BRANDON, Man. – A showdown of epic proportions went in favour of the host Bobcats on Friday night.
The No. 2 nationally ranked Brandon University men's volleyball team swept the No. 1 ranked Trinity Western Spartans, winning 25-20, 27-25, 25-23 to start the second half of the Canada West season at the Healthy Living Centre.
Meanwhile, Eric Loeppky (Steinbach, B.C.) scored 12 kills and Jacob Kern (Edmonton) had 11 kills for the Spartans as Trinity Western slipped to 9-2 with the loss. The setback marked TWU's first three-set loss of the 2018-19 campaign, including preseason. The Spartans only other loss this season was against No. 3-ranked Alberta.
Elliott Viles led the Bobcats with 12 kills as BU improved to 11-2. Seth Friesen was next with seven kills, while Reece Dixon added 28 assists.
The Bobcats had 8.5 blocks on the night, while holding TWU to just two blocks over the three-set contest.
Brandon hit .435 as a team, while TWU hit just .205.
Brandon had a sparkling .480 hitting percentage in the opening set. A 6-2 Bobcats run gave the home side a 19-15 advantage late in the first. BU capped off the first with three straight points to stand tall after the opener.
The two teams played side-out volleyball until the Bobcats had a quick momentum surge to lead 17-13, but the Spartans rallied to make it 18-18. Brandon had a comfortable 23-20 cushion, until Trinity Western made it all square at 23-23. With Brandon leading 24-23, Trinity Western won back-to-back points to gain the advantage. However, BU fought off set point and secured the next two points to win the set.
Brandon kept the momentum going in the third as they built up leads of 16-11 and 20-14. Trinity Western trimmed the deficit to 22-19. The Bobcats lead was 24-21, before the Spartans staved off two potential match points, but that is as close as the visitors would get.
The rematch goes Saturday night with first serve at 4:45 p.m. (PT) at the HLC.
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.