Connor Hood - Golden Bears and Pandas Athletics
EDMONTON – The Trinity Western Spartans earned yet another Canada West women's volleyball medal, defeating the UBC Okanagan Heat 3-0 (25-13, 25-20, 25-20) in the conference bronze medal match, Saturday night at the University of Alberta's Saville Community Sports Centre.
The win also qualifies the Spartans for the U SPORTS Championship, next weekend in Toronto hosted by the Ryerson Rams.
UBC Okanagan, meanwhile, finish in fourth in Canada West, with their season coming to an end in Edmonton.
First team Canada all-star Sophie Carpentier paced the Spartans attack with 14 kills on 34 attacks, adding seven digs and four total blocks. Fellow first team all-star Eli Wendel also scored in double-digit kills, hitting 13 on Saturday.
Kaitlynn Given led UBC Okanagan with eight kills on 22 attempts, earning the Mikasa Canada Player of the Match for the Heat. Carpentier was named the Spartans Player of the Match.
After suffering a crushing upset loss the previous night to the UBC Thunderbirds, the Spartans came out firing in the bronze match, cruising to a 25-13 first set win. Wendel and Carpentier each scored five kills in the opening set, while the Heat struggled offensively with just eight kills and seven errors.
The offensive issues persisted in the second, as UBCO managed just seven kills on 24 attempts for a 8.3 attack percentage. TWU, meanwhile, was even deadlier in the second, as Carpentier added six of the Spartans 18 kills in the set, while Wendel added four and Brie O'Reilly chipped in three. Thanks in large part to the 30% gap in attacking, the Spartans took the second 25-20.
The Spartans fell back to earth in the third, but were able to come away with a 25-20 win thanks to 16 digs and a pair of blocks. Nine more Heat attack errors also contributed to the Spartans straight-sets win, as UBCO finished their season with a staggering 21 errors in just three sets. TWU also took advantage of seven aces on Saturday.
The Trinity Western Spartans, along with the Canada West Champion Alberta Pandas, and conference runner-up UBC Thunderbirds, will now represent the Canada West conference at next week's U SPORTS Championships. Canada West has accounted for 10 of the past 11 women's volleyball champions.
About Canada West Championships:
Canada West is the premier athletic conference in the country and is home to champion student-athletes that excel on the field, in the classroom and in their communities. Canada West and its 17 member institutions commit to a student-athlete experience where competitive excellence, scholarship and sportsmanship contribute equally towards moulding outstanding graduates and community leaders.
The 2017 Canada West Volleyball Final Four is proudly sponsored by Mikasa Sports Canada. Since 1997, Mikasa Sports Canada, through Catsports Inc., has distributed quality products to better satisfy the demand of Canadian athletes and is the official ball supplier for Canada West volleyball.
Canada West – Training leaders, building champions.