TWU volleyball: Dreams of perfect season end, but Spartans still on top

Top-ranked Trinity Western, second-ranked Manitoba, split pair of Canada West men's volleyball matches

The Manitoba Bisons ended the Trinity Western Spartans quest for a perfect season with a straight sets victory. But on the very next night, the Spartans delivered a sweep of their own to earn the split in Winnipeg.

Both men’s volleyball teams also qualified for the Canada West playoffs and maintained the top two spots in the CIS rankings.

The Spartans (15-1) are still tops while Manitoba (14-2) is ranked second.

The Bisons won 3-0 (25-21,25-19,25-17) before Trinity Western won the rematch, also 3-0 (28-26,26-24,25-22).

“The guys showed a lot of heart and a lot of courage tonight to respond after last night,” said coach Ben Josephson.

“We showed our passion to equal our purpose and that’s something we talked about before the game.

“It was fun, fun volleyball and fun to beat such a good team in a hostile environment.”

With four matches remaining in the regular season, Trinity Western has the inside track to finish atop the conference and earn a bye to the Canada West final four — as well as the right to host the championship.

Ben Ball led the way in Saturday’s victory, setting a new three-set Trinity Western program record with 50 assists.

Rudy Verhoeff and Steven Marshall both had 18 kills and eight digs, while Verhoeff added three blocks and Marshall had a pair.

In Friday’s loss, Marshall had 16 kills, five blocks and six digs.

Verhoeff had nine kills and three blocks.

The Spartans are in Calgary this weekend for a pair of matches against the 9-7 Dinos.

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