim the Huskies lead to two. But Saskatchewan displayed resiliency as they continued to grow their lead over Trinity Western and Koshinsky finished off the set in-style with two kills, each capping lengthy rallies to take to stay alive with a 25-17 win in the third.
After dropping their first set of the weekend, the Spartans rebounded immediately as they went on a 7-3 run to open the fourth and took a 16-10 lead into the technical timeout. Ashtyn McKenzie finished off the match for the Huskies, slamming an ace to seal the victory for the Spartans.
Saskatchewan will be back in action next weekend as they travel to Vancouver to take on the UBC Thunderbirds. Meanwhile, Trinity Western will enjoy a bye week before they conclude the calendar year at home against the Calgary Dinos on Dec. 1 and 2.