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MVB: Spartans heading back to Canada West championship match after four-set win over Dinos

LANGLEY, British Columbia– The No. 4 Trinity Western Spartans are headed back to the Canada West final after defeating the No. 8 Calgary Dinos 3-1 Friday night at the Langley Events Centre in Langley, B.C. The 25-15, 20-25, 25-16, 25-19 victory also gives the Spartans a berth at the U SPORTS championship in Hamilton, Ont. The Dinos still hope to earn a trip to Hamilton as the will play for Canada West Bronze next weekend.
Brodie Hofer (Langley, B.C.) with 19 kills, and five digs, and Jesse Elser (Calgary) with 16 kills, and seven aces led the Spartans. While Liam Kuppe (Calgary) with 14 kills, five digs, and four blocks, and Erik Godwin (Lethbridge, Alta.) with nine kills, four digs, and two aces led the Dinos. TWU’s Mathias Elser (Calgary) finished with 44 set assists to go with four digs and two blocks for the Spartans. Calgary’s Zack Durrant (Calgary) finished with 35 set assists, eight digs, and one Ace for the Dinos.
The Spartans came out flying to start the match and quickly jumped out to a five point, 7-2, lead and forced the Dinos into the early timeout. TWU kept going and forced Calgary into a second time out with the Spartans leading 17-11. The break in play did not slow the Spartans as TWU took the opening set 15-15. TWU hit at .467 (11-4-15), while Calgary hit at .500 (7-1-12). But it was TWU’s seven service aces that made the difference in the opening set as TWU took the 1-0 lead.
Calgary regrouped on the changeover and responded with a solid second set. The Dinos took an early 10-5 lead and would maintain the lead through the middle of the set at 16-11. The Spartans responded and cut the lead to two points, trailing 16-14. But it was as close as TWU would get as Calgary evened up the match, 1-1, with a 25-20 win. TWU hit at .152 (10-5-33), while Calgary hit at .323 (15-5-31).
In the third set TWU once again took control as they jumped out to 10-6, and 16-10 leads. Calgary was unable to slow Trinity Western in the third set as the Spartans prevailed 25-16 to take a 2-1 set lead. TWU hit at .571 (17-1-28), while Calgary hit at .269 (12-5-26).
The two teams were even early to start the fourth set with the two teams tied at 7-7. The Dinos took a 10-8 lead, but TWU responded with four straight points to lead 12-10 and prompt a Calgary time-out. The teams played side-out ball to 21-18 for the Spartans, when the Dinos called their second time-out. The Spartans were dominant down the stretch. TWU’s Anselm Rein (Erfurt, Germany) subbed in and had two service aces to take the set 25-19 and the match 3-1.
Adam Schriemer – TWU Co-Interim Head Coach 
“I’m so happy for the guys. Part of the reason why people come to play here is for games like this, earning the opportunity to play in the Canada West final. They earned this.
“Calgary is such a hard team to play against. They put lots of pressure on us, and their block defence is awesome. They made us earn so many points. Our offensive scheme was simple, but our execution was difficult, so I’m really proud of Mathias [Elser] for the execution of the system this weekend. Great teams don’t get bored with the simplicity of success, so seeing that execution from a skill standpoint was exciting.”
Rod Durrant – Calgary Head Coach
“TWU is very tough in their gym, and their ability to break our serve receive down was the difference. I thought we showed some character in the second set. We’ll be ready for next weekend.”
Lincoln Baines – Calgary Team Captain
“It was a good weekend. Both teams left it all on the court, and it was some good back-and-forth volleyball. That’s what we want to see in playoffs, so it was a good weekend, but an unfortunate result. Next week is do-or-die, so we need to be firing on all cylinders. Hopefully we’re in Hamilton in two weeks.”
• The Spartans are 51-28 lifetime, and 37-23 in conference play against the Dinos.
• Trinity Western has not lost to Calgary, 3-1, since February 26, 2016, in the Canada West quarter-final. A 17-match winning streak. TWU would go on to win the Canada West and U SPORTS titles that year.
• TWU finished the night hitting at .408 (53-13-98), while Calgary finished at .349 (43-13-86).
• The Spartans also had the edge in service aces 16-4, while the Dinos had the edge in blocks 9-3 and digs 26-22.
• Trinity Western advanced to the semi-final with a 2-0 series win over Brandon, while Calgary advanced with a 2-0 series win over Mount Royal.
• TWU finished the season No. 3 in CW at 18-6, while Calgary finished No. 7 at 12-12.
The Spartans and the Dinos now have to wait for the other semi-final between Saskatchewan and Alberta to conclude before they will know who their next opponent is and where and when they will be playing next week. All games can be seen live on CanadaWest.TV.

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