DAVID LARKINS, Wesmen Athletics
The Winnipeg Wesmen will have to work one more week in trying to secure a berth in the national championship tournament.
The Trinity Western Spartans secured their place in the Canada West championship Friday with a 3-0 (25-20, 25-18, 25-15) win over the Wesmen Match 2 of their conference semifinal series in Langley, B.C.
The Spartans won the best-of-three semifinal 2-0.
Now the Wesmen will have to wait and see what their future holds with a bronze-medal match next week determining the conference's third berth into the nationals.
For the fifth straight match, Adrian Dyck led the Wesmen with six kills on 11 swings for a .273 efficiency. The Wesmen, however, hit -.055 for the match, while the No. 1-ranked Spartans hit .379. It was the first time this season – and first since Nov. 25, 2016 – the Wesmen hit negative as a team.
David Bommersbach, who didn't appear in a Match 1 loss on Thursday, added five kills for the Wesmen, who will face the loser of Alberta-UBC for bronze next weekend.
The Wesmen held a 16-12 lead at the technical timeout, but TWU won five of the next six points and then used a four-point run to break a 19-19 tie and take control.
Jesse Elser and Eric Loeppky had eight kills apiece to lead the Spartans, who will play for conference gold for the sixth straight season. In the process, TWU also qualified for its ninth straight national tournament, which opens March 16 in Hamilton, Ont.