No. 4 Spartans get weekend sweep over No. 8 Thunderbirds

No. 4 Spartans get weekend sweep over No. 8 Thunderbirds

Scott Stewart - TWU Spartans

LANGLEY, British Columbia – Led by fifth-year outside Sophie Carpentier's (Ottawa) 16 kills, seven digs, and two aces, the No. 4 Trinity Western Spartans defeated the No. 8 UBC Thunderbirds 3-1 Saturday afternoon at the Langley Events Centre. The 25-19, 25-19, 25-27, 25-18 win improves TWU to 7-1, while the loss drops UBC to 5-3.

The 3-1 win this afternoon, combined with Friday's 3-0 victory gives the Spartans their first weekend sweep of the Thunderbirds since Oct. 25-26, 2013.

In addition to Carpentier the Spartans had strong matches from fifth-year outside Elly Wendel (Caronport, Sask.) with 11 kills, six blocks, and two aces and fourth-year middle Katie Devaney (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) with eight kills, six blocks and two aces.

The T-Birds were led by fourth-year middle Maggie Li (Beijing) with nine kills, three blocks, and two aces and fifth-year leftside Danielle Brisebois (Bolton, Ont.) and third-year left side Laura MacTaggart (Lacombe, Alta.) with seven kills each.

TWU fourth-year setter Nikki Cornwall (Coquitlam, B.C.) led the Spartans attack with 39 assists, while fourth-year setter Alessandra Gentile (Port Moody, B.C.) led the Thunderbirds with 21 assists.

"I'm really pleased with the performance of the team over this weekend," said Spartans coach Ryan Hofer. "We have been talking a lot about consistency over an entire match and an entire weekend. I was pleased with how the team was so consistent with our serve and our attack and with our mindset. Kudos to UBC for coming back in that third set today. They really put a ton of pressure on us with their serve, not just in that set, but in the entire match. I was happy with how our team passed and gave something to Nikki that she could work with. UBC is a great team and it's always a battle and this weekend was no different."

Trinity Western was in control throughout the opening set taking 8-3 and 16-10 leads. TWU finished out the set 25-19 to take the opening 1-0 lead. The Spartans hit at 37.5 percent (9-3-16) to UBC's negative 13.6 percent (7-10-22).

The second set had a completely different start as UBC jumped out to an opening 5-1 lead.  The Spartans gathered momentum and were able to tie the set at 8-8. The T-Birds once again took control and after a Victoria Behie kill led the Spartans 16-12 at the media break. TWU gradually got going and after a Sophie Carpentier kill had evened the set at 17-17. The Spartans continued to roll through the tie and took the second set 25-19. TWU hit at 23.1 percent (10-4-26), while UBC hit at 20 percent (9-4-25).

It looked like TWU was going to take the match in straight sets as they jumped out to 8-4 and a 16-10 lead at the technical timeout. UBC's Emily Cicon served the T-Birds back into the set and closed the gap to two points, trailing 15-17. Katelyn Devaney regained gave the Spartans a 21-18 lead with a step attack. A TWU service error made it 21-19 for the Spartans. With the serve UBC's Laura Worsley stepped to the back line and served five straight points to give the T-Birds a 24-21 lead. A Sophie Carpentier kill held off set point and then a serving run by Devaney made it 25-24 for TWU. UBC's Victoria Behie held off the Spartans set point to tie the set at 25-25. The Thunderbirds Maggie Li then served the next two points for UBC, a kill by Laura McTaggart and an attack error by TWU's Elizabeth Wendel, to give the Thunderbirds third set 27-25.

The final set was tight through to the technical break with TWU leading 16-14.Wendel expanded the lead to three points, 21-18 with a cross court attack. That would end the T-Birds chances as TWU's Ashtyn McKenzie served the next four points to give the Spartans the fourth set 25-18, and the match 3-1.

The Spartans will now head on the road for the final matches of the first semester. TWU will head to Calgary to take on Mount Royal University. Match times are set for 5 p.m MST on Friday, December 2 and 4 p.m. MST on Saturday, December 3.

Match Notes: TWU finished the afternoon with a 11 service aces, while UBC finished with an impressive 16 aces…The Spartans finished the night hitting at 23 percent (43-20-100), while the T-Birds finished at 2.6 percent (36-33-117)…TWU had the edge in team blocks 13-5.

-TW-