TWU Sports Saturday – Volleyball Strong Over UBC, Tough Night In Basketball, Rugby Win Over Oregon

Men’s Rugby

Trinity Western flyhalf Keegan Marengo (Edenvale, South Africa) put up an impressive 21 points to help lead the Spartans men’s rugby team to a 41-19 win over the University of Oregon Saturday at Riverfront Field.

Marengo, who was playing in just his second game as a Spartan, scored one try, slotted two penalties and made five conversions, as TWU earned its second win in as many games after beating the University of Washington (36-31) last weekend.

Erik Niebuhr (Surrey, B.C.), Ben Graci (Edmonton), Caleb Gerth (Langley, B.C.) and Sam Wegert (Langley) also scored tries for TWU.

The Spartans scored the first two tries of the match, with Niebuhr scoring in the eighth minute and Marengo scoring in the 13th minute. Marengo converted both tries before slotting a penalty in the 39th minute to give TWU a 17-0 lead at halftime.

The Ducks found the try area in the 42nd minute, tallying a converted mark before TWU’s Graci responded in the 49th minute. Marengo converted to make it 24-7 for the Spartans.

Four minutes later, Oregon closed the gap to 10 points with a converted try, but Marengo made a 58th-minute penalty from 40 metres out to push TWU’s lead to 27-14.  

The Ducks scored again in the 68th minute, but missed the convert and that would prove to be Oregon’s final points of the game, as Gerth scored in the 76th minute and Wegert dotted down in the 78th minute to round out the day’s try-scoring. Marengo converted both.

Men’s Volleyball

The Trinity Western Spartans demonstrated their potent attack in a 3-0 victory over UBC at War Memorial Gym.

TWU (17-1) has now won 16 consecutive games and sit atop the Canada West standings by a six-point margin. The Thunderbirds (13-5) are two points back of Alberta (14-4) for third.

 The Spartans finished the night hitting .510 with 31 kills, as Eric Loeppky (Steinbach, Man.) led the way with 11 kills and three aces for TWU. Jesse Elser (Calgary) made his presence felt with nine kills and two aces with three digs in the victory.

UBC’s Matt Neaves had a team-high 10 kills and Coltyn Liu returned to action with eight kills and an ace.

The Spartans sprinted out to a 20-8 lead in the opening set on a monsterous back row kill by Jacob Kern, and Loeppky lifted TWU to their first set point by punishing a T-Bird free ball before Eshenko closed out the first set 25-9. 

UBC bounced back in the second set, and with the score tied 12-12 Neaves exploded on a cross-court kill to go up one. The visitors responded with an Elser kill and Jackson Howe unleashed off the block to give TWU a 20-16 advantage. Neaves came through again for the ‘Birds with a kill to make it 23-21 Spartans and Michael Dowhaniuk brought the ‘Birds within one at 23-22 before Zec Johnson’s serve sailed long. The Thunderbirds stayed alive on a Jacob Kern (Edmonton) service error, but the Spartans took the second set on a UBC service error at 25-23.

Neaves tied up the third set at 10-10 on a kill but back-to-back T-Bird errors put TWU back on top, and Loeppky ripped an ace to force a UBC timeout. The visitors continued to roll, and Elser teed off down the line to give the Spartans a match point at 24-17 before winning it at 25-18.

Women’s Volleyball

The Canada West leading Trinity Western Spartans managed to come out on top in all three sets to sweep the UBC Thunderbirds 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-22) at War Memorial Gym.

It’s the fourth straight win for TWU, who improve to 18-2 on the campaign. The Thunderbirds fall to 8-10 on the season with the loss.

Leading the way for the Spartans was Hilary Howe (Calgary) with 10 kills followed by Ansah Odoom (Surrey, B.C.) and Mikaelyn Sych (Airdrie, Alta.) who each registered eight kills. Meanwhile Dora Komlodi (Calgary) matched a game high six service aces.

For the T-Birds it was Gabrielle Attieh who matched the game high 10 kills while Brynn Pasin followed up with eight kills. Olivia Furlan added six service aces and 18 assists.

The T-Birds jumped out to a quick start on home court and a 7-1 lead following an emphatic Anna Price block which forced TWU to call their first timeout. The break served the Spartans well, responding by scoring the next six straight points to even things at 7-7 and causing UBC to call a timeout.

The ‘Birds also responded in battling back and thanks to a Furlan ace the home squad took a 16-14 advantage into the technical timeout. Momentum would swing once again in TWU’s favor highlighted by a demonstrative Odoom kill to give the visitors a 23-19 lead before a UBC net ball earned the Spartans a 25-21 opening set victory. Komlodi had a set high six service aces for TWU while Sych and Howe had three kills each.

The Spartans carried their effective play into the second set and an Avery Heppell (Langley, B.C.) block doubled their lead at 10-5 before a Pasin kill down the line and one of Furlan’s three service aces in the period helped UBC narrow the lead and trail 16-12 at the technical timeout. Later in the frame Brynn Pasin would count three-straight points for the ‘Birds followed by an Attieh block to even things at 21-21 but TWU would hold strong and secure the second set 25-23 after a UBC attack sailed long.

The third set began with the same back and forth trading of points as the previous two while back-to-back blocks from Tessa Davis and Pasin gave UBC a brief 9-8 lead. TWU would then go on a run thanks to a block from Sych and Odoom ahead of Jayden Bontkes (Langley, B.C.) went sky high for a big kill to give the Spartans a 16-13 lead into the technical timeout.

Despite UBC making it close at points down the stretch the Spartans were able to secure victory with help from Howe’s kill leading to match point at 24-20 followed by one of Sych’s three kills in the final set to secure the 25-22 victory and complete the 3-0 sweep.

Men’s Basketball

The Spartans men’s basketball team fell to a well-rounded offence Saturday, as they lost 112-78 to No. 4 Alberta at the Langley Events Centre.

Ethan DaSilva (Calgary) led the way offensively for TWU (2-14), contributing season highs of 19 points and eight rebounds on 40% shooting (6-15). Isaiah Reimer (Abbotsford, B.C.) was second in team scoring, adding 15 points for the Spartans.

Alberta (15-1) had seven players hit double-digits, with Tyus Jefferson leading the way contributing 19 points and seven rebounds, and Brody Clarke adding 18 points and 12 rebounds. With the win, second place Alberta has now won 10 consecutive games.

Led by a pair of 3-pointers from Reimer, including eight points in total, the Spartans largely kept pace with Alberta in the first quarter and trailing just 23-18 after the opening 10 minutes. Aside from Reimer’s 50% first quarter shooting (2-4) however, TWU went 3-14 in the quarter. Alberta meanwhile hit 39% of its shots (9-23).

Spartans guard DaSilva then stepped up in the second quarter, knocking down nine points on a perfect 4-4 shooting to lead TWU on a 27-24 second quarter offensive run. The Spartans shooting from range was also a focal point, as they hit six of nine shots (67%) from beyond the arc, including two from Reimer. Alberta guard Tyus Jefferson led the Golden Bears with 11 points and six rebounds heading into the half.

The Golden Bears then took over in the third quarter and opening on a 30-6 run to take a 77-51 lead. Dwan Williams led the way for Alberta, scoring 11 points and adding four rebounds in the third quarter. After seemingly gaining momentum in the second quarter, the Spartans shooting once again went cold in the third as they hit just two of 16 shots. Alberta comparatively hit 45% from the field (10-22).

TWU opened the fourth quarter with seven consecutive points and on a 10-3 run courtesy of 3-pointers from DaSilva and Daniel Stead (Langley), but the Golden Bears would continue to pour it on offensively and outscore their way to a 112-78 win.

Alberta hit 44% of its shots (40-90) in the game, while TWU hit 38% (27-72). The Golden Bears also held a 60-37 advantage in rebounds.

Women’s Basketball

It was an offensive improvement from the night earlier, but Trinity Western’s women’s basketball team once again fell to Alberta, losing 70-49 Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.

Nicole Fransson (Edmonton) had a game-high 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Spartans (3-13), while Jayden Gill (Abbotsford, B.C.) and Julia Marshall (Langley) each added eight points for the home team.

Alberta (14-2) had steady contributions throughout its lineup, as Vanessa Wild and Jenna Harpe led the way with 15 and 13 points, respectively.

TWU shot 31% from the field (19-61) compared to Alberta’s 41% (26/63). The Pandas also held a 49-35 edge in rebounds.

The Spartans kept pace with the Pandas throughout the majority of the opening quarter, trailing just 16-10 after the opening 10 minutes. TWU collected four offensive rebounds as opposed to Alberta’s one, but were unable to capitalize without any second chance points. The Spartans shot 26% from the field (5-19), while the Pandas shot an even 50% (7-14).

The Pandas opened the second quarter on a 5-0 run to take a 21-10 lead, as the Spartans began struggling to contain Alberta’s offence. After the road team took a 34-17 lead late, jumpers from Kailey Reimer (Abbotsford, B.C.) and Simran Grewal (Surrey, B.C.) brought TWU to within 13 points heading into halftime. TWU’s shooting struggles continued in the second half, converting on just three of 15 attempts (20%).

Spartans forward Fransson hit her stride in the third quarter, scoring eight points to lead the Spartans offensively. The Pandas however began hitting their shots from range, and after hitting just two 3-pointers in the first half, Alberta went on to hit three in the third quarter alone to take a 52-32 lead heading into the final quarter.

The fourth quarter was a much more evenly matched affair, as the Spartans improved their shooting to 46% (6-13) for their best offensive quarter of the night (17 points). The Pandas bested TWU however to the tune of 18 fourth quarter points, closing out for the 70-49 road victory.

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