Edmonton – Women’s Soccer –Trinity Western’s No. 2 ranked women’s soccer team fell 1-0 to UBC Friday in Canada West Final Four play, hosted by MacEwan at Clarke Stadium.

The Spartans were looking for their ninth consecutive berth in the Canada West championship, but will now face Final Four host MacEwan in the bronze match Saturday (12 p.m. MT).

Thunderbirds rookie Nisa Reehal had the lone goal in the match, as UBC advances to Saturday’s championship game against Calgary. The win also give the Thunderbirds a berth in the U SPORTS national tournament in Victoria (Nov. 7-10).

After a scoreless first half, it was Reehal who broke the tie late in the second half at the 77th minute. Reehal juked a defender at the top of the box and fired a laser on goal to make it 1-0 UBC. Trinity Western goalkeeper Hannah Miller (Langley, B.C.) got a piece of the hard blast but not enough as it snuck inside the near post.

The Spartans nearly countered with their best chance in the 82nd minute, as Rachel Hutchinson (Cloverdale, B.C.) put a shot in that UBC keeper Emily Moore somehow kept out, setting up a corner kick where Hutchinson’s direct high corner went off the far post.

That would be it however, as the Thunderbirds would hang on for the 1-0 victory.

Spartans keeper Miller made five saves in the loss, while UBC keeper Moore made three saves to earn her third consecutive clean-sheet.

Langley – Men’s Volleyball – The defending national champion and No. 1-ranked Spartans men’s volleyball team continued its winning ways with a 3-0 (25-12, 25-21, 25-15) victory over the visiting MacEwan Griffins Friday at the Langley Events Centre.

Jesse Elser (Calgary) had a big game offensively for TWU, contributing a game-high 24.5 points, including an errorless 15 kills, eight serving aces and five digs while hitting .682. Jackson Howe (Calgary) added 9.5 points for the Spartans, including six kills while hitting .400.

First-year setter Mathias Elsers (Calgary) started the second and third sets, collecting a match-high 28 assists, while third-year transfer Jordan Schnitzer (Surrey, B.C.) made his first start with TWU and earned five kills and seven blocks.

The Griffins were led by Max Vriend, who managed 7.5 points and six kills in the match.

With the win TWU improved to 4-1 on the season, while the loss drops MacEwan to 1-2. 

Serving aces favoured TWU 13-5 as did blocks, with the Spartans holding a 10-3 advantage. The Spartans also hit .405 compared to the Griffins .095 in the game.

TWU came out flying in the first set, with Jesse Elser leading the way, hitting .833 to go with 10.0 points as the Spartans took the first set 25-12. Putting on a show for the home crowd, Schnithzer earned four kills in the first set.

The Griffins adjusted in the second set, picking up 11 kills but still fell by four points, 25-21.

Into the third set TWU closed out the game as strong as they started, with Howe picking up 6.5 points and Elser adding 5.5 points, as the Spartans took the final set 25-15.

Women’s Volleyball – The No. 1-ranked Trinity Western Spartans women’s volleyball team defeated the visiting MacEwan Griffins 3-0 (25-19, 25-14, 25-20) Friday at the Langley Events Centre.

Hilary Howe (Calgary) was once again a key contributor for the Spartans, as she earned a match-high 13 kills, along with seven digs while hitting .417.

The Griffins were led by Haley Gilfillan and Hailey Cornelis, who had five kills apiece. Rachel Jorvina added seven digs in the loss.

With the win TWU improved to 5-0 on the season, while the loss drops MacEwan to 2-3.

Serving aces favoured the Spartans 12-8, with both Olivia Heinen (Abbotsford, B.C.) and Avery Heppell (Langley) earning four aces each.

The Spartans also hit .311 compared to the Griffins .053 throughout the game.

MacEwan made it close through the first set, limiting TWU to a .250 hitting percentage, but TWU’s Howe paced the Spartans with five kills while Mikaelyn Sych (Airdrie, Alta.) added three kills for the home side.

TWU carried momentum from the first set into the second, as they limited MacEwan to a -.045 hitting percentage in the second set compared to .333 percentage of its own. Duplicating the first set from the baseline, the Spartans had another five aces in the second set.

Howe continued to dominate in the third set, contributing six kills for Spartans 25 on route to a 25-20 set win and 3-0 victory. The Spartans block also game alive, with TWU earning four of their seven blocks in the final set. The set was also TWU’s most efficient of the night, hitting .357 to the Griffins -.036.

Kamloops – Women’s Basketball – It was a close game right to the end, but the Spartans women’s basketball team was handed a 70-67 loss in its season opener Friday at the Tournament Capital Centre.

Nicole Fransson (Edmonton) led the way for the Spartans offensively, contributing 24 points and 17 rebounds. Kianna Wiens (Regina, Sask.) added 16 points, while Jolene Vlieg (Leduc, Alta.) added 12 for TWU.

Emma Piggin led the Wolfpack on offence with 18 points and seven rebounds.

Thompson Rivers came out of the gate strong, as Piggin led the way with seven points and three rebounds as TRU led 23-17 after the first quarter.

The Spartans came out strong in the second quarter cutting the deficit to five going on an 11-3 run to open it. With five and a half minutes left in the quarter, Fransson, the Canada West all-rookie team member from last year, hit a wide open shot as the Spartans took their first lead of the game

The Wolfpack ran into foul trouble in the second quarter as both Piggin and Jordin Wilkinson wound up on the bench with three fouls a piece. Despite having 14 turnovers compared to the Wolfpacks three, TWU led 41-32 going into half.

In the third quarter, the Wolfpack chipped at the Spartans lead and cut the deficit to one at 50-49. Thompson Rivers had a chance to take the lead with five second left but Jordan Robb’s three pointer missed the mark. 

In the fourth, Piggin’s second effort gave TRU an early lead 51-50 — their first since the first quarter. The score seesawed and with 5:30 left, as TWU’s Vlieg drained a three pointer to lead 60-57. 

Later, with 23.1 seconds left in the game Piggin got the ball in traffic and was able to get the ball up while off balance for a 68-67 Thompson Rivers lead. With time running out, Trinity Western picked up two fouls to get the Pack into ‘bonus’  Haggarty  was sent to the line and made her foul shots to ice the victory.

The Spartans record falls to 0-1 while the Wolfpack improve to 1-0 in the regular season.

Men’s Basketball – The new-look Trinity Western men’s basketball team opened their 2019-20 regular season with a 102-80 loss to Thompson Rivers on the road at the Tournament Capital Centre in Kamloops.

Spartans guard Gabe Mannes (Chilliwack, BC) led TWU in scoring with 17 points, while Isiah Reimer (Abbotsford, B.C.) and Jack Nadelhoffer (Tigard, Ore.) added 14 points apiece. TRU forward Anton Bilus led the Wolfpack with 17 points.

Despite taking an early 5-2 lead, the Spartans were down 23-21 at the end of the first quarter. Ethan Da Silva (Calgary) opened the game with six points for TWU.

The Spartans then gave the Wolfpack a run in the second quarter, after the Wolfpack jumped out to a ten point lead at one point the Spartans capitalized on TRU turnovers to cut the deficit to five heading into the third quarter.

The third quarter saw TRU come out and establish a 12-point lead until two back to back steals by Nadelhoffer resulted in a pair of buckets for the Spartans. 

With TRU up 66-55 with 3:30 left in the third, Nadelhoffer made a beautiful spin move to the basket to reduce the TRU lead to nine, chipping in with two of his 12 third quarter points. TRU led 76-64 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Wolfpack then built momentum into the fourth quarter as their lead reached up to 20 points, holding on for the home victory 102-80.

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