For the third straight year, the Trinity Western Spartans are Canada West men’s volleyball champions. Scott Stewart TWU Athletics

TWU tops once again

Langley powerhouse men’s volleyball program seeded No. 1 for upcoming national championships

They have won three straight Canada West championships and now the Trinity Western Spartans will look to make it three consecutive U Sports titles as well.

“This is what we set out to do at the beginning of the year and we are excited we get to do it,” said Spartans men’s volleyball coach Ben Josephson earlier this month.

The Spartans are ranked as the top seed for the eight-team men’s volleyball national championships, which run March 16 to 18 in Hamilton, Ont. at McMaster University.

TWU already knew it had a spot in the field for nationals, but made sure it will be ranked No. 1 going in after beating the Alberta Golden Bears 3-1 (25-16,25-23,14-25,26-24) on Saturday night at the Langley Events Centre in the Canada West gold-medal game.

The Spartans are ranked No. 1 in the eight-team field at the national championships, which will be hosted by McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont. The championships run March 16 to 18 with TWU’s first game on Friday at 5 p.m. (PST) against the No. 8 Windsor Lancers.

And while some squads may not want or respond well to the pressures of being the favourites, that is not the case with the Spartans.

“We talk about pressure being a privilege and (one of the) reasons we came to this program,” Josephson said. “The reason they chose to be here is to get a chance to compete for those championships.

“On the one hand, yes it is expectations, but on the other hand, we have what no one else has and … we want to carry (that) with honour and pride.”

In Saturday’s gold-medal contest— which was also a rematch of last year’s U Sports national championship game — Eric Loeppky had 19 kills to go along with four blocks and two aces. Jesse Elser had 10 kills and three blocks, including a solo block for the decisive point in the fourth set.

Canada West player of the year Adam Schriemer had 43 assists and Pearson Eshenko had five blocks.

TWU hit .270 as a team, while holding Alberta to. 165 and the Spartans had a 10-8 edge in blocks.

Despite the victory, Josephson said his team can use the third set — which they lost badly — as a learning experience.

“I think we showed our youth and inexperience in that match. I feel like some of the veteran guys probably tried to do more than they needed to and I thought the younger guys were doing a good job,” he explained. “And as a coaching staff, we didn’t make the right adjustments quick enough and that’s just because we haven’t been in this spot much with this group.

“But I’m glad we had this experience, because we’ll be a whole lot more stable now moving forward having experienced this type of game with these guys.”



sports@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

The TWU Spartans hoisted the Canada West championship trophy on Saturday night at the LEC. Now they will try to capture the Tantramar Trophy at the U Sports national championships at Hamilton’s McMaster University. Scott Stewart TWU Athletics

TWU’s Jacob Kern (left) and Pearson Eshenko team up for the block during the Canada West gold-medal game at the LEC. Scott Stewart TWU Athletics

Spartans’ Eric Loeppky led his team with 19 kills during their four-set win over Alberta. Scott Stewart TWU Athletics

Just Posted

Mystery plane wakes up Langley residents

An aircraft circled Langley City over the weekend after midnight for about an hour

LETTER: Fort Langley driver lobbies for roundabout signalling

ICBC rules call for drivers to signal when exiting roundabouts.

South Langley community group wants to talk innovative housing

Brookswood-Fernridge Community Association invites people to a meeting about the future of housing.

GREEN BEAT: Opening ‘new roads’ in Langley makes cycling safer

HUB Langley pushed to ‘UnGap the Map’ and create more bike infrastructure throughout the community.

Langley Then and Now: A different view of Aldergrove

Check out the photo of Flag Day from 1926.

The good, bad and the unknown of Apple’s new services

The announcements lacked some key details, such as pricing of the TV service

UPDATED: Three dead in Surrey crash: police

Single-vehicle crash occurred around 10:30 a.m., police remain on-scene

Eviction halted for B.C. woman deemed ‘too young’ for seniors’ home

Zoe Nagler, 46, had been given notice after living in the seniors complex in Comox for six years

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Coroner’s inquest announced for Victoria teen’s overdose death

Elliot Eurchuk was 16 years old when he died of an opioid overdose at his Oak Bay home

Military officer accused of sexual misconduct, drunkenness in B.C., Alberta

Warrant Officer Jarvis Kevin Malone is charged under the National Defence Act

Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old boy

Harbour Air to convert to all-electric seaplanes

Seaplane company to modify fleet with a 750-horsepower electric motor

VIDEO: Teenage girl was person killed in three-vehicle crash in Coquitlam

Police are investigating the fatal crash at Mariner Way and Riverview Crescent

Most Read