CALGARY – The University of Calgary women's volleyball triumphed over Trinity Western University in five sets on Saturday night in the Jack Simpson Gym (25-14, 15-25, 27-25, 16-25, 15-10).
Now 17-3, the Dinos retain sole possession of first place in Canada West with four matches remaining, while Trinity Western falls to 13-7 with a key series against UBC up next week.
Kate Pexman led Calgary with a school-record 29 kills and 18 digs during the contest. Beth Vinnell added 14 kills of her own, while Laura McManes notched 10 kills and six digs.
For the Spartans, Hilary Howe recorded 16 kills with support from both Katelyn Devaney and Micaylee Pucilowski, who notched 10 kills each. Avery Heppell also earned double digit kills, slamming 13 down against the Dinos.
The first 20 points of the first set were neck and neck between the Dinos and the Spartans, as the teams battled out to 10-10 until a kill by Vinnell gave Calgary the advantage. Trinity Western fought back, coming within two points, at 13-11, but the Dinos continued to dominate. McManes, Pexman, and Vinnell all managed to add kills during the frame, but it was a service ace by Solberg that took the set, 25-14.
Trinity Western jetted off to a speedy 15-6 lead in the second set, with points coming down from kills by Devaney, McKenzie, and Pucilowski. The Spartan attack continued to command the floor, and the Dinos were unable to catch Trinity Western by the end of the set, falling 15-25.
In the third set, the Dinos and the Spartans traded points for the first six, until a series of errors by Calgary and a kill by Howe brought the score up to 9-6 in favor of the visiting team. Calgary capitalized on several attack errors in the middle of set, evening things out at 11-11, off a service ace by Pexman. The Dinos were able to gain back control at 16-14, eventually taking the set, 25-23.
With the fourth set, the Spartans rolled out to a 6-0 advantage, and were able to maintain control for the majority. Howe rattled off three kills in the frame, while Brie O'Reilly contributed two. A service error by Hannah Tanasichuk closed the set, 16-25 in favor of Trinity Western.
In the deciding fifth set, Calgary bounced back, and the Dinos' defense dominated the court once again. The Dinos jumped out to a 10-6 advantage, led by Pexman with seven kills and one assist. McManes capped off the fifth set for the home team with a kill from Pexman.
For the game, the Dinos noted 65 kills compared to 60 of the Spartans, and managed to record 71 digs, and a .216, while Trinity Western noted 69 and .299
TWU Head Coach Ryan Hofer
"I'm very proud of our players. We can hold our heads high even though we did not come out with a victory. I thought we competed hard and played with a lot of heart and we battled all night long. We showed a lot of resilience to not give up no matter what the score was.
Full credit to Calgary and their group they played very good volleyball. We are still learning and we want to be learning and growing all the way to the end of the season.
Our challenge is to take care of a lot of little details. We will take the good from this match and clean up the little things as we prepare to earn a play-off spot."
- Katelyn Devaney finished the night with six blocks. Giving her a total of 506 in her career as a Spartan and 117 this season. Devaney currently holds three of the top seven single season records for blocks in a season. Her career best is 127, which is third best in Canada West history.
- Devaney 117 blocks this season move her into fifth place on the Canada West single season record list. Tonight she passes Courtney Dawson who had 116 while at Calgary.
- TWU's Alicia Perrin, 2010-2015, holds the TWU and Canada West record with 512 blocks in a season. Devaney is currently second on the list. As well Perrin holds the blocks in a season record with 135.
Calgary will host back-to-back contests on Feb. 12-13, facing the MacEwan University Griffins, while the Spartans will head home for a home-and-home series with the UBC Thunderbirds. TWU and UBC will play at the Langley Events Centre on Friday, February 15 and then at UBC on Saturday, February 16.