Men's volleyball season starts off .500
Spartans win and lose to Thunderbirds; Plocktis sets impressive numbers.
The Spartans men’s volleyball team took to the court twice this past weekend in a series against the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds. The two-time defending champs were ready to make an opening splash to start the regular season after a long preseason. They played two very strong games but only pulled off one win against a talented UBC Thunderbird team.
On Friday night the Spartans headed to the War Memorial Gym to officially start off their season. It was a very close game but they saw a 2-0 lead fade away as UBC came back from behind to win it 3-2. The Spartans won the first two sets of the match by hitting .222 and .361, compared to UBC’s .000 and .081 at the attack line.
In the first set, the Spartans were not able to make the first point but immediately came back to grab the quick lead, from a Dan Jansen Van Doorn kill, to make it 3-2. From there the Spartans did not lose their lead as they continued their consistent plays both offensively and defensively. They showed the T-birds why they were the champs in this set, winning it 25-19.
In the second set, the Spartans did not change their game plan. The T-birds, however, stepped it up a notch and grabbed the early lead. The UBC lead did not last long though, as the Spartans came back to tie the set 18-18 from a UBC attack error. The Spartans turned on the jets once again and went on the win the set 25-20.
With a 2-0 lead the T-birds did not give up as they started to play a strong offensive game, leading most of the third set and winning it 25-19. UBC did the same in the fourth set, tying it up 2-2 as they went on to the fifth and final set where the Spartans just could not keep up with UBC, losing the final set 12-15 and the match 2-3.
This time it was the Spartans turn to host the match, as the Thunderbirds arrived at the Langley Events Centre this past Saturday and tried to pull off another upset. With setter Jarrod Offereins injured with a broken ankle, it was the debut of first year setter Scott Plocktis, who did not disappoint as he collected 50 assists (a record amount by a first year Spartan) and led the Spartans to a 3-1 victory over the Thunderbirds.
In the first set, the Spartans never trailed UBC. They consistently stayed ahead of UBC by four or five points. Nicholas Del Bianco had an impressive set as he led the Spartans with four kills and two aces. The Spartans hit .250 in the first and won it 25-20.
It was a much closer second set as the T-birds threatened with an early lead, but it was a great effort from the Spartans as they came back to steal the lead, when Brad Kufske made a great kill, to make it 18-17. After UBC took a time-out, the Spartans showed no mercy continuing to lead and win the set 25-22.
After losing the third set, the Spartans pushed back with a dominating fourth set, winning 25-17. It was a great set both offensively and defensively for the Spartans as they came out with the win and finished the series with a 1-1 record to start the season.
The Spartans will head to Regina to compete against the Cougars this weekend, then returning for a four games, starting on November 9th against Thompson River at the LEC.