LANGLEY, British Columbia – The No. 3 Trinity Western Spartans needed a sweep, the No. 1 Manitoba Bisons needed one set to claim top spot in Canada West. The Spartans finished the night with a 3-1 win over the Bisons giving both teams 21-3 records. However, the one set was all Manitoba needed earn the tiebreaker and to win Canada West league play and the right to host the Canada West Final Four.
Finishing second in Canada West the Spartans will now host the University of Winnipeg Wesmen in the Canada West quarterfinals. The best of three series runs Thursday-Saturday at the Langley Events Centre in Langley, B.C. The first two matches have 8:30 pm PST start times.
"The objective of the weekend was not to win straight sets, but to make sure we are ready for our play-off run. I feel really good about the head space that we are in and the way that we are playing. We have 9-11 kids who are all clicking. And I think we learned a lot about our team and our toughness tonight," commented TWU head coach Ben Josephson. "The first five sets that were played this weekend were probably the best five sets of volleyball that we have seen all season. The third set lost its luster when they started making some subs, but they are managing their bodies and energy too. Everyone is kind of nicked up and everyone is doing different things to stay healthy."
"I was proud of the character that our kids showed. Dropping the second set was disappointing, because we were hoping to keep it rolling," added Josephson. "But I'm super happy for us, super happy that our seniors got a win on Senior Night."
TWU fifth outside Ryan Sclater (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) with 16 kills, eight digs, two blocks, and two aces and fourth year outside Blake Scheerhoorn (Belleville, Ont.) with 11 kills and four digs led the Spartans, while Devren Dear (St. Andrews, Man.) with nine kills, and seven digs and Adam DeJonckheere (Winnipeg) with nine kills, and five digs led the Bisons.
TWU fourth year setter Adam Schriemer (Winnipeg) finished the night with 30 set assists, while his counterpart with Manitoba Luke Herr (Winnipeg) had 26 set assists.
TWU Libero Carter Bergen (Winnipeg) led both teams with 14 digs.
The first two sets tonight were play-off level volleyball with two of the best teams in Canada facing off against each other. Both teams played with a passion to refuse to let the ball hit the floor, which resulted in spectacular rallies in each of the sets. The Spartans took the first set 25-21, while the Bisons took the second set by the same score.
Winning the second set gave the Bisons first place and resulted in a number of subs playing the remaining two sets, which TWU won easily 25-14 and 25-13.
Match Notes: the Spartans finished the night hitting .267 (44-17-101), while the Bisons finished at .086 (37-27-116)…TWU had the edge in blocks 12-7, digs 43-36, and aces 10-4…Tonight's match was the final conference match for TWU's Ryan Sclater, Leigh Goossen,(Kelowna, B.C.) and Scott Plocktis (Kelowna, B.C.)…the Spartans split with the Winnipeg Wesmen last weekend in Winnipeg, losing 3-1 and winning 3-2… Sclater finish's league play with 1175 career kills, seventh all-time in Canada West. He also finishes the season with 427.5 points, which is fifth best all-time in Canada West…