In front of a capacity crowd of 2,200 people, the overwhelming majority cheering them on, the Trinity Western Spartans would not be denied.
The Spartans defeated the Brandon Bobcats 3-0 (25-12,25-22,27-25) on Sunday night at the Langley Events Centre to capture the CIS men’s volleyball national championship trophy.
The victory came one year after the Spartans stood on the sidelines and watched the Calgary Dinos celebrate the gold medal.
After needing five sets in both the quarter-finals — against Alberta — and the semifinals — against Calgary — the Spartans dominated the first two sets, only trailing twice, and both times by just a single point.
Brandon, the tournament’s third seed, fought back in the third set after trailing early, but Trinity Western, the fourth seed, would not be denied.
They stayed focused on their systems and let the crowd fire them up and then when the opportunity came, they made something happen,” said Trinity Western coach Ben Josephson.
The coach said he was proud of his team and the commitment and dedication they have shown all year.
“If they don’t work hard to improve and buy into this, we don’t accomplish any of this,” he said.
“We took one day off after last year’s (championship) loss and then started thinking about this match.
“Three hundred and 64 days of preparation for this and this is how it turns out. I couldn’t be happier for the guys.”
Rudy Verhoeff finished with 11 kills in the match and was named tournament MVP.
Setter Ben Ball, who had 28 assists and four digs, was a tournament all-star.
At the women’s national championships in Quebec City, the Spartans won the bronze medal.