WINNIPEG – The No. 5-ranked Trinity Western Spartans shook off a first-set loss and rallied Saturday night to hand the Wesmen men's volleyball team a 3-1 (19-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-17) defeat at the Duckworth Centre.
TWU moved to 5-1 on the season, while Winnipeg dropped to 2-2.
The Spartans hit .217 for the match — and .417 in the third set — in sweeping the weekend series between the fifth- and sixth-ranked teams in the nation.
Eric Loeppky (Steinbach, Man.) had 14 kills and five aces to lead the Spartans, who had a run of four straight points and seven of eight in the third set to turn a 12-12 game into a 19-13 advantage at a critical time. Loeppky's five aces puts the third-year outside into the top 15 in the Canada West record books in career conference aces, at 104.
Adrian Dyck led the Wesmen with 13 kills and five digs and Mikael Clegg had a team-high 14 digs. Middle blocker Keegan Teetaert had a career-high seven total blocks.
Ben Josephson – TWU Coach
"We found our side-out rhythm a little bit before they did and that's why I think we won the last two sets. The way this game goes it's kind of like a tug-of-war as long as it's just short little bursts, but once a team starts to really pull it takes a tremendous amount of energy to stay with it."
Larry McKay – Winnipeg Coach
"Hopefully we're still learning. That's why we came to work today. We watched the tape and tried to learn from what we did last night, but I think we have a long way to go before we're as good as we can be this year."
• The weekend series was a rematch of last year's Canada West semifinal series, which TWU won with back-to-back three-set victories.
• Including playoffs, TWU has won nine straight matches against the Wesmen.
• The last time Winnipeg beat the Spartans was Feb. 17, 2017 when the Wesmen took a four-setter.
• TWU's only loss this year was a five-setter against Alberta.
TWU is back on the road next weekend when the Spartans travel to play at Saskatchewan Nov. 16-17. The Wesmen hit the road for the first time this season next weekend when they head to Kamloops, B.C., for a pair of matches against the Thompson Rivers Wolfpack.
About Spartan Athletics
As official members of U SPORTS, the Spartans currently compete in 10 sports in the Canada West conference, including women's and men's soccer, volleyball, basketball, cross country and track & field. TWU also competes in the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) in men's hockey. Since TWU entered U SPORTS in 1999, the Spartans haAve won 11 U SPORTS team championships and 25 Canada West team championships.