CALGARY – The No. 1 ranked Spartans women’s volleyball team wrapped up a near-perfect start to the 2019-20 Canada West campaign with a straight-sets win (25-22, 25-21, 25-21) over the University of Calgary Dinos Friday night in the Jack Simpson Gym.
TWU improves to 11-1 on the campaign as the league takes a break for exams and the holidays, while the Dinos fall to 2-10.
Hilary Howe (Calgary) and Ansah Odoom (Surrey, B.C.) put up 12 kills each for the Spartans, with Avery Heppell (Langley, B.C.) adding seven and Mikaelyn Sych (Airdrie, Alta.) chipping in with six. Dora Komlodi (Calgary) and Savannah Purdy (Victoria, B.C.) each contributed a pair of aces to the Spartans’ cause, with Emma Gamache (Abbotsford, B.C.) leading the way defensively with 13 digs.
For the Dinos, rookie Trinity Solecki paced the offence with a match-high 14 kills, joined in double digits by Beth Vinnell with 10. Solecki added eight digs, five back of libero Kennedy Snape, while the trio of Vinnell, Autumn Davidson, and Adriel Goodman each put up three blocks on the night.
After Thursday night’s five-set epic, which the Spartans took 15-13 in the deciding frame, the two teams played another tightly-contested battle Friday – but on the strength of a slightly better hitting percentage and a 6-1 advantage on aces from the service line, TWU picked up the straight-sets win.
It was Calgary that opened up the lead to start, enjoying an advantage of up to five points throughout most of the opener – until the Spartans managed to tie it at 21-21. A couple of Dinos errors and a kill from Odoom put the Spartans in set point, and Heppell’s ace ended it 25-22 in the visitors’ favour.
It was TWU’s turn to jump out to an early lead in the second set, going up 6-1 right out of the chute.
Calgary pulled back and was able to close within a point, but the Spartans fended the Dinos off and Howe posted one of her 12 kills on the night to end the second 25-21.
In the third, a 6-0 TWU run midway through the frame turned a 13-11 Calgary lead into a 17-13 Spartans advantage, and the visitors never looked back from there.
Ryan Hofer – TWU Head Coach
“Really proud of the team tonight and how they responded from last night’s game, especially in the area of our serve receive. We needed to clean it up a little and give our setters a chance to run a balanced offence. To only allow one ace on the night is a big deal and something to be proud of, as well as our serving and block defense.”
- The Spartans were coming off a five-set win over the Dinos Thursday night in Calgary.
- The game was once again a rematch of last year’s Canada West final, which the Spartans won in three sets.
- Including last year’s conference final, TWU has won six straight matches against the Dinos and the Spartans are 15-3 against Calgary over the last eight seasons.
The Spartans return to Canada West play Jan. 10-11 as they play host to the Mount Royal University Cougars at the Langley Events Centre.
About Spartan Athletics
As official members of U SPORTS, the Spartans currently compete in 11 sports in the Canada West conference, including women’s and men’s soccer, volleyball, basketball, cross country and track & field, as well as women’s rugby sevens. TWU also competes in the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) in men’s hockey and as an independent team in men’s rugby. The men’s and women’s hockey programs will begin playing in Canada West and U SPORTS in 2020-21. Since TWU entered U SPORTS in 1999, the Spartans have won 12 U SPORTS team championships and 27 Canada West team championships and two BCIHL championships.
[SOURCE: Trinity Western University]