CALGARY – The No. 1 ranked Trinity Western Spartans men’s volleyball team continued its winning ways with a straight-sets victory over the Calgary Dinos Friday at the Jack Simpson Gym.
With their tenth consecutive win, the Spartans also extended their school record streak to 30-consecutive sets.
On the Spartans side it was Eric Loeppky (Steinbach, Man.) who led the way with 13 kills on the night. The fourth-year outside hitter played an integral role by offering up a number of key points for the Spartans. Jackson Howe (Calgary) also played a key role for the Spartans as he posted seven kills on the evening.
Leading the Dinos again Friday was fifth-year Mac McNicol, who offered up six kills on the night. Third-year Tomas Sorra was also key for the Dinos as he scored four thanks to a handful of quick dumps falling straight into the middle of Spartan territory.
TWU went up early, thanks in part to three points by Eric Loeppky in rapid succession. With the Dinos suffering from several service errors, similarly to the night prior, the Spartans sealed the deal to finish the first set 25-17.
The rolling Spartans kept things going in the second as they smothered the Dinos offense to go up again – thanks to four consecutive kills from the Spartans front line. The Spartans made short work of the Dinos in the second set, taking it 25-14.
Heading into the third it was do or die for the Dinos who needed to pick up a set to keep things going against the Spartans. While Calgary kept up with the Spartans to open the set, it was TWU who once again pulled ahead thanks to four consecutive TWU points. While the Dinos fought back against the top-ranked team in U SPORTS, it wasn’t enough to end the Spartans set streak.
The win pushes the first-place Spartans to 11-1 on the year, while the loss drops Calgary to 5-5.
Ben Josephson – TWU Head Coach
“It was a really good night tonight. We put a big emphasis on the block defense part of our games this week and I thought it got better as the week went on. We learned from yesterday and made some adjustments and continued to better again. Our side out phase was really solid, I thought both our setters Derek and Mathias did a great job at running the offence, and our passers did a great job giving them chances to do what they wanted to do.
“Another great display by our middle attackers, they set the play for us today with both Pearce and Jackson having a big weekend. Really proud we finished the semester on the upswing, we got better in the last weekend which isn’t always the case in the middle of the season – I know this weekend can always be a challenge with finals looming and the Christmas break ahead of us, so I was really proud our group finished on the note we wanted to.
“We know we have a really important tournament coming up after Christmas with the Can Am tournament, so we wanted to make sure we accelerate right at the end of the semester and into the training block. We’re looking forward to playing some great volleyball teams in Toronto from the NCAA. First semester was a success, so looking forward to evaluating, formulating, and then hopefully continuing to execute as we move forward.
- Spartans outside hitter Eric Loeppky was coming off being named Canada West men’s third star of the week after last weekend’s 22 kills, nine digs and five serving aces.
- TWU has now won their previous eight games against the Dinos, dating back to Nov. 4, 2016.
- The Spartans have yet to lose a set since a five-set loss to Alberta on Oct. 19, 2019.
The Spartans next play in 2020, as they host the Mount Royal University Cougars Jan. 10-11 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]