TWU Sports Friday – Back After Xmas with Basketball, Volleyball

Langley/Regina/Hamilton – TWU Sports Friday

Men’s Basketball

The Trinity Western Spartans men’s basketball team fell in its first game of the new year, falling to No. 8 ranked Saskatchewan 98-70 Friday at the Langley Events Centre.

With the loss the TWU’s record falls to 2-7 on the season, while Saskatchewan improves to 7-2.

Ja’Qualyn Gilbreath (Amarillo, Tex.) scored a team leading 18 points for the Spartans, while Adam Gehrig (Toowoomba, Aust.) added 13 points alongside a team high seven rebounds.

Alexander Dewar dropped 19 points for the Huskies, with Maxwell Amoafo and Kessler Bishop adding 10 and 12 rebounds, respectively.

Both teams started the first quarter slow and finished strong, as the Huskies came out to an early six point lead before a late dunk from Spartans centre Andrew Goertzen (Langley) gave TWU a 22-21 lead heading into the second quarter. 

The second frame saw both teams frequently trading leads, with TWU forward Gehrig hitting a pair of early 3-pointers. The Huskies then pulled ahead late courtesy of a JT Robinson 3-point shot with 10 seconds left, as Saskatchewan led 46-39 at halftime.

Gehrig continued his sharpshooting for the Spartans in the second half, drilling a pair of 3-pointers to pull the score even at 52-52 early, before the Huskies took the lead emphatically on a 24-6 run and leading 76-58 after the third quarter.

Saskatchewan then closed out the game by carrying its second half momentum into the fourth quarter, outscoring the Spartans 22-12 over the final 10 minutes of the game to win the game 98-70.

The Huskies shot 45% (31-69) compared to the Spartans 39% (26/67) from the field. Saskatchewan also held a 56-35 edge in rebounds.

Women’s Basketball

The Spartans women’s basketball opened the winter semester with an 83-39 loss to the undefeated No. 1 ranked Saskatchewan Huskies Friday at the Langley Events Centre.

TWU’s record falls to 3-6 on the season, while undefeated Saskatchewan improve to 9-0.  

Kianna Wiens (Regina, Sask.) led the Spartans with 11 points, which included a trio of 3-pointers. Nicole Fransson (Edmonton) and Jolene Vlieg (Leduc, Alta.) both had a team high seven rebounds.

Huskies leading scorer Summer Masikewich carried Saskatchewan on offence, scoring a game-high 29 points to go with 8 rebounds. 

The Huskies top ranked offense opened the first quarter on a 17-2 run, closing out the first 10 minutes up 26-11 over TWU. Masikewich led the way for Saskatchewan with 12 points and four rebounds in the quarter.

A pair of second quarter 3-pointers from Spartans guard Wiens helped TWU keep pace in the second, as the Huskies hit just 18% (4-22) from the field in the quarter. Saskatchewan led 37-21 at the half.

The Huskies opened the second half with a dominant offensive display, scoring 19 consecutive points to open and outscoring TWU by a 29-6 margin in the frame.

The Huskies dominance on both sides of the court carried into the fourth quarter, closing out the fourth quarter on a 17-12 run to maintain its perfect record.

Saskatchewan shot 44% (33-75) from the field, while TWU shot 22% (13-59).

Men’s Volleyball

In a battle between two of the top four teams in the country, the No. 1-ranked Spartans dropped a five-setter to No. 4 McMaster, losing 3-2 (25-19, 25-20, 16-25, 23-25, 15-9) Friday at Burridge Gymnasium.

After dropping the first two sets, the Spartans rallied to take the third set convincingly before sending the match to a fifth set with a tight fourth-set win that saw TWU hit .565 for the second straight set. However, McMaster found its rhythm, hitting .750 in the fifth set, to earn the upset win.

The loss snapped a 14-match winning streak for the Spartans, which included three wins over NCAA competition at the Can Am Volleyball Holiday Showcase in Toronto.

TWU is now 20-3 overall, including an 11-1 regular season record in Canada West.

Eric Loeppky (Steinbach, Man.) had a team-high 16 kills, while Jackson Howe (Calgary) had 12 and Jesse Elser (Calgary) had 11. Derek Epp (Saskatoon) had 49 assists as TWU hit .383 as a team.

McMaster, who hit .434 as a team, was led by Nathan Delguidice, who had 18 kills while setting David Doty had 53 assists.

The teams will play a rematch Saturday back at Burridge Gymnasium at 7 p.m. (ET).

Women’s Volleyball

The No. 1-ranked Trinity Western Spartans were dominant on Friday night in a 3-0 (25-12, 25-21, 25-6) road victory over the Regina Cougars at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport.

After a 25-12 win to open the match, Trinity Western held off a late 8-3 run by Regina and took the second set by a 25-21 margin. The Spartans then jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the third and at one point led 18-2 in the set before finishing off the Cougars with a kill by first-year middle Jayda Harder (Waldheim, Sask.).

Hilary Howe (Calgary) was the only player to hit double figures in kills in Friday’s match, finishing with 10 while hitting .381 and also collecting eight digs and three aces. Avery Heppell (Langley, B.C.) added nine kills for TWU and matched Howe with three aces, while Mikaelyn Sych (Airdrie, Alta.) had a match-high seven blocks and chipped in with six kills.

Emma Gamache (Abbotsford, B.C.) had 13 digs for Trinity Western, which improves to 12-1 with the victory. Dora Komlodi (Calgary) had 24 assists while controlling a Spartans offence which hit .368 as a team in the win. Olivia Heinen (Abbotsford, B.C.) added nine assists.

Britt Davis hit .273 and led Regina (2-11) with eight kills.

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