The Trinity Western Spartans are going for gold, and have booked their spot in the upcoming U Sport championships.
The men’s volleyball team made quick work of the Winnipeg Wesmen last week, winning 3-0 and 3-0 to take their Canada West semifinal series 2-0 at the Langley Events Centre.
And now it’s time to add some hardware to the trophy case.
“Now we get a chance to compete for the red banner and the blue banner, we are pumped about that,” said TWU coach Ben Josephson. “That is what we set out to do at the beginning of the year and we are excited we get to do it.”
The Spartans host the Alberta Golden Bears tomorrow (March 10) at the Langley Events Centre at 8 p.m. in the Canada West gold medal game. Both teams are already assured spots at the U Sport national championships in Hamilton later this month.
TWU is also the defending national champion and Josephson said the team views the pressure of being one of the premier programs as a positive.
“We talk about pressure being a privilege and a lot of reasons we all came to this program,” he said. “The reason they chose to be here is to get a chance to compete for those championships.”
“On the one hand, yes it’s expectations. But on the other, we have what no one else has and that is such a privilege we want to carry with honour and privilege.
“This is what it takes to be No. 1 and we are going to act that way and look at it as a strength not a weakness and an advantage not a disadvantage, and as a privilege.”
Friday’s clinching match saw the Spartans employ a balanced attack as Jesse Elser, who hit .700, and Eric Loeppky each had eight kills. Jacob Kern had six kills while Jackson Howe had five kills and seven blocks. Loeppky also had seven blocks.
Top honour for Schriemer
TWU setter Adam Schriemer was named the Canada West men’s player of the year. Schriemer concluded his five-year career fifth on the conference’s all-time assists list with 3,448 and had 920 assists this season, guiding the TWU offence to a conference-leading .311 hitting percentage.
“Adam is the straw that stirs our drink,” Ben Josephson said. “He is our motor that drives the top-rated offence in U Sports and he has done it with largely a new lineup from the last two championships.
“The fact the Canada West coaches recognize that and honoured Adam with this award reflects the impact Adam has had in regards to our team’s success this season. This is a great individual award to receive as he leaves the program. But he will be the first to say that he is just doing his job to make our team better and ultimately that is why he is such a special player.”