Jefferson Hagen, MacEwan Athletics
-With files from TWU Athletics
LANGLEY, B.C. – MacEwan's passing fell apart in a straight-sets defeat to the No. 1-ranked Trinity Western Spartans (25-19, 25-14, 25-20) on Friday night.
"We just couldn't pass. That's the number one thing," said head coach Ken Briggs. "They served us off the court. Once we settled down at times, we went toe to toe with them, but it wasn't enough. We'd just shoot ourselves in the foot.
"We gave away 40 points tonight out of the 75 on either missed serves, errors or bad passing. You can't do that."
Certainly not against the undefeated Spartans, who improved to 5-0 with the win, while MacEwan fell to 2-3.
"That's the most nervous I've seen us," said Briggs. "This was the best team and we played like we were scared of the best team.
"That's disappointing, but it's the third week of the season. I said I was anticipating things like this, but it's hard when it actually happens."
Hilary Howe was once again a key contributor for the Spartans, as she earned a match-high 13 kills, along with seven digs while hitting .417.
The Spartans also hit .311 compared to the Griffins .053 throughout the game.
It's MacEwan's first loss since falling 3-0 at Mount Royal University back on Oct. 19.
"We're better than we were against Mount Royal," noted Briggs. "We're better, we're smarter. But we just didn't adjust quick enough and then they lost their confidence.
"In volleyball we can talk all we want and say the right things, but under pressure you're always going to struggle. We're working on it, but it's not there yet. The good news is a year ago, we would have been thumped three straight and had bad scores. At least there were moments in these games where we played a lot better and for longer periods of time. Two of the sets we battled. But we can't underperform against this team – way too many errors."
The teams will meet in the rematch on Saturday night (6 p.m. MT, Canada West TV presented by Co-op).