LANGLEY, B.C. – The No. 1-ranked Trinity Western Spartans continued their winning streak Saturday evening at the Langley Events Centre, defeating the Thompson Rivers WolfPack in three sets (25-20, 25-23, 25-18).
Now 16-0, the conference-leading Spartans saw Hilary Howe (Calgary) lead the game with 10 kills and a team-high four service aces. Teammates Micaylee Pucilowski (Kelowna, B.C.) and Mikaelyn Sych (Airdrie, Alta.) each contributed nine kills, while setter Brie King (Langley) finished with 35 assists and five digs. TWU had a final attacking percentage of .267 to TRU's .096. First-year libero Emma Gamache (Abbotsford, B.C.) finished with 13 digs.
For the WolfPack (8-10), Kendra Finch and Olga Savenchuk tied for eight kills each, while Finch also added 11 digs.
Mirroring Friday evening, the Spartans got off to an early lead in the first set, leading by eight at one point thanks to the efforts of Howe, with four kills. The WolfPack inched their way back to within three points at 21-18, with contributions from Avery Pottle and Anastasiia Muzyka, but the Spartans edged TRU for the final few points for a 25-20 win.
The second set was level from the start, but it was TRU that opened a 10-7 lead after a service ace from Gabriela Podolski. The Spartans responded shortly after with three straight kills from Howe putting TWU up 11-10. From that point, the lead bounced back and forth until 22-22. After a late WolfPack timeout, the Spartans collected two of the final three points with both coming from Sych to give TWU a 25-23 win.
The final set of the match also saw an even score for the first five points, but with Howe serving TWU to a 6-0 run that put the Spartans ahead 13-5. At the 13-6 mark, a foot pass kept TRU alive, but not before Sych delivered an attack to regain Spartan possession. Elizabeth Reimer led TRU with three out of seven team blocks in the set, but it wasn't enough to beat the Spartan offence, who kept a six-point margin for the rest of the set, winning 25-18.
Ryan Hofer – TWU Head Coach
"Even though we won in three sets, I felt that we had to be really sharp tonight. I felt that we had to make adjustments. At the very beginning, we put in some changes that we needed to make and the team executed really well. I thought we attacked a little bit better than yesterday even though the numbers may not reflect it."
On Micaylee Pucilowski, who hit .278 and had nine kills
"Micaylee is a force at the net. She hits such a high ball and is so consistent in attacking deep and just has so much power behind the ball. She had a really good efficiency and I love how she responded in tough situations by taking her game to another level."
• The Spartans improved on their program record unbeaten streak, now at 16-0
• Including the preseason, the Spartans are now at 25-0
• The Spartans have now knocked off the WolfPack in nine straight outings.
The Spartans return to the Langley Events Centre next Friday and Saturday to host UBC. Thompson Rivers has a bye next weekend and returns to host Brandon on February 1st at home.