TWU Spartans triumphant over golden weekend
The Trinity Western University Spartans are shining brighter after this weekend—literally. Six medals made it TWU’s best post-season performance ever.
The men’s volleyball team took home the gold and the women’s team won silver. The track and field teams scored three more gold and a bronze, turning TWU from underdog to driving force to be reckoned with.
The Spartan volleyball teams have established themselves as dominant in the CIS—this in spite of a student body of only 4,000. McMaster University, whom the Spartans bested, boasts a student body of 30,000. U of T, whom the women played in the final, has 85,000 students.
The men’s team rose above a deficit-filled early season to clinch their fourth U Sports gold medal—at their fifth national appearance in the last seven years.
Last season the women’s team won the U Sports title, while the men took silver. They’re adding to a Spartan tradition: At least one team has won a national championship for eight consecutive years.
"I'm proud of these guys," said Trinity Western men’s volleyball head coach Ben Josephson. "They worked so hard in the last few weeks when we thought we were out and we rallied together and played like every loss would be the last day of our season. To show that much resiliency is something to be proud of.
“We just kept saying to trust us that we're doing the right thing, and to stay together. They love each other, so staying together was easy for them.”
“This group never quits,” said TWU men’s volleyball setter Adam Schriemer (Winnipeg) of his team’s about-face. “The way we can come together is so special. I've never been part of any group or team like this."
The Spartans’ astonishing rise to action in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds drove fans to their feet—and their smartphones.
— Alissa Piers (@alissapiers) March 13, 2016
— Andrew Perrin (@ab_perrin) March 15, 2016
— Barry Gray (@_barrygray_) March 13, 2016
Women’s volleyball fell one match short of winning a second straight U Sports title, but along with this weekend’s silver medal, the team earned four U Sports all-Canadian awards—the most all-Canadian awards that a TWU women’s team has ever won. Nikki Cornwall and Elly Wendel earned first team honours, and Katelyn Devany and Sophie Carpentier earned second team honours.
Track and field
On the track, Emma Nuttall won her third U Sports national gold medal in high-jump. She’s the only TWU athlete ever to achieve such an honour. Her teammate Regan Yee won gold in the women’s 3,000 metre and bronze in the 1,500 metre. Nathan George set a TWU record and won the U Sports men’s 300-metre gold medal, the first U Sports gold medal ever for the TWU men’s track and field team.
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