DAVID LARKINS, Wesmen Athletics
For the second time in as many weeks, the Winnipeg Wesmen will have to make a comeback to keep going on in the Canada West post-season.
The No. 1-ranked team in the country flexed its muscle Thursday night as the Trinity Western Spartans hit .481 for the match and dropped the Wesmen 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-21) in Match 1 of a best-of-three Canada West semifinal at the Langley Events Centre in Langley, B.C.
The Spartans were hitting .531 through two sets and won the match despite making 18 serve errors to four from the Wesmen.
But the formidable front of the Spartans stymied most any Wesmen attack and scored frequently for itself.
Eric Loeppky hit .593 and led three Spartans in double figures in kills with 19 on 27 swings with three errors.
Jesse Elser and Jacob Kern both added 10.
Adrian Dyck led Winnipeg with seven kills on 14 swings and hit .286. Ethan Duncan had six on 13 and hit .385. The rest of the Wesmen combined for just 14 kills and hit .061.
Setter Mikael Clegg led the Wesmen in blocks with one solo and four assists.
The Wesmen, who rallied from a match down last weekend and defeated Brandon in three, will now have to find an equal or greater fortune to keep their hopes of a conference championship alive.
TWU finished the conference season 22-2 and lost just once on home floor.
Match 2 goes at 10 p.m. CT and can be seen on canadawest.tv