It was an easier win for the Trinity Western University Spartans Men’s Volleyball team than in their past games against the Wesmen Men’s team at the playoffs on Feb. 25-27.
Justin Duff started the Wesmen off to a promising beginning with a few tremendous kills. A serve by Marc Ross at point, was returned by Trinity and was set straight up to Justin Duff, who killed the team’s first and only set, but shortly thereafter the team slowed down significantly. The Spartans picked up their lazy feet and maintained a small but comfortable lead.
The crowd cheered strongly for their home team and rocked the court louder then the Duckworth Centre has heard all season. The third set had the crowd and the players full of anticipation. Both teams were eager to win, grasping for the ball all over the court. But Trinity showed the Wesmen that home ground doesn’t always make a difference, beating out the Wesmen 3 sets to 1 in the first game.
Friday night, Winnipeg was looking to get even. As the Wesmen worked hard not to let the ball fall inside the court, it was now Trinity Western who was unable to keep a steady lead. The win in the next round of playoffs started to look like a reachable goal for the Wesmen and they gave it their all.
Winnipeg shut out Trinity Western in three easy sets, bringing the series to a 1-1 tie. The playoff quarterfinals were to extend to a third game.
Saturday, Feb. 27 marked the last game to elect a quarterfinal winner. An extremely high-impact game sent the Wesmen Men’s Volleyball team packing. The Spartans beat the Wesmen in three sets even after the shut out from the previous night.
The game was a constant back-and-forth between the two teams who demonstrated equal strength throughout, making for a great game.
“That was the team that we have been building to be all season long. Skill-wise, system-wise, emotionally, maturity, toughness: all of the different components that it takes to be a great team,” commented Trinity Western University head coach Ben Josephson. “That is what it is all supposed to look like.”
It would appear the Spartans were the more rounded team in the third game.
With this loss, the Wesmen will not be smacking down the ball at the Duckworth Centre until next season. Stay tuned for off-season coverage.
Published in Volume 64, Number 21 of The Uniter (March 4, 2010)