CALGARY – The second-ranked Trinity Western University Spartans extended their 14-game win streak on Friday night at the Jack Simpson Gym, defeating the No. 10 Calgary Dinos 3-1 (25-19, 25-14, 23-25, 25-16).
Despite both teams trending in opposite directions, the game was up for grabs early, with the Dinos even leading 18-17 in the first set. Momentum then quickly shifted with the Spartans scoring three-straight points, setting the stage for the remainder of the night.
Trinity Western would take that first set with five of the final six points for a 25-19 score, helping the Spartans eventually hand the Dinos their fifth straight setback.
"It was a great opportunity for our team to play Trinity Western," said Dinos head coach Rod Durant. "We battled them but one server just kept being able to get ahead of us, but we get to play them tomorrow so we can improve."
With the win, Trinity Western remains in front of the UBC Thunderbirds in first with a record of 18-1, while Calgary slips to 10-9 on the campaign.
Following their tight win in the first, the Spartans put on an impressive performance in the second set, winning it 25-14, while only allowing the Dinos to score three points after the technical timeout.
Calgary showed resilience during the third as the set went back-and-forth nearly the entire way. The Dinos built up a lead as large as three late in the set and held off another strong finish by the Spartans to take the set 25-23.
"We looked like we were being really tentative offensively, coming into the third set we were more aggressive," said Calgary outsider hitter Regan Fathers. "In tomorrow's game, we have to play like we did in the third set to get ahead of them."
A five-point run mid-way through the fourth put the Spartans in control as they closed out the match with a 25-16 set win.
Trinity Western's Eric Loepkky led all players with 19 kills, while Jesse Elser notched 14.
Fifth-year outside hitter Alex Bader topped the Dinos with 11 kills to go along with his two aces and two blocks.
- Jesse Elser finished the evening with a career best .684 attack percentage with only one error on 19 attacks (14-1-19).
- TWU were impressive on the attack with 55 kills on a .468 efficiency.
- The last time the Spartans had this high an attack efficiency was Nov. 28, 2015 when they hit .481 against Mount Royal.
The second half of this weekend set will take place at 5:30 p.m. from the Jack Simpson Gym tomorrow evening. The match can be seen live on Canadawest.tv.