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Wesmen look to bounce back after sweep from Spartans

Left side Ethan Duncan receives a serve in the first half of the Wesmen's match against the Trinity Western Spartans, Nov. 9, 2018. (David Larkins/Wesmen Athletics)
Left side Ethan Duncan receives a serve in the first half of the Wesmen's match against the Trinity Western Spartans, Nov. 9, 2018. (David Larkins/Wesmen Athletics)

DAVID LARKINS, Wesmen Athletics

Larry McKay says he wants to watch the tape again, but it's unlikely many of the rest of the Winnipeg Wesmen have much desire to.

The Trinity Western Spartans used a six-point run in the second set to come from behind, and proceeded to roll to a 3-0 (25-16, 25-23, 25-5) Canada West conference men's volleyball victory Friday night at the Duckworth Centre.

It was a clash of two of the country's top-ranked teams, but save for a chunk of that second set, it was the No. 5-ranked Spartans who carried the momentum most of the night, setting the sixth-ranked Wesmen back on their heels from the first serve.

"There were a lot of weak areas that were (revealed) by the other team, so I definitely want to see the tape," Wesmen head coach Larry McKay said. "They were on us, they took away things from us and we didn't adjust well when they took those things away. We've got a little more to our game than what we showed, but we were unable to pull that out."

Adrian Dyck, Daniel Thiessen and Ethan Duncan had five kills each to lead the Wesmen, who hit a season-low .062 for the night. Darian Picklyk topped the team in digs with five.

Trinity Western, which hit .388 for the match, got a match-high 17 kills and seven digs from Eric Loeppky.

The Spartans won the match's first five points, eight of the first 10 and carried a 16-7 lead into the first-set technical timeout.

The third set was also a black hole for Winnipeg, which went to its bench early and played reserves after Trinity opened on a 14-1 run.

"They forced us to alter a bunch of shots in the second set," TWU head coach Ben Josephson said. "First set we were able to get the shots we wanted, the second they adjusted and I think our guys flinched a little and made a few mistakes. I think our ball control cleaned up, we were able to run our middles again and they're really physical guys, and that opened up some other things and it all came back together.

"When (the Wesmen) passed well, they were really competitive. When their passes were leaky then our size really factored in."

The Wesmen bounced back in the second set with an effort more indicative of their standing in the Canada West, but got stuck in a rotation while leading 21-17 and watched the Spartans run off six straight to jump in front.

"The feeling at that point was just the frustration that we had a good chance to win the set and we didn't make the plays in the end," McKay said.

—#REPTHEW—