TWU Sports Saturday – Hockey Sweep, Track, Rugby, Volleyball, Basketball

Men’s Hockey

Spartans forward Jarrett Fontaine (Humboldt, Sask.) and Logan Casavant (Melfort, Sask.) each recorded a goal and two assists as Trinity Western defeated Vancouver Island 5-1 Saturday at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.

Dylan Cusmano (Abbotsford, B.C.), Elijah Vilio (Aldergrove, B.C.), and Hayden Guilderson (Chilliwack, B.C.) also scored for the league-leading Spartans (15-1-0-1), who have now won three consecutive games.

Spartans goaltender Lucas Mills (Burnaby, B.C.) stopped 24 of 25 Mariners shots to pick up his 10th win of the season (10-1-0). Mariners goaltender Jeremy Balyk turned aside 34 of 39 shots. 

Mariners forward Brett Witala scored the lone goal for Vancouver Island.

Guilderson got the Spartans on the board first, sending a Josh Bruce (Surrey, B.C.) feed past Balyk just 2:32 into the game.

Witala then responded with just over two minutes left in the frame, beating Mills for his 13th goal of the season. The marker put Witala in a tie with teammate Garrett Dunlop for the BCIHL lead in the category.

After the remainder of the first went scoreless, TWU regained its one-goal lead in the second period, as Cusmano scored with 14:12 left to make it 2-1 Spartans. Captain Fontaine would then pot his sixth goal of the season just five minutes later to push the Mariners deficit to two goals.

TWU then recorded their only powerplay goal of the night in the third period, as Elijah Vilio scored his eighth goal of the season to make it 4-1 Spartans at 6:10 of the third. The goal moved Vilio past fellow Spartans defenceman Travis Verveda (Alix, Alta.) for the league lead for defenders. 

With 7:04 to play, Trinity Western struck one final time, as Casavant buried a Fontaine feed past Balyk to cap the Spartans 5-1 victory. 

TWU went 20% on the man advantage (1 for 5), while Vancouver Island was held scoreless (0 for 2).

Rugby 7’s

Trinity Western’s women’s rugby sevens team finished Day 1 of the Vancouver stop of the Canada West Rugby 7s Series with a 19-15 win over Fraser Valley Saturday at UBC. The win saw the Spartans finish pool play with a 1-2 record after TWU’s tournament started with losses to Lethbridge (22-0) and Alberta (31-5).

The Spartans, who finished sixth at the season-opening tournament in Edmonton, will now play UBC Okanagan in the consolation semifinal Sunday at 10:12 a.m. with the winner advancing to the Fifth-Place Game (12:46 p.m.) and the loser playing in the Seventh-Place Game (12:24 p.m.).

TWU’s Issy Scholtens (Langley, B.C.) scored twice, while Tausani Levale (Abbotsford, B.C.) and Kate Fedoruk (Richmond, B.C.) also dotted down for the Spartans. Levale converted two of TWU’s four tries.

Lethbridge 22 TWU 0

The Spartans hung with Lethbridge, who finished third in Edmonton, early on, holding the Pronghorns to just two tries in the opening half thanks to some strong tackling from the TWU side. However, taking advantage of a couple miscues on the Spartans side, the Pronghorns put up two more tries in the second half to seal the win.

Alberta 31 TWU 5

Similar to their opener, the Spartans put together a bright first half, holding Alberta to two tries, with the Pandas scoring off a TWU missed tackle, before doubling their lead on an overlap opportunity. The Spartans responded early in the second half. Scholtens broke down the wing and timely support from Jensen Schmidt (Nanaimo, B.C.) led to a try from Kate Fedoruk (Richmond, B.C.). However, from there, the Pandas scored the final three tries of the game.

TWU 19 Fraser Valley 15

A hard-fought battle against TWU’s closest geographical rival saw the Spartans beat the Cascades for the second time in as many games this year. Scholtens opened the scoring after Tausani Levale (Abbotsford, B.C.) picked up a loose ball and sent it out to an unmarked Scholtens. UFV tallied the next two tries to send the teams into the break with the Cascades up 10-0.

Early in the second half, Scholtens scored again, taking a pass from Levale, who had just stolen possession, to tie the game. With Levale converting, the Spartans took a lead they wouldn’t give up. Levale scored herself moments later after Sammi Thiessen (Abbotsford, B.C.) took a quick penalty and sprung Levale in all alone. After the conversion, UFV scored late, but TWU held on for the win to finish third in its pool.


Track and Field

Trinity Western’s Giovanni Hernandez (Tepic, Mexico) set the Spartans pole vault record, clearing 5.06m at the University of Washington Invitational Saturday at Dempsey Indoor. Hernandez’s result also earns him automatic qualification for the U SPORTS Championships.

The mark, which place Hernandez fifth overall, bettered the previous TWU record of 5.02m, which was set by current Spartan David Boyd (Victoria) Jan. 26, 2019.

Prior to this weekend, no one in U SPORTS had cleared five metres, with Hernandez season best being 4.76m and Boyd, who vaulted 4.76m on Saturday, having posted a clearance of 4.91m. Hernandez and Boyd are the only two Spartans to ever clear five metres indoors.

On the track, Grace Konrad (Edmonton) set a TWU record for the second day in a row, running the fastest 400m in Spartans history, 56.60, to finish ninth overall. The accomplishment comes less than 24 hours after she set TWU’s 200m record (24.97).

Sprinter Praise Olatoke (Glasgow, Scotland) had another strong showing, finishing ninth in the preliminaries with a time of 6.85. Olatoke, who set TWU’s 200m record on Friday (21.35) had the fifth fastest time in the preliminaries, but only the winners of the seven heats and the next fastest time advanced to the eight-man final.

In triple jump, Mowa Adeleye (Calgary) finished third overall with a mark of 11.78m, which will put her comfortably into the top 10 in the U SPORTS rankings.

Rachel Jerome (Ladysmith, B.C.) was sixth in long jump at 5.51m, while back on the track Jennifer Kits (Langley, B.C.) ran a personal record 5:02.04 in the mile to finish 47th.


Next weekend (Feb. 7-8), the Spartans will compete in two locations, with part of the team travelling to the New Mexico Collegiate Classic in Albuquerque, N.M. and part of the team competing in the Gary Reed Indoor Invitational in Kamloops, B.C.

Men’s Volleyball

No. 1-ranked Trinity Western Spartans once again got the better of rival Brandon, defeating the Bobcats in four sets (25-20, 25-20, 20-25, 25-21) Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.

TWU (19-1) has now won 18 consecutive games, and sit first in the Canada West standings, three wins clear of second place Alberta. Brandon’s regular season record moves 11-7.

Eric Loeppky (Steinbach, Man.) recorded 19 kills for Trinity Western, as he moved into sole possession for third all-time in program kills with 1,302. He passes Spartan alum Nicholas Del Bianco (2010-2014), who recorded 1,297 over his five-year Spartans tenure. 

Jacob Kern (Edmonton) and Jesse Elser (Calgary) each added 10 kills in the win, with Kern recording seven digs and three aces, and Elser hitting .368 with five digs. 

Robin Baghdady had a team high 14 kills, while Chayse Warkentin hit three serving aces for the Bobcats.

Both teams traded blows throughout the first set, before Brandon held a late 20-19 lead. TWU would then score six consecutive points to take the first set 25-20.

The second set was a similar scenario, with 17 tie scores throughout play. After the Spartans broke ahead for a 23-20 lead, Matthias Elser (Calgary) subbed in to record two consecutive aces and give the TWU a 25-20 second set victory.

Pressing to stay in the game, the Bobcats struck back in the third set. Brandon recorded three straight points to open the set, courtesy of two consecutive service aces from Chayse Warkentin. After the Spartans tied it up at 8-8 with a Kern service ace, Brandon would score four straight and lead the rest of the way, taking the third 25-20.

After the Spartans opened the fourth set with two quick points, Brandon would score four straight to take a 4-2 lead. TWU would then take a 6-5 lead and never look back, winning the final set 25-21 and picking up the weekend sweep over Brandon. 

The Spartans hit .361 (49-14-97) compared to Brandon’s .287 (41-16-87).

Women’s Volleyball

Spartans third-year setter Dora Komlodi (Calgary) picked up seven services aces as the Spartans swept Brandon in straight sets (25-17, 25-19, 25-15) Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.

The Canada West leading Spartans (20-2) have now won six games in a row, with the win coming after TWU clinched a playoff berth after Friday’s win. 

Komlodi’s seven aces tied for third most all-time in program history for a 3-set match. She added a game high 23 assists, and eight digs for TWU. Hilary Howe (Calgary) contributed 14 kills and hit .444, while Ansah Odoom (Surrey, B.C.) added 10 kills while hitting .400.

Nicole Ashauer had six kills for Brandon, while Jamie Bain had 17 assists and Caitlin Le contributed 17 digs.

The first set opened with both teams trading scores until the Bobcats took a 16-15 lead. Down a point, the Spartans then turned up their offence, going on a 10-1 run to take the first set 25-17. Howe led TWU with  a team leading five kills in the opening set, as the Spartans held a .103 to .000 edge in hitting percentage.

TWU trailed 4-0 early in the second set, but once again responded on a 10-1 run to take a 10-5 lead. The Spartans wound up holding their lead for the remainder of the set and taking it 25-19. Odoom would pick up five kills, Jessica Bailey (Langley) added three, and Komlodi added two more service aces on the night.

Led by a .484 hitting in the third set, the Spartans closed out the game with a 25-15 score in the final set. Komlodi added 10 more assists to her stat line in the final set, while Howe doubled her kill count from seven to 14.

Men’s Basketball

Trinity Western had four players hit double-digits in points, but the Spartans ultimately lost 102-84 to Brandon on the road Saturday at the Healthy Living Centre.

Jack Nadelhoffer (Tigard, Ore.) picked up 22 points on an impressive 77% shooting for TWU (0-18), while Spartans fifth-year guard Ethan DaSilva (Calgary) narrowly missed a triple-double, adding 19 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

Adam Gehrig (Toowoomba, Australia) and Isaiah Reimer (Abbotsford, B.C.) added 14 and 12 points respectively for TWU. 

Anthony Tsegakele had a team-high 26 points and 16 rebounds for the Bobcats, with Haashim Wallace and Haleel Webb each contributing 22 points apiece for Brandon (5-13).

The Spartans opened the first quarter evenly matched with the Bobcats, beginning with a 3-pointer from Gehrig just 25 seconds into the game before eventually taking a 19-15 lead. Brandon however would fire back, outscoring TWU 15-2 to head into the second quarter up 30-23.

Despite falling behind 10 points just two minutes before the half time buzzer, the Spartans fought back after a 3-pointer from Reimer and layup from Nadelhoffer to trail just five points, down 55-50 at halftime.

The home side then went on a 27-15 run in the third quarter, as Brandon entered into the final quarter leading by 17 points.

From there TWU and Brandon would match each other throughout the fourth quarter, as the home team would hold on for the 102-84 win.

The Spartans finished the night on 50% (29-58) shooting, while the Bobcats hit 47.6% (40-84). Brandon held a 44-33 advantage in total rebounds.

Women’s Basketball

The Trinity Western Spartans women’s basketball team kept their playoff hopes alive with a come from behind 69-67 victory over the Brandon Bobcats Saturday at the Healthy Living Centre.

The Spartans trailed by as much as 12 points through the final five minutes of the game, but finished the game on an 18-4 run to win the game and improve to 5-13 on the season.

Nicole Fransson (Edmonton) recorded another double-double for TWU, recording 18 points and 15 rebounds while shooting 50% (9-18). She has recorded nine or more rebounds in six straight games.

Jayden Gill (Abbotsford, B.C.) had a career night for Trinity Western, recording season-highs in points (16), rebounds (5), and assists (2). Her layup with 1:27 left tied the game up, as she picked up six of the Spartans final nine points.

Brandon falls to 1-17 on the season with the loss.

TWU trailed 19-10 after the first 10 minutes, but outscored Brandon 20-14 to head into halftime down just three points at 33-30. Fransson paced TWU through the opening two quarters, picking up 10 points and eight rebounds.

The Spartans then saw their deficit grow in the third quarter, after the Bobcats outscored them 25-17 to head into the fourth up 11 points.

That led the late game heroics, as the Spartans 22-9 run in the fourth quarter fuelled the road victory.

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