Hamilton (U SPORTS) – Brodie Hofer and Jesse Elser recorded nine kills apiece to lead the No. 3 seed, the Trinity Western Spartans, to a 3-0 (25-16, 25-20, 25-15) victory over the No. 4 Sherbrooke Vert & Or in the gold medal match of the 2023 U SPORTS Men’s Volleyball Championship, presented by Mikasa, on Sunday night. Elser was dominant at the service line, tallying seven aces in the contest at Burridge Gymnasium to will the Spartans to their seventh Tantramar Trophy in program history.
The national championship sees coaches Adam Schriemer and Ben Ball, who are interim co-head coaches, help guide TWU to the top of the mountain in their first season leading the prestigious Spartans program.
Including Canada West and U SPORTS Championships, TWU has now won nine of the last 13 banners since 2015, including five conference titles and four national titles. The Spartans have won four of the last seven U SPORTS championships. As an athletic department, the Trinity Western Spartans have now captured 14 national championships since entering U SPORTS in 1999, including seven from the men’s volleyball team, five from the women’s soccer program and two from the women’s volleyball team.
Mathias Elser continued his strong weekend performance with 26 assists, two kills and a solo block. The Spartans recorded a solid .354 hitting percentage while the Vert & Or finished with a percentage of .177.
Trinity Western, who was playing in the national final for the seventh consecutive season, came out firing, scoring the first two points of the match before going up by as much as nine points throughout the opening set, securing a dominant 25-16 final in the first set..
The second set was tight, with the score being tied at four separate points throughout the set. Despite a push from the Vert & Or, it was the Spartans that came out on top, once again (25-20) to go up two sets to none.
The Langley, B.C.-based squad scored the final five points of the match to take the game and sweep the RSEQ Champions 3-0 to secure national gold, the Tantramar Trophy and the title of U SPORTS Champion.
For the Vert & Or, Yoan David was the offensive leader with 11 kills. Jonathan Portelance recorded 23 assists and four digs for Sherbrooke.
Mathias Elser won tournament MVP honours and was joined by teammates Brodie Hofer and Jesse Elser on the tournament all-star team. The Vert & Or’s David and Portelance, along with Alberta’s Jordan Canham and McMaster’s Cooper made up the rest of the all-star roster.
The 2024 U SPORTS Men’s Volleyball Championship is set to be hosted by the Queen’s Gaels at the Athletics and Recreation Centre in Kingston.
Mikasa Players of the Game:
Sherbrooke: Zachary Hollands
Trinity Western: Mathias Elser
• TWU suffered only one loss all season – a 3-1 setback against Alberta in the CW Semifinal – when all three of Hofer, Mathias Elser and Jesse Elser were in the lineup.
• TWU is 3-0 all-time against Sherbrooke, including last year’s semifinal contest and an exhibition match on Oct. 13, 2001, which the Spartans won in five sets.
• Since 2009, the Spartans have won every single national semifinal they’ve played in, which includes 10 semifinals in 12 years.
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