TWU Sports Friday – Great Jump For Basketball,Volleyball Win Streak Extended

Men’s Volleyball

The No. 1 ranked Trinity Western Spartans men’s volleyball team continued its winning ways with a straight-sets victory over the Calgary Dinos Friday at the Jack Simpson Gym.

With their tenth consecutive win, the Spartans also extended their school record streak to 30-consecutive sets.

On the Spartans side it was Eric Loeppky (Steinbach, Man.) who led the way with 13 kills on the night. The fourth-year outside hitter played an integral role by offering up a number of key points for the Spartans. Jackson Howe (Calgary) also played a key role for the Spartans as he posted seven kills on the evening.

Leading the Dinos again Friday was fifth-year Mac McNicol, who offered up six kills on the night. Third-year Tomas Sorra was also key for the Dinos as he scored four thanks to a handful of quick dumps falling straight into the middle of Spartan territory.

TWU went up early, thanks in part to three points by Eric Loeppky in rapid succession. With the Dinos suffering from several service errors, similarly to the night prior, the Spartans sealed the deal to finish the first set 25-17.

The rolling Spartans kept things going in the second as they smothered the Dinos offense to go up again – thanks to four consecutive kills from the Spartans front line. The Spartans made short work of the Dinos in the second set, taking it 25-14.

Heading into the third it was do or die for the Dinos who needed to pick up a set to keep things going against the Spartans. While Calgary kept up with the Spartans to open the set, it was TWU who once again pulled ahead thanks to four consecutive TWU points. While the Dinos fought back against the top-ranked team in U SPORTS, it wasn’t enough to end the Spartans set streak.

The win pushes the first-place Spartans to 11-1 on the year, while the loss drops Calgary to 5-5.

QUOTABLE

Ben Josephson – TWU Head Coach

“It was a really good night tonight. We put a big emphasis on the block defense part of our games this week and I thought it got better as the week went on. We learned from yesterday and made some adjustments and continued to better again. Our side out phase was really solid, I thought both our setters Derek and Mathias did a great job at running the offence, and our passers did a great job giving them chances to do what they wanted to do.

“Another great display by our middle attackers, they set the play for us today with both Pearce and Jackson having a big weekend. Really proud we finished the semester on the upswing, we got better in the last weekend which isn’t always the case in the middle of the season – I know this weekend can always be a challenge with finals looming and the Christmas break ahead of us, so I was really proud our group finished on the note we wanted to.

“We know we have a really important tournament coming up after Christmas with the Can Am tournament, so we wanted to make sure we accelerate right at the end of the semester and into the training block. We’re looking forward to playing some great volleyball teams in Toronto from the NCAA. First semester was a success, so looking forward to evaluating, formulating, and then hopefully continuing to execute as we move forward.

NOTABLE

  • Spartans outside hitter Eric Loeppky was coming off being named Canada West men’s third star of the week after last weekend’s 22 kills, nine digs and five serving aces. 
  • TWU has now won their previous eight games against the Dinos, dating back to Nov. 4, 2016.
  • The Spartans have yet to lose a set since a five-set loss to Alberta on Oct. 19, 2019. 

NEXT UP
The Spartans next play in 2020, as they host the Mount Royal University Cougars Jan. 10-11 at the Langley Events Centre.

Women’s Volleyball

The No. 1 ranked Spartans women’s volleyball team wrapped up a near-perfect start to the 2019-20 Canada West campaign with a straight-sets win (25-22, 25-21, 25-21) over the University of Calgary Dinos Friday night in the Jack Simpson Gym.

TWU improves to 11-1 on the campaign as the league takes a break for exams and the holidays, while the Dinos fall to 2-10.

Hilary Howe (Calgary) and Ansah Odoom (Surrey, B.C.) put up 12 kills each for the Spartans, with Avery Heppell (Langley, B.C.) adding seven and Mikaelyn Sych (Airdrie, Alta.) chipping in with six. Dora Komlodi (Calgary) and Savannah Purdy (Victoria, B.C.) each contributed a pair of aces to the Spartans’ cause, with Emma Gamache (Abbotsford, B.C.) leading the way defensively with 13 digs.

For the Dinos, rookie Trinity Solecki paced the offence with a match-high 14 kills, joined in double digits by Beth Vinnell with 10. Solecki added eight digs, five back of libero Kennedy Snape, while the trio of Vinnell, Autumn Davidson, and Adriel Goodman each put up three blocks on the night.


After Thursday night’s five-set epic, which the Spartans took 15-13 in the deciding frame, the two teams played another tightly-contested battle Friday – but on the strength of a slightly better hitting percentage and a 6-1 advantage on aces from the service line, TWU picked up the straight-sets win.

It was Calgary that opened up the lead to start, enjoying an advantage of up to five points throughout most of the opener – until the Spartans managed to tie it at 21-21. A couple of Dinos errors and a kill from Odoom put the Spartans in set point, and Heppell’s ace ended it 25-22 in the visitors’ favour.

It was TWU’s turn to jump out to an early lead in the second set, going up 6-1 right out of the chute.

Calgary pulled back and was able to close within a point, but the Spartans fended the Dinos off and Howe posted one of her 12 kills on the night to end the second 25-21.

In the third, a 6-0 TWU run midway through the frame turned a 13-11 Calgary lead into a 17-13 Spartans advantage, and the visitors never looked back from there.

QUOTABLE

Ryan Hofer – TWU Head Coach

“Really proud of the team tonight and how they responded from last night’s game, especially in the area of our serve receive. We needed to clean it up a little and give our setters a chance to run a balanced offence. To only allow one ace on the night is a big deal and something to be proud of, as well as our serving and block defense.”

NOTABLE

  • The Spartans were coming off a five-set win over the Dinos Thursday night in Calgary.
  • The game was once again a rematch of last year’s Canada West final, which the Spartans won in three sets.
  • Including last year’s conference final, TWU has won six straight matches against the Dinos and the Spartans are 15-3 against Calgary over the last eight seasons. 

NEXT UP
The Spartans return to Canada West play Jan. 10-11 as they play host to the Mount Royal University Cougars at the Langley Events Centre.

Men’s Basketball

The Trinity Western Spartans men’s basketball team defeated the MacEwan Griffins 109-97 Friday at the David E. Enarson Gymnasium.

The win was a historic one for TWU, as their last win came over 21 months ago on Feb. 2, 2018 in a 97-88 win over the Griffins in Edmonton.

Spartans guard Ja’Qualyn Gilbreath (Amarillo, Texas) paced TWU’s offence with a game-high 33 points while shooting 50% from the field (11-22), while forward Adam Gehrig (Toowoomba, Australia) added 24 points with five 3-pointers, and Andrew Goertzen (Langley, B.C.) adding a game-high seven rebounds.

Abdullah Shittu led the Griffins with 31 points, five rebounds and three assists. Deonte Doslov-Doctor chipped in with 16 points and seven rebounds in the losing cause.

With their first win of the season TWU moves to 1-6, while the loss drops the Griffins to 0-7 to start the year.

The first quarter saw the Griffins get off to the hot start, outpacing TWU 23-14 heading into the second quarter.

A trio of timely three-pointers from Spartans forward Gehrig and a last second layup from Spartans guard Gabe Mannes (Chilliwack, B.C.) in the second quarter saw the Spartans trailing just three points, 46-43 at halftime.

The Spartans continued their momentum into the third quarter, tying the game up at scores of 50 and 55 off Gilbreath three-pointers, before a last second layup from MacEwan’s Mason Hunter gave the Griffins a one-point lead at 69-68. 

A huge 3-pointer in the fourth-quarter from DaSilva tied the game at 78 with just over 7 minutes to play, before another 3-pointer from DaSilva gave the Spartans the lead at 81-80. With just over four minutes left in the game, a Mannes 3-pointer gave the Spartans their largest lead of the night at 90-85.

Mannes then added a layup with 2:37 left to push the Spartans lead to nine, as TWU would hold on to come away with the 109-97 victory.

QUOTABLE

Trevor Pridie – TWU Head Coach

“Being in this gym tonight was electric – it was an awesome atmosphere and we really fed off the fans tonight. I think we came out nervous and a bit jittery, not playing our style and super stagnant offensively. The pressure of the game may have thrown off the guys at the start, but once we stated to push the ball and get on a bit of a run the crowd got into it and we just kept rolling. I think it was our best rebounding game of the year. I know we’re a really good team in transition and if we want to run it starts with the defensive end, in getting stops and getting rebounds, and tonight we were able to rebound better than usual, especially into the second half.”

On Notable Players:

“Ja’Qualyn is a superstar in this league. He really closed the game out for us and played very composed. He got off to a bit of a rough start, but the the game slowed down for him and he picked his spots and began playing really well. We had a couple of our key shooters like Riley and Isaiah miss some shots, but then other guys stepped up. Adam had five 3’s, and Ethan DaSilva had his best game of the season by far – he was unbelievable for us tonight. You could really see Ethan’s leadership, both him and Jack being fifth-years really wanted to win and that was very noticeable particularly in the fourth quarter.”

NOTABLE

  • The Spartans last win was against MacEwan on Feb. 2, 2018 when TWU knocked off the Griffins 97-88 in Edmonton. Ethan DaSilva (Calgary) and Aaron Paetkau (Parksville, B.C.) are the only two current Spartans who remain from the 2017-18 TWU squad.
  • The last time TWU played a regular season game at David E. Enarson Gymnasium was in 2016-17 (Dec. 1-2), with the Spartans falling in a pair of games against Brandon. 
  • The Spartans and Griffins last played Feb. 2-3 2018, with both teams splitting games in Edmonton.

NEXT UP
The Spartans wrap up their first semester schedule Saturday (7 p.m. PT) against MacEwan at the David E. Enarson Gym.

Women’s Basketball

The Trinity Western Spartans women’s basketball team dropped a season-high 82 points en-route to an emphatic 82-52 win over the MacEwan Griffins Friday at the David E. Enarson Gymnasium.

Spartans guard Lana Shypit (Winnipeg) led TWU with 24 points and four steals on 9-12 shooting, while Nicole Fransson (Edmonton) added 17 points. Jolene Vlieg (Leduc, Alta.) added a game-high eight rebounds in the win. 

MacEwan’s scoring was led by 12 points from Noelle Kilbreath and nine points from Hannah Gibb.

The first quarter saw MacEwan come out with the early lead, before a pair of three-pointers from TWU guard Shypit gave the home team Spartans a 12-9 lead heading into the second quarter. 

TWU carried its late first quarter momentum into the second, as Shypit added six more points while Vlieg added six first-half rebounds as the Spartans led the Griffins 40-19 at the break.

The third quarter was much of the same, as TWU continued to hit timely shots and get second chance points (11-2) to lead 58-34 heading into the final quarter.

Led by eight fourth-quarter points from second-year forward Fransson, TWU held down its lead to win the game 82-52.

With the win TWU improves to a 2-5 record, while the loss also drops MacEwan to 2-5 on the season.

QUOTABLE

Cheryl Jean-Paul – TWU Head Coach

“This was a great way to make a statement at home. We’ve been talking needing more players to step up offensively and we definitely got that from two first years, which is really exciting. This is one of the most efficient games we’ve played this year. Every weekend we’ve been getting better and it was really nice to see this as a culmination of the last few weeks.

“This group has been absorbing information and they have been able to transfer it into competition, which is great. They’re creating for each other, they’re working hard defensively and they’re crashing the boards. Are there things to fix? Yes, there always will be. But I really appreciate the fact that they’re buying into the game plan and I think we had a lot of success because of that.”

NOTABLE

  • TWU and MacEwan did not meet last season, while the Spartans came out victorious in their two meetings in 2017-18 (Feb. 2-3, 2018), which marked the first time the Griffins and Spartans had met in a regular season contest.
  • The game was held at the Spartans former home on campus at Trinity Western University, the David E. Enarson Gymnasium.
  • Spartans forward Nicole Fransson (Edmonton) was coming off a career-high 17 rebounds in last Friday’s 69-61 loss.

NEXT UP
The Spartans wrap up their first semester schedule Saturday (5 p.m. PT) against MacEwan at the David E. Enarson Gym.

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