Led by fifth year outside hitters Sophie Carpentier and Elizabeth Wendel the Trinity Western Spartans swept the Manitoba Bisons in straight sets last night in Canada West volleyball action. The 25-17, 25-20, 25-14 win improves the Spartans to 20-3, while the loss drops the Bisons to 6-17.
Carpentier with 14 kills (14-0-29) and four digs and Wendel with 10 kills, six digs, and two aces led the Spartans attack, while Josie Abbott (Winnipeg) with nine kills and seven digs led the Bisons.
The TWU play at the net was the difference for the Spartans as TWU out blocked Manitoba 13-1 and out hit the Bisons 40-23.
"Manitoba is a good team. I believe that they are a team that is better than what their record shows. I have seen them take sets off every other team and they are beating teams and pushing them to five sets. We knew we couldn't just walk in here and expect a couple of wins," commented TWU head coach Ryan Hofer. "We have been working hard at controlling the play at the net and making sure our block was in place, as it is one of the strengths of our team. Couple that with our back row defence, if we can get the two of them working together we can be really good."
"Sophie and Elly receive a high amount of volume and they both had great numbers, which is what you want from you fifth year athletes."
The Spartans were in control for much of the second half of the first set. Then with TWU leading 9-8 the Spartans went on a 7-1 run to lead 16-9 at the technical break. Out of the break the teams played side-out ball until TWU took the final two points of the set to win the opener 25-17.
Sophie Carpentier led all players with five kills (5-0-10) in the set. Manitoba hit at negative .091 (6-9-33), while TWU hit at .290 (13-4-31). The Spartans defence was impressive as they had six team blocks and 16 digs.
Both teams improved their attack efficiency in the second set.. Manitoba's Sarah Klassen (Winkler, Man.) tied the set at 13-13 after a cross-court attack. However, after that point TWU scored three straight and used a Nikki Cornwall (Coquitlam, B.C.) ace to lead 16-13 going into the break. A kill by TWU's Sophie Carpentier extended the Spartans lead to six points, 21-15. After that, the teams exchanged points until Carpentier finished the set with her 10th kill of the set as TWU led 2-0 after the 25-20 win. TWU hit at .40 percent (12-0-30), while Manitoba hit at .121 percent (11-7-33).
The third set was similar to the first two sets with the teams exchanging points early on. Then with TWU leading 8-7 the Spartans went on a 7-3 run to lead 16-10 at the break. From there the Spartans would expand their lead. TWU's fifth year outside hitter Chelsea Tancon (Comox, B.C.) would have the final three serves of the match as the Spartans would sweep the match 3-0 with a 25-14 third set win. Manitoba finished the set hitting at .000 (6-6-25), while TWU finished at .429 (15-3-28).
The two teams will match up again tomorrow evening for the final match of Canada West conference play. Match time at the Langley Events Centre is set for 5 p.m. PST. The match can be seen live on Canadawest.TV. Tomorrow night will be senior night for TWU's Sophie Carpentier, Chelsea Tancon and Elly Wendel.
Match Notes: TWU setter Nikki Cornwall finished with 32 assists, while Manitoba's Sydney Booker (Winnipeg) finished with 18 assists… the Spartans finished the night hitting at .371 (40-7-89), while the Bisons finished at .011 (23-22-91)…TWU had 41 digs, while Manitoba had 37... Rachel Flink (Surrey, B.C.) led the Spartans with 12 digs, while Cassie Bujan (Anola, Man.) led the Bisons with a game high 13 digs… with her four blocks TWU middle Katelyn Devaney (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) trails former Dana Jansen Van Doorn by two blocks, 384 to 382, for second spot on the TWU all-time block list…former Spartan Alicia Perrin leads the Spartans and Canada West with 512…