SPARTANS LOSE TO UBC IN CANADA WEST SEMIFINAL, PLAY UBCO FOR BRONZE

SPARTANS LOSE TO UBC IN CANADA WEST SEMIFINAL, PLAY UBCO FOR BRONZE

EDMONTON – The second-seeded Trinity Western women's volleyball team saw its hopes of a Canada West championships three-peat dashed Friday night as the Spartans lost to third-seeded UBC in the Canada West semifinals 3-1 (25-19, 19-25, 25-12, 25-21) at the Saville Community Sports Centre.

The Spartans will now play fourth-seeded UBC Okanagan in the Canada West bronze medal match Saturday, with the winner earning a berth into the U SPORTS championship tournament. UBC will play regular season champion Alberta in the Canada West championship match.

The Canada West bronze medal match is slated for 4 p.m. (PT), while the gold match is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. (PT) at the Saville Community Sports Centre.

Danielle Brisebois finished with a game-high 20 kills on 42 attempts for UBC. Victoria Behie (12) and Juliana Kaufmanis (10) also hit double digits in kills, while Alessandra Gentile put up a match-high 40 assists.

The Spartans were led by Canada West First Team All-Star Sophie Carpentier (Ottawa), who led TWU with 17 kills on 41 attempts. The Spartans, however, were plagued by inconsistent offence, finishing with 14 fewer kills and seven more errors in Friday's tilt. Brie O'Reilly (Langley, B.C.) was a particularly bright light for the Spartans on the night as she had nine kills and just one attacking error.

TWU finished the contest hitting just .121 while UBC hit .289. The Thunderbirds also had 13.5 blocks to the Spartan eight.

"UBC was hot tonight," said Spartans coach Ryan Hofer. "There were huge momentum swings tonight and with that, we had some trouble containing a few things they did and that put us into trouble. We just have to do a better job of controlling our side of the court and control our emotions and our mindsets and that will give us a chance to win Saturday. But I think our team handles pressure really well, so I'm looking forward to the opportunity tomorrow and I know it's going to be a good battle."

TWU's offence struggled in the early going, hitting just .033 in the first set, while UBC hit .370 en route to a six-point win.  

The Spartans offence caught fire in the second, as they hit .448 as a team and committed just one attacking error. Carpentier spun in eight of her 17 kills in the second set on just 13 attacks, while Elly Wendel (Caronport, Sask.) and O'Reilly scored two kills each. The Spartans took a 7-1 lead and never allowed the T-Birds to get closer than two points. A Carpentier kill sealed the win and evened the match.

However, TWU's surge was short-lived, as the attack woes returned for Spartans in the third. TWU managed just seven kills on 28 attacks, compared to UBC's 13 on 26. Errors also cost TWU, as they recorded eight in the third set. UBC took advantage, as five kills from Brisebois and four for Kaufmanis scored them a 25-12 third-set win.

TWU went up 8-4 in the fourth set only to see UBC respond with a 6-0 run. The T-Birds pushed their lead to 18-11 before the Spartans rallied to tie it up 19-19 thanks to an 8-1 run. However, UBC came right back, scoring six of the last eight points to take the set and the match.

About Canada West Championships
Canada West is the premier athletic conference in the country and is home to champion student-athletes that excel on the field, in the classroom and in their communities. Canada West and its 17 member institutions commit to a student-athlete experience where competitive excellence, scholarship and sportsmanship contribute equally towards moulding outstanding graduates and community leaders.

The 2017 Canada West Volleyball Final Four is proudly sponsored by Mikasa Sports Canada. Since 1997, Mikasa Sports Canada, through Catsports Inc., has distributed quality products to better satisfy the demand of Canadian athletes and is the official ball supplier for Canada West volleyball.

Canada West – Training leaders, building champions.

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