SASKATOON – The No. 3-ranked Trinity Western Spartans stayed undefeated on Saturday night, downing the University of Saskatchewan Huskies for the second consecutive game with a 3-1 (25-21, 25-18, 17-25, 25-12) victory on Ron and Jane Graham Centre Court at the PAC.
First-year Savannah Purdy (Victoria) tacked on 14 kills and four service aces in the win for the Spartans, with both serving as game-highs. Olivia Heinen (Langley, B.C.) racked up 44 of her team's 45 assists on the night, while Hilary Howe (Calgary) and Emma Gamache (Abbotsford, B.C.) each recorded 14 digs.
Emily Koshinsky led the Huskies with 11 kills, while also chipping in three service aces. Averie Allard added 28 assists. Shea Beaulieu recorded a team-high 14 digs.
Trinity Western remains undefeated and moves to a perfect 10-0 in the Canada West this season, while Saskatchewan fell to 2-6 with the loss.
The Huskies were quick out of the gates as they got out to a 7-2 lead thanks to two kills from Koshinsky. However, the Spartans battled back to take a 16-14 lead at the technical timeout, as Purdy recorded three aces and a kill during the stretch, which saw the roadside go on an 8-1 run. With the match tied at 20-20, TWU was able to go on a 5-1 run to close out the first set and hop out to an early lead.
The Spartans started the second set in dominant fashion with a 9-3 run, but the Huskies were poised to scrape back as they put up four straight points including kills from Regan Wiebe, Mandi Fraser, and Olivia Mattern to make it a 10-8 scoreline in favor of TWU.
With the set sitting at 14-10, TWU went on a 5-0 run to give them a 19-10 lead. However, Saskatchewan showed battled back as they shrunk the deficit to five after a 4-0 run. But that was as close as the Huskies would come, as the Spartans showed why they're the third ranked team in the nation, closing out the set strong with a 25-18 victory.
Saskatchewan started the third set dominantly as they raced out to a 7-1 run after Koshinsky provided a kill and an ace, with Wiebe, Taylor Annala, Georgia Hurry, and Fraser also chipping in kills. TWU responded with a rally of its own to trim the Huskies lead to two. But Saskatchewan displayed resiliency as they continued to grow their lead over TWU and Koshinsky finished off the set in-style with two kills, each capping lengthy rallies to take to stay alive with a 25-17 win in the third.
After dropping their first set of the weekend, the Spartans rebounded immediately as they went on a 7-3 run to open the fourth and took a 16-10 lead into the technical timeout. Ashtyn McKenzie (Vernon, B.C.) finished off the match for the Huskies, slamming an ace to seal the victory for the Spartans.
Ryan Hofer – TWU Coach
"It was a fun match tonight. I thought our team did well. Saskatchewan made some adjustments from the previous night and really forced us to play smart volleyball and to make some adjustments ourselves to find ways to score. We had good performances all around from different players. I was really pleased with Olivia coming in this weekend and last weekend and she did a really doing a good job of distributing the ball. We played with a lot of fight and passion and it was a good weekend. Saskatchewan is a tough place to come play ball and I was really pleased that we can walk away with a couple of wins."
• Including the preseason, TWU is now 19-0 this season.
• Last year, the Spartans split their season-opening weekend series with Saskatchewan, winning in five sets before losing a three-setter.
• The Spartans were playing without regular starting setter Brie King (Langley, B.C.) for the second week in a row.
• TWU has only played in a fifth set twice in their 19 matches this year.
The Spartans have a bye next weekend before returning home to face U SPORTS No. 1-ranked Calgary, who is currently 8-0, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at the Langley Events Centre.
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 haAve won 11 U SPORTS team championships and 25 Canada West team championships.