Trinity Western’s No. 2-ranked men’s volleyball team will play in the Canada West final for the eighth year in a row, earning its ticket to the championship with a 3-0 (25-22, 25-17, 25-21) win over Thompson Rivers in Game 2 of the semifinal series last Friday at the Langley Events Centre.
The Spartans will play the winner of the other semifinal between Mount Royal and Brandon next weekend.
If Brandon wins, the Spartans will travel to Brandon to play the championship contest, while TWU would host MRU if the Cougars win.
TWU’s Jacob Kern lead the way with seven kills and 10 digs to go with four blocks, and teammates Jackson Howe and Brodie Hofer had four kills each.
“I’m super pumped. In the first set, we took on one of the hardest serving barrages that we’ve withstood for a long time and we found a way to win. They were shelling us. We bent but we didn’t break,” said TWU head coach Ben Josephson.
TRU’s Tim Dobbert and Sam Taylor Parks had 10 kills each, while Tim Edge had a match-high four aces.
Both teams had eight aces each, but TRU had 18 serving errors, while TWU had just nine errors. The Spartans had a 14-4 edge in blocks.
In a back-and-forth first set, both teams put together impressive offensive numbers, with TWU hitting .474 and TRU hitting .304. The Spartans Howe had four kills to lead TWU, while Taylor Parks countered with three for the WolfPack. The teams combined for nine aces in the set, with TRU earning five and the Spartans picking up four.
The second set was an entirely different story as the Spartans took the set by eight points, but only needed four kills while hitting .000 thanks to the fact the home side earned eight blocks in the second set alone.
With TRU committing seven serving errors to TWU’s two, the Spartans were in control throughout much of the set.
Taylor Parks had a team-high four kills as TRU hit -.034 with 10 kills and 11 errors on 29 attacks.
The third set was tight throughout with the teams battling to 20-20. A kill from Eric Loeppky finally launched a late Spartans surge to send TWU to victory. The Spartans took off on a 5-1 run to end the set, the match and the series. A kill from Derek Epp put the Spartans on match point and a block from Kern ended the night.
TWU hit .206 over the course of the match while TRU hit .083.
TWU will play in the Canada West final next weekend. The Spartans face the winner of the semifinal between Mount Royal and Brandon.