QUEBEC CITY – Led by the blocking of fourth year middle Aaron Boettcher (Surrey, B.C.) the No. 2 Trinity Western Spartans moved on to the next round at the 2019 U SPORTS Men's Volleyball Championship Presented by Hôtel Universel Québec with a four set win over the No. 7 McMaster Marauders.
In a match that featured a total of 33 kills by the Spartans, it was Boettcher's 13 blocks that paced the Spartans to a 25-15, 27-25, 17-25, 25-17 win to advance to Saturday's semifinal match against Laval, who beat Queen's in the final quarter-final match.
The 13 total blocks is the third highest recorded by a Canada West player in post season play.
Spartans outside hitter Eric Loeppky (fourth year, Steinbach, Man.) was awarded Player of the Match, tallying 12 of his team's 33 kills, while adding two aces and eight digs. For the Marauders, middle Dylan Romero Marshall was chosen MVP with 14 kills and two aces.
TWU Head Coach Ben Josephson
On tonight's match:
"That match was a great display of what defence can do. I have to hand it to McMaster who gave us a hard time at the net. Fortunately, our defence was also excellent and we managed some key plays that made the difference. We only had 33 kills and we weren't passing that bad, it was just really hard to score on those guys."
For McMaster head coach Dave Preston, his team's serve game was the difference.
"We knew we had to live and die by our serves tonight, so we had to put some pressure on them or we were going to pay the price," he said. "I'm very proud of our guys, I found we battled really hard tonight, executed a lot of the stuff we wanted to, but Trinity (Western)'s a great team and they came out on top."
- In Boettcher's last U SPORTS championship match, the 2017 final vs Alberta, he recorded 14 total blocks, the second highest ever in Canada West post season history, to lead TWU to the gold medal
- Former Spartan Chris Meehan's holds the Canada West postseason record of 16 blocks, which he set in a quarter final against York in 2005.
- The Spartans are now 6-0 life time at the U SPORTS championship against McMaster University.
- Boettcher's 13 blocks are the fifth highest in Spartan history.
- TWU has reached the national championship gold medal match the last three years, earning two golds and a silver.
- The Spartans finished with 18 team blocks, while the Marauders had seven.
- TWU his at .192 (33-14-99), while McMaster hit at .122 (46-30-131)
Having reached the podium four years in a row, the Spartans will play the winner between the host Laval Rouge et Or and Queen's Gaels in Saturday's semi-final at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, for a chance to play for their third national title in four years. All but one of Trinity Western's players competed in last year's National Championship, where they left with a silver medal. As for the Marauders, they will face the loser of the Laval - Queen's game on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET / 12 p.m. PT.
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.