TWU tames host Cougars

In Canada West play at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport in Regina on Saturday, the Trinity Western University women’s volleyball team completed a weekend sweep with a 3-0 win over the host Cougars.

Scores were 25-23, 25-15, and 25-23.

Elly Wendel and Alicia Perrin led TWU in the match, as the Spartans improved their conference record to 12-4 on the season.

Wendel didn’t start on Friday, but got the call on Saturday and responded with a career-high 11 kills while hitting .333 for the match. Perrin was just behind with 10 kills, while Nikki Cornwall had 29 assists and libero Kristen Moncks recorded nine digs. Carly Hamilton had six kills with just one attack error and two aces.

Michelle Sweeting led the Cougars (4-12) in kills for the fourth consecutive Canada West match, finishing with a match-high 12 on 25 attacks.

Chelsea Ziolkowski had 11 kills, while Molly Wade-Cummings had eight kills to fall just short of her career-high of nine. Leah Shevkenek had 28 assists, with libero Lindsay Braul led all players with 15 digs.

“I’m really proud of the girls to be able to come in and get a sweep here in Regina,” Spartans coach Ryan Hofer said. “Regina is definitely playing really good volleyball. Elly and Carly Hamilton did a really good job for us this weekend. Kristen Moncks was solid for us all the way around. It was just a good team effort. We’re serving well and we’re finding our rhythm.”

The first set was the most tightly contested of the match, as the teams battled through 16 tie scores and eight lead changes. Ultimately, it was a late 7-2 run for TWU that turned a two-point Cougar lead into a 24-21 advantage for the Spartans that stood as the difference.

The Cougars were able to overcome the first two set points, but Perrin and Cornwall combined for a block on the third to give the visitors a 25-23 win and an early lead in the match.

TWU never trailed in the second set, holding the Cougars to a zero hitting percentage while cruising to a 25-15 victory.

Needing a win in the third to extend the match, the Cougars led for most of the set before succumbing to a similar fate as the first set.

The Spartans had a key 6-1 run which featured kills from four different players, turning what had been a two-point U of R lead into a 24-21 advantage.

Again, just like the first set, the Cougars were able to shake off the first two set points before Trinity Western capitalized on the third.

Wendel’s final kill of the night clinched the match for the Spartans.

Both teams will continue the conference schedule at home this coming weekend.

The Spartans will entertain Canada West newcomer MacEwan Jan. 16-17 at the Langley Events Centre, while Cougars host provincial rival Saskatchewan.

Spartans rally to win

On Friday, TWU rallied from a 2-1 deficit to scratch out a five-set win over Regina.

Scores were 25-16, 21-25, 20-25, 25-21, and 15-10.

The Cougars went into the fourth set with a chance at victory after they registered 25-21 and 25-20 in the second and third sets, but they weren’t able to close out the Spartans.

TWU jumped out to a big early lead in the fourth and survived a late Cougars charge to force a deciding set with a 25-21 win.

The Spartans, who have now won eight straight matches, then led from wire to wire in the fifth set to nab a 15-10 victory.

“There’s nothing like a five-setter to start the second semester,” Spartans coach Ryan Hofer said, after the game. “But that’s nothing new in Canada West. I thought we played well in three of the five sets tonight. Full credit to Regina. They played really well. They’re scrappy and tough in their own gym. Trying to find flow after the Christmas break is always a challenge. We had moments where we found it and then moments where we struggled. We’re happy with the win but will continue to work on getting into more of a rhythm.”

Sophie Carpentier led Trinity Western with 16 kills and added a match-high five service aces, while Perrin had 11 kills and was in on 11 of her team’s 24 blocks on the night.

Besides the efforts from Carpentier and Perrin, Trinity Western also had a nine-kill, seven-dig, seven-block performance from Royal Richardson and 40 assists, 11 digs, and seven blocks from setter Vanessa Cornwall.

Katelyn Devaney added nine blocks for the Spartans.

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