Jefferson Hagen, MacEwan Athletics
-With files from TWU Athletics
LANGLEY, B.C. – The MacEwan Griffins men's volleyball team went in knowing they'd be in tough against defending national champion Trinity Western and still had their eyes opened to the level the Spartans are currently playing at.
"They're amazing," said MacEwan head coach Brad Poplawski, whose team fell in straight sets (25-12, 25-21, 25-15). "They're a national team. You look at their representation on our national team.
"They're one of the best, if not the best, Canada West teams I've ever seen in all my years. They're phenomenal."
High praise indeed, but MacEwan wasn't able to muster much in the match. Max Vriend led them with 7.5 points and six kills.
"It's so tough. They're so good, but at the same time there's so many things we didn't do properly," said Poplawski. "It's tough because they just put so much stress on you – every part of the game.
"Again, with any team, it starts with passing. We got down 5-0 to start the match. If you can't get the engine started … it's just hard to take anything away from it because they're just so strong."
With the loss, MacEwan falls to 1-2 on the season. Trinity Western is now 4-1.
Jesse Elser had a big game offensively for TWU, contributing a game-high 24.5 points, including an errorless 15 kills, eight serving aces and five digs while hitting .682. Jackson Howe added 9.5 points for the Spartans, including six kills while hitting .400.
The teams will meet again on Saturday (8 p.m. MT, Canada West TV presented by Co-op).