By Mark Janzen, Trinity Western University
LANGLEY, British Columbia – Sophie Carpentier (Ottawa) had 10 kills while hitting .409 to lead No. 3 Trinity Western to a 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-20) win over Saskatchewan Friday at the Langley Events Centre.
Carpentier, who also had four aces and seven digs, had just one attacking error as the Spartans (10-1) returned from the Christmas break in fine form, hitting .270 as a team and cruising to a convincing win over the visiting Huskies.
"Sophie is a key player for us," said Spartans coach Ryan Hofer. "She gets to so many balls and she's a great attacker and she's just so steady. She brings a lot to the floor and tonight was another example of that."
After TWU edged the Huskies (5-6) in a tight first set, the Spartans seized momentum and ran away with the second and third sets to earn their seventh consecutive regular season win.
Elly Wendel (Caronport, Sask.) continued her dominating ways from the right side as she collected 12 kills and added three aces for the Spartans. TWU setter Nikki Cornwall (Coquitlam, B.C.) led the offence with 29 assists and a team-high four blocks.
Taylor Annala had a team-high nine kills for the Huskies, while setter Mackenzie Pek had 29 assists and two blocks. Libero Jennifer Hueser had a match-high 14 digs.
TWU has now won 12 straight regular season matches against the Huskies.
"The first game after the Christmas break always seems to be a bit of a challenge, so I'm pleased with today's performance" Hofer said. "We've been working really hard in the gym and that translated well into the game tonight. We did some good things offensively and we did some good things in the back court, so it was a good start to the second semester."
The Spartans took a 14-9 lead in the first set, but the Huskies rallied in the latter stages to get within two points at 21-19. However, a Carpentier kill put TWU back up by three and the Spartans, who hit .320 in the set, hung on for a 25-22 win.
Saskatchewan slowed the Spartans attack in the second set, holding TWU to a .189 hitting percentage, but couldn't hang with the home side down the stretch and once again the Spartans were rewarded with the set.
TWU took the first point in the third set, built a 9-3 lead and never trailed. Putting together their most efficient set of the night, hitting .333, the Spartans attack rolled to a five-point win. Seeing action in only her third match of the year, middle Jessica Bailey (Surrey, B.C.) came off the bench to earn the match-winning kill.
The teams will play again Saturday at 5 p.m. at the LEC.
Game Notes: TWU hasn't dropped a match since a five-set loss against Calgary Nov. 5…the last time Saskatchewan beat TWU was Jan. 28, 2011 when the Huskies earned a five-set win…the loss was the Huskies first setback on the road this season, having won their first four games away from home.