Written by Jessica Bailey
LANGLEY, B.C. – The No. 1-ranked Trinity Western men's volleyball team will take on the No. 7 University of Winnipeg Wesmen in the Canada West semifinal best-of-three playoff series, starting Thursday at the Langley Events Centre. The winner will advance to the Canada West gold medal match, while also earning one of three conference berths into the U SPORTS championship tournament.
Thursday, Mar. 1 vs. Winnipeg (15-9) – 8 p.m. (PT)
Friday, Mar. 2 vs. Winnipeg (15-9) – 8 p.m. (PT)
Saturday, Mar. 3 vs. Winnipeg (15-9) – 7 p.m. (PT) | Building B (LEC) (if necessary)
THE WEEKEND STORY
• The Spartans will take on the Wesmen in the Canada West semifinals, with this being the eigth time these teams have met in the Canada West playoffs in the last 14 years, and seventh time in the quarter-finals.
• TWU is 5-1 against Winnipeg in their quarter-final meetings, with the only series loss being in 2007-08. The Spartans also beat Wesmen in the 2006-07 Canada West Final Four.
• The teams met in last year's quarter-finals, with the Spartans winning both matches in three sets.
• The Wesmen upset No. 5-ranked Brandon in last week's quarterfinal matchup in Brandon, Man., with the Wesman taking the third and deciding game in four sets.
• TWU prevailed over Thompson Rivers, sweeping the quarter-final series to ensure a spot in the semifinals.
• In regular season Spartans swept the Wesmen, winning 3-1 and 3-2.
• As a team, TWU finished the regular season first in Canada West in hitting percentage (.311) and second in assists per set (12.20) and points per set (17.1).
• In comparison, Winnipeg finished the regular season fifth in Canada West in hitting percentage (.233), and third in assists per set (10.70) and points per set (14.9).
• The two-time defending Canada West and U SPORTS champion Spartans enter the weekend winners of 16 straight playoff games.
• The Spartans Adam Schriemer (Winnipeg) and Eric Loeppky (Steinbach, Man.) were both named Canada West First Team All-Stars, while Jesse Elser (Calgary) and Jackson Howe (Calgary) were named to the All-Rookie Team.
• Winnipeg's Logan Brennan was named a Canada West Second Team All-Star.
SPARTANS HEAD-TO-HEAD in 2017-18
vs. Winnipeg (2-0)
Jan. 5, 2018 – TWU 3 Winnipeg 1 (Langley)
Jan. 6, 2018 – TWU 3 Winnipeg 2 (Langley)
TRINITY WESTERN SPARTANS (22-2)
U SPORTS Ranking: No. 1
Canada West Standings: 1st
Last Weekend: TRU (3-1 W, 3-1 W)
Streak: 5 wins
Regular season form: W-W-W-W-W
WINNIPEG WESMEN (15-9)
U SPORTS Ranking: No. 7
Canada West Standing: 5th
Last Weekend: Brandon (0-3 L, 3-2 W, 3-1 W )
Streak: 2 wins
Regular season form: W-W-W-L-L