Spartans extend winning streak with sweep of Griffins

Spartans extend winning streak with sweep of Griffins

Scott Stewart - TWU

LANGLEY, British Columbia – The Trinity Western Spartans extended their Canada West winning streak to 13 matches with a 3-0 win over the MacEwan Griffins Saturday night at the Langley Events Centre in Langley, B.C. The win improves the No. 2 Spartans to 6-0 in Canada West conference play this season, while the loss drops the Griffins to 0-8. 

Fifth year outside Ryan Sclater (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) with 10 kills, five blocks, and four digs and second year outside Jacob Kern (Edmonton) with seven kills and three digs led the Spartans attack. While Max Vriend with nine kills, and four digs and Christian Sides with eight kills led the Griffins offence. 

TWU fourth year setter Adam Schriemer (Winnipeg) guided the Spartans with 21 set assists, while Josh Peters led the Griffins with 18 assists. 

The Spartans attack never got going as they finished with a 19.7 percent efficiency (31-16-76), while the Griffins finished at six percent (29-24-83). In last night's 3-0 win Trinity Western hit at a much higher 32.4 percent. 

"We had a real lack of focus and lack of body language. Which is frustrating because we have been putting an emphasis on those things, and we very much had an emphasis on those tonight. We were trying, but I thought we were past the point of trying on those things," commented TWU head coach Ben Josephson. "The fact that we are still trying means that we are not good at those things yet. But we are not, so we will keep working on it." 

"Fun and togetherness are things that are part of our group and that wasn't evident tonight. When you don't showcase who you are it is hard to claim that as your identity when you are not consistently that way," said Josephson. "But I've been please with those things for the most part this season and finding a way to win on your bad day is a positive." 

In the opening set MacEwan was the slightly better of the two teams as they went into the technical time out with a 16-15 lead. But out of the break the Spartans had the better of the Griffins as they used a 10-2 run to take the opening set 25-18. TWU hit for 27.3 percent (10-4-22), while MacEwan hit at 8.3 percent (9-7-24).

In the second set the Spartans looked to be in control as they jumped out to an impressive five point lead, 12-7. But the lead quickly evaporated as MacEwan tied the set up at 16-16 coming out of the break. The Griffins took a 21-20 lead late, but the Spartans finished with a 5-2 run to take the second set 25-23. 

Trinity Western once again jumped out to the early lead, 10-6, in the third set. But MacEwan took advantage of TWU errors and held a 16-15 lead heading into the technical timeout. The teams remained tied at 18-18. But with the Spartans up 20-19, TWU was able to get separation with a three point service run from Kern to take a four point, 23-19, lead. The Griffins closed to 23-21, but TWU took the final two points to take the set 25-21 and the match 3-0. 

Next up for the Spartans is a home and away series with the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds. TWU will be at UBC on Friday, November 25, with match time set for 12 pm PST. Then the two teams will match up again on Saturday, November 26 in Langley, BC. Match time is set for1:30 p.m. PST at the Langley Events Centre. Both matches can be seen live on Canadawest.TV. The Griffins will now return home to host the Thompson Rivers WolfPack on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and 7 p.m. MST. 

Match Notes: The last time TWU lost was, 3-1, in the opening match of the 2016 Canada West quarter finals… the Spartans have only dropped two sets this season, 18-2… TWU finished with eight team blocks, while MacEwan finished with three blocks…the Spartans had eight service aces, while the Griffins had three… 

-TW-