The Trinity Western Spartans men’s volleyball team won 13 straight matches to close the Canada West regular season.
And their reward for reeling off a winning streak that dates back to November? A date with the conference’s second-hottest team, the Thompson Rivers WolfPack, winners of eight straight.
The two rivals square off in a Canada West quarter-final best-of-three series this week at the Langley Events Centre.
Games one and two are Feb. 12 and 13 at 8 p.m. and the third match, if necessary, would be Feb. 14.
The Spartans finished second in the regular season at 20-4 — becoming the first Canada West team to win 20 games in back-to-back seasons — while the WolfPack grabbed the last playoff berth at 13-11. The winner moves on to Edmonton the following weekend for the Canada West Final Four championships, which will be hosted by the top-seed Alberta Golden Bears.
Trinity Western and Thompson Rivers met twice during the regular season, with the Spartans winning 3-0 and 3-1. But the teams did meet in non-conference play in early January in the finals of the WolfPack Invitational, with the host Thompson Rivers squad taking gold thanks to a 3-0 victory.
The Spartans are ranked third in the country and are led by a pair of fifth-year players.
Outside hitter Nick Del Bianco led the team with 3.92 kills per set and he tied the program record for aces in a single season with 42. He led the country with 0.57 aces per set.
And middle Daniel Grant tied the Canada West season record with 136 blocks and led the country with 1.46 blocks per set.
And fourth-year libero Tyler Koslowsky led the conference with 234 digs and was second with 2.66 digs per set.
The WolfPack, ranked 10th in the country, needed five sets in their final game to qualify for the post-season, beating the Saskatchewan Huskies 19-17 in the decisive set.
The team was 5-11 through the fall semester, but have yet to lose since the calendar flipped to 2015.
The WolfPack are led by defending CIS player of the year Brad Gunter, who was limited to 17 games this year because of injury. Gunter led the country with 4.57 kills per set and was second with 0.46 aces per set.