The Trinity Western Spartans head into the post-season with wins in five of their past six matches, but they face a tough task against the fourth-ranked Calgary Dinos.
The Spartans are in Calgary for the best-of-three Canada West quarter-final playoff series with games one and two on Friday and Saturday. If necessary, game three would be Sunday.
Calgary was 18-6 during the regular season, which includes a pair of wins — 3-2 and 3-1 — over the Spartans (14-10) last month. But since dropping those two matches, Trinity Western closed the regular season with six wins in eight games.
Most recently, the No. 6 Spartans lost 3-2 (25-21,21-25,25-19,18-25,15-13) on Feb. 19 to No. 10 UBC before winning the rematch one night later 3-0 (25-22,27-25,25-22). Both games were at the Langley Events Centre.
“We executed on our plan to slow their big middle,” said Spartans coach Ben Josephson, whose team held UBC’s Alex Russell to just four kills and a .111 hitting percentage.
“We were happy with that. Last night, we didn’t execute on lots of the things we were trying to do. Tonight, the game turned into a volleyball game above the net and that’s our advantage. Yesterday, I felt like it was below the net and that’s their advantage. Like all matchups, as soon as you turn it into your style, you have the advantage.”
Ryan Sclater led the TWU attack with 17 kills while Blake Scheerhoorn had 14 kills and Scott Plocktis had six kills on just seven attempts.
The Spartans won despite UBC have a 10-0 advantage in aces.
In Friday’s loss, Sclater paced the attack with 22 kills while Scheerhoorn had 15 kills and 11 digs. Tyler Koslowsky had a dozen digs, Adam Schriemer had 43 assists and Aaron Boettcher had nine blocks.