The statistics favoured the Trinity Western Spartans in almost all the categories, but for the second straight season, it was the Western Mustangs prevailing in a five-set shocker.
The Mustangs won 3-2 in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport national men’s volleyball championship quarter-finals at the University of Calgary’s Jack Simpson Gym on Thursday (Feb. 27).
Western also defeated Trinity Western in the 2013 CIS quarter-finals.
“I feel heartbroken for our seniors,” said Trinity Western coach Ben Josephson, who the day before was named CIS coach of the year.
“We weren’t able to advance in the tournament in their final year.”
The Spartans dropped the first set 25-21 but won the next two, 25-22 and 25-19. And Trinity Western was at match point in the fourth set at 24-23.
But the Mustangs fought back to stay alive and won the set 27-25.
Again in the fifth set, Trinity Western was serving for the match at 14-13 but failed to convert and Western scored the final three points to win the set 16-14 and take the quarter-final 3-2.
The Spartans either were tied or led in every statistical category.
They out-scored the Mustangs 110 to 109 in total points, had a .301 hitting percentage compared to .215, had six aces compared to five, led 56-55 in set assists, and led in blocks by a significant advantage, 19 to 8.
But what really cost Trinity Western was committing 20 service errors compared to just a dozen for the Mustangs.
Lucas Van Berkel and Nick Del Bianco — who were named CIS first and second team all-stars, respectively — had 18 kills apiece for the Spartans.
And Adam Schriemer, who was named CIS rookie of the year and to the all-rookie team, had 48 assists and was in on seven blocks.