CALGARY - The first-place Trinity Western Spartans took the opening match of the weekend defeating the Mount Royal Cougars 3-1 Friday night at Kenyon Court in Calgary Alberta. The 25-21, 25-18, 14-25, 27-25 win improves the No. 3 Spartans to 17-2 in Canada West play, while the loss drops the Cougars to 9-10.
MRU returned home after a four-game road trip and coming off a sweep of the MacEwan Griffins, leading the top of the wild chase for the final playoff spots while the Spartans were coming off their only two losses off the season against UBC.
Third year outside Hilary Howe (Calgary) with 13 kills, five digs, and three blocks, fourth year middle Mikaelyn Sych (Airdrie, Alta.) with 12 kills, and fourth year setter Brie King (O'Reilly) (Langley, B.C.) with 39 assists and 20 digs led the Spartans. While Chantel Park with 19 kills, and 14 digs and Cassidy Kitchen with nine kills and 14 digs led the Cougars.
Mount Royal began the match on the front foot, leading from the opening serve until trailing for the first time at 13-12 and elected to call their first timeout, down 14-12. Trinity Western reached the first technical-timeout up 16-13. The Cougars kept it close in the opening set and were down two down 23-21 until TWU took the final two points of the set to win 25-21.
Opposite to the first set, the Spartans led the second set from the beginning, climbing to a 16-11 lead at the technical-timeout before taking the second 25-18.
The Cougars controlled the third set, reaching their first lead at technical-timeout, holding a narrow 16-14 score. The Spartans called a timeout down four at 18-14 and again at 21-14, but couldn't manage to hold back MRU who took the third set 25-14.
The fourth set started even with both team trading points up to a 6-5 score before the Spartans jumped on a run to force the Cougars to call a timeout, down at 11-6. MRU went on a run of their own to tie the set at 13-13, but the Spartans picked up three quick points to reach their third lead at a technical timeout, leading 16-13. MRU was able to force extra points, 25-25, before TWU took the set 27-25 and the match 3-1.
TWU Head Coach Ryan Hofer
"We knew we had to match Mount Royal's defensive effort, we knew we needed to make some shots and hold a stand at the end there. We came up with some good blocks when we needed."
"We know they like to split so we're going to do whatever we can to take care of our side and see if we can prevent that. It's going to be a good battle tomorrow."
- The Spartans finished the night hitting .128 (47-27-156), while the Cougars finished at .118 (43-26-118).
- TWU had eight blocks, while MRU had 12.5 blocks.
Trinity Western and Mount Royal will match up again tomorrow night in Calgary. You can catch all these match-ups live online at CanadaWest.TV.