WINNIPEG — Led by third year outside hitter Eric Loeppky's 17 kills and a .640 attack percentage the Trinity Western Spartans swept the Winnipeg Wesmen 3-0 in Canada West men's volleyball action Friday night at the Duckworth Centre in Winnipeg, Man. The 25-16, 25-23, 25-5 victory improves the No. 5 Spartans to 4-1, while the loss drops the No. 6 Wesmen to 2-1.
It was a clash of two of the country's top-ranked teams, but save for a chunk of that second set, it was the Spartans who carried the momentum most of the night, setting the Wesmen back on their heels from the first serve.
Adrian Dyck, Daniel Thiessen and Ethan Duncan had five kills each to lead the Wesmen, who hit a season-low .062 for the night. Darian Picklyk topped the team in digs with five.
The Spartans won the match's first five points, eight of the first 10 and carried a 16-7 lead into the first-set technical timeout, before taking the opening set 25-16.
The Wesmen bounced back in the second set with an effort more indicative of their standing in the Canada West, but got stuck in a rotation while leading 21-17 and watched the Spartans run off six straight to jump in front.
The third set was also a black hole for Winnipeg, which went to its bench early and played reserves after Trinity opened on a 14-1 run. The Spartans would end the match with the 25-5 third set win.
TWU Head Coach Ben Josephson
"They forced us to alter a bunch of shots in the second set. First set we were able to get the shots we wanted, the second they adjusted and I think our guys flinched a little and made a few mistakes. I think our ball control cleaned up, we were able to run our middles again and they're really physical guys, and that opened up some other things and it all came back together."
"When (the Wesmen) passed well, they were really competitive. When their passes were leaky then our size really factored in."
Winnipeg Head Coach Larry McKay
"There were a lot of weak areas that were (revealed) by the other team, so I definitely want to see the tape. They were on us, they took away things from us and we didn't adjust well when they took those things away. We've got a little more to our game than what we showed, but we were unable to pull that out."
"The feeling at that point was just the frustration that we had a good chance to win the set and we didn't make the plays in the end."
- Trinity Western hit .388 for the match.
- The Spartans also had a 7-3 edge in team blocks.
The two teams will face each other again Saturday with a 5 p.m. CT first serve. The both matches can be seen live on Canadawest.TV.