LANGLEY, British Columbia – Trinity Western capped its preseason schedule with a 3-0 (25-20, 26-24, 25-17) win over visiting York Saturday at the Langley Events Centre. With the win, the Spartans completed a weekend sweep of the Lions and finished the preseason with a 6-2 record.
Eric Loeppky (Steinbach, Man.) had nine kills to lead TWU, while Jacob Kern (Edmonton) added seven kills. Aaron Boettcher (Surrey, B.C.) had a match-high five blocks to lead a TWU team that finished with 10 blocks on the night. Derek Epp (Saskatoon) had 26 assists.
The Spartans out-blocked the Lions 21-1 over the two-match exhibition series.
Tyler Covach had a match-high 13 kills to lead York. Andrew Tauhid had nine kills. Setter Logan Mend had a match-high 32 assists.
The Spartan had six different players earn a kill in the first set en route to a five-point win. The Lions countered with a three-pronged attack featuring Tauhid (four kills), Covach (three kills) and Shotbolt (two kills).
The second set was tight throughout with TWU pulling it out late despite York edging the Spartans in hitting percentage .310 to .304. The Lions Covach went off for seven kills in the set but it wasn't quite enough against the Spartans, who had Ben Lieuwen (Abbotsford, B.C.) and Loeppky nab three kills each in the set.
TWU's offensive efficiency took over in the third set, with the Spartans making just one attacking error while hitting .455. York hit .129 in the final set.
TWU Head Coach Ben Josephson
"It was a much more competitive match tonight. These guys had travel three time zones and play the next day (Friday) and that's hard to do. I think last night, they weren't quite prepared for how big and physical our block was. We saw a lot of terminal blocks last night. They sized us up, saw some video, worked on some things today and I thought they did a great job of adjusting their attacking angles, which made our blockers far more vulnerable. They also handled our serve much better tonight. They were in settable positions and their setter did a really nice job tonight. I think overall, they played significantly better, which forced us to raise our level.
"Offensively we were having a hard time in the second set, but we had a really clean third. In that third set, we sided out really efficiently and that's what this teams seems to be about. Our sideout efficiency is as good as we've ever seen. This might be the best passing team I've had since that 2011-12 group. Our middles are super physical, so if we can pass and run the middle pipe, our offence is quite smooth. We've also spent a lot of time on defence and that showed again tonight. The only thing left is our service game is far from where we want it. I really feel like we're ready for conference action and thanks to York for giving us this weekend. We needed competition that felt like conference games."
About Spartan Athletics
As official members of U SPORTS, the Spartans currently compete in 10 sports in the Canada West conference, including women's and men's soccer, volleyball, basketball, cross country and track & field. TWU also competes in the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) in men's hockey. Since TWU entered U SPORTS in 1999, the Spartans have won 11 U SPORTS team championships and 25 Canada West team championships.