BRANDON – The Trinity Western Spartans emerged with a hard-fought five-set win (21-25, 25-18, 25-18, 18-25, 15-12) over the host Bobcats on Saturday night in Canada West women's volleyball action.
Hilary Howe (Calgary) had 16 kills to lead the Spartans (3-3), while Linda Damerau (Furthen, Germany) had her best night in a TWU uniform, earning 13 kills and 14 digs.
Nikala Majewski had 20 kills and 17 digs for the Bobcats (5-3).
An early 8-1 surge saw the Spartans jump out to a 12-7 lead in the first set. The Bobcats had a momentum burst of their own with a late 11-3 run to grab a 22-21 advantage. BU mounted a furious comeback by scoring eight straight points, including a trio of service aces by Michelle Egger to take the opener.
In the second set, a 6-2 run from TWU helped put the Spartans in prime position to tie the match. They followed that by winning six of the final seven points of the second set.
In the third, the Spartans had a 5-1 run to put them in the driver's seat at 22-14. The Bobcats countered with four straight points to trim the gap to 22-18, but that is as close as they would get.
BU started the fourth set strong with seven straight points. The Bobcats grabbed a 10-point advantage at 17-7 en route to forcing a fifth set.
The final stage saw both teams exchange 3-0 runs to make it 8-8. Trinity Western's 4-1 run to follow was good enough for them to complete the weekend sweep.
Head Coach Ryan Hofer
"It's great to come in and get two wins against a top team like Brandon. Both teams battled hard. I think there were some times when we made it a little harder on ourselves than we needed to, but Brandon upped their level. They made us fight and work for this win. I'm really proud of the team and the work they put in and now they get to reap the rewards of what they've been sewing over the last couple of weeks."
• After losing three in a row, the Spartans bounced back with their first weekend sweep of the season.
• The Spartans have won five straight matches, including the 2016 national championship quarter-final, against the Bobcats in Brandon. The last time Brandon beat TWU on the Bobcats home court was Feb. 1, 2014 (3-0).
• TWU hit .136 as a team, while Brandon hit .132.
• The Spartans had a 12-10 edge in aces, but the teams were tied in blocks, with 11 apiece.
Trinity Western returns to home floor next weekend when they welcome the Mount Royal Cougars on November 17-18.