SASKATOON – Trinity Western first-year outside Jesse Elser (Calgary) had a team-high seven kills and a whopping eight aces to lead the Spartans to a 3-0 (25-15, 25-19, 25-22) win over Saskatchewan Saturday at the PAC.
Elser also added four blocks in his Canada West debut, while fifth-year setter Adam Schriemer (Winnipeg) had a game-high 25 assists.
Spartans middle Pearson Eshenko (Banff, Alta.) was a perfect six for six on attacking attempts and had three blocks, while fellow middle Riley Vander Meulen (Edmonton) finished with five kills and six blocks while hitting .714.
The win capped a strong opening weekend for TWU as they finished with back-to-back three-set wins to start the year.
First-year Dylan Mortensen led the Huskies, recording a game-high 11 kills, while adding three digs.
Trinity Western started the match 11 straight points in the first set, thanks in large part to Elser tallying six aces. Both teams traded points for the rest of the set, but the Spartans were in full control, taking the set by 10 points.
The second set featured a better start by the Huskies as Mortensen put away a kill to bring the Huskies within two at 8-6. Unfortunately for the Huskies, that was the smallest gap they would see in the set. Despite a late 4-0 run by the Huskies, a pair of Saskatchewan errors gave TWU the win in set two..
In the third set, the Huskies jumped out to an 11-6 lead. However the Huskies biggest lead of the match was quickly erased as TWU went on a 10-2 run en route to the 25-22 win.
Head Coach Ben Josephson
"It was another tough game. We started off with 11 straight points and Elser's serving was incredible. It was an amazing display of serving from a young player, who was making his Canada West debut. After that, it was tough. They made it hard on us. They plugged up both Eric (Loeppky, Steinbach, Man.) and (Jacob) Kern (Edmonton), but our middles played great. Overall, we got out of Saskatoon without dropping a set and got out without being injured so it was a successful road weekend."
• The last time TWU played Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, in 2015-16, the Huskies earned back-to-back three-set wins over the Spartans.
• The Spartans opened the season with a 3-0 (25-21, 25-18, 25-21) win over Saskatchewan Friday.
• Including their preseason, the Spartans are 15-0 in 2017-18.
• Dating back to last year's playoff run while also including this year's exhibition slate, TWU has won 25 consecutive matches.
• TWU altered its starting lineup from its season-opener, going with Elser and Vander Meulen in place of Ben Lieuwen (Abbotsford, B.C.) and Jackson Howe (Calgary).
The Spartans will now return to the Langley Events Centre as they will host UBC Okanagan Oct. 27-28 in their home-opening weekend. TWU will raise its Canada West and U SPORTS championship banners prior to Friday's match.