BRANDON – Coming off their first loss of the season the No. 1-ranked Spartans responded with a 3-1 (25-10, 22-25, 25-22, 25-19) win over Brandon Saturday.
Eric Loeppky (Steinbach, Man.) was an offensive machine, tallying a career-high 26 kills while hitting .469 and adding three aces, six digs and two blocks. The second-year Spartan bettered his previous career high of 17, which he put up Friday night.
His 26 kills ties him for the third most kills in a four-set match in TWU history, equaling Nick Del Bianco (Jan. 26, 2013). Current assistant coach Steve Rogalsky twice tallied 29 kills in a four-set match.
The Bobcats top scorer was Elliott Viles with 15 kills as BU (6-2) saw their six-match winning streak come to an end.
The win improves the Spartans record to 5-1 on the season.
Trinity Western stormed out of the gate with a 7-1 run in the first set and looked strong from the get-go. The Spartans continued their impressive play by leading the Bobcats 16-6 at the technical timeout and cruising to a 15-point win. TWU hit .483 in the set compared to Brandon, who hit -.107.
BU's 6-2 run in the second set helped set the stage for the Bobcats to even the match. Trinity Western played catch-up for most of the set and inched closer at 23-21, but the Bobcats held on for the win.
The third set was tight from start to finish. The Bobcats and Spartans were tied 22-22, before Trinity Western won the final three points.
Trinity Western picked up right where they left off by stringing together six straight points to begin the fourth set. Brandon responded with 6-2 and 5-1 runs to close the gap, but it was not enough.
Head Coach Ben Josephson
"It was a cool response game. After we lost there were some interesting lessons to be discussed and it was really neat to watch the group build towards this match. We got a couple of great performances. Obviously, Eric's stat line is incredible. That first set, our block defence and serving was incredible. We almost put a great team into single digits, which is hard to do. That was a great start and that showed our team's preparation. Brandon responded and pushed back and I thought our kids handled themselves really well, staying together and focusing on the moment.
"In the third set, we had a great performance from Maddux (Greves, Calgary) off the bench. He came in at 18-18 and cracked the set open. Then, in the fourth set when Brandon was showing a bit of a comeback, Jackson Howe (Calgary) got three blocks in a row and that was the nail in the coffin."
• Prior to their loss Friday, the Spartans had won 27 straight matches going back to last year, including the preseason, regular season and post-season.
• TWU finished the night hitting .341 while Brandon hit .160.
• The Spartans had seven aces and 21 service errors. Brandon had one ace and nine errors.
The Spartans return home to host Mount Royal Nov. 17-18 at the Langley Events Centre.