Trinity Western Spartans (CAN)
Al Ahly Sporting Club (EGY)
Trentino Diatec (ITA)
KS Jastrzebski Wegiel (POL)
Al Arabi (QAT)
Zenit Kazan (RUS)
How they Qualified
SPA / Trinity Western Spartans - Team Composition
Therapist / trainer
Jansen Van Doorn
D. Jansen VanDoorn
Since entering the CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) in 1999, the Trinity Western Spartans have been one of the most dominating men’s volleyball teams in Canada.
In 12 years playing at Canada’s highest level of university sport, Trinity Western has captured two CIS national championships (2006 and 2011), two CIS silver medals (2005 and 2010), two CIS bronze medals (2004 and 2007), one Canada West conference championship (2007), three conference silver medals (2005, 2006 and 2010) and one conference bronze medal (2011).
The Spartans have attended Canada’s eight-team national university championship in six of the last eight years and have returned with a medal on each occasion.
The Spartans best regular season was in 2006 when they posted a win-loss record of 16-4 and finished second in Canada West. After that, Trinity Western’s best seasons were in 2011 and 2007 when they were 13-5 and in 2006 when they were 14-6, each time finishing third in the conference.
Trinity Western’s longest league match winning streak is 11, a string they put together from Nov. 27, 2004 to Feb. 4, 2005. The team’s longest set winning streak came in 2005-06 when they won 22 sets in a row to start the regular season, spanning from Oct. 28, 2005 to Nov. 19, 2005.
From Luke Bainard being named a Canada West Second Team All-Star after the 1999-2000 season to Rudy Verhoeff being named a Canada West First Team All-Star and CIS Second Team All-Star after the 2010-11 campaign, all in all, the Spartans have had four CIS First Team nominees, five CIS Second Team nominees, 10 Canada West First Team nominees, eight Canada West Second Team nominees , four CIS All-Rookie Team nominees and four Canada West All-Rookie Team nominees.
The Spartans most illustrious campaign in terms of individual honours was in 2006-2007 when setter Josh Howatson was named the CIS male athlete of the year, the CIS Player of the Year, the Canada West MVP and the Dale Iwanoczko Award winner, which is given to the player who best exemplifies excellence in volleyball, academics and community involvement. That year, Howatson’s teammate, Steve Rogalsky, was also named a Canada West First Team All-Star and CIS Second Team All-Star.
When Ben Josephson took over as the Trinity Western men’s volleyball coach in 2007, his goal was plain and simple: improve every year.
Four years later, and the native of Strathmore, Alta. has done exactly that.
Culminating in winning the CIS national championship last year – and doing it on the side's home court no less – in his four-year tenure as coach, Josephson has taken the Spartans from simply being a playoff challenger to re-establishing Trinity Western as one of the top men’s volleyball teams in Canada.
When Josephson took over the reins in 2007, after being an assistant coach from 2004-2007, Trinity Western had qualified for, and finished on the podium at each of the previous four CIS national championship tournaments. So, for the former Spartans setter, expectations were high.
In his first year as the Trinity Western head coach, 2007-08, Josephson led the Spartans to the playoffs but saw his team lose in the first round against Winnipeg.
In his second year, 2008-09, Josephson guided the Spartans to a third place finish in the Canada West regular season and, thus, hosted a playoff series for the first time with Josephson at the helm. Despite losing to Thompson Rivers in a tightly-contested three-night series, the season was a solid block in which to build upon.
The following year, in 2009-10, the Spartans qualified for their first national championship under Josephson’s direction and, to the surprise of many, came home with a silver medal after losing to Calgary in the championship match.
That result gave Josephson’s team just one more peg to climb in 2010-11. Playing on their home court in the national championship, Trinity Western beat three Canada West foes – Alberta, Calgary and Brandon – en route to winning CIS gold.
Before moving to the side-lines, Josephson was a stand-out player for the Spartans from 1998-2003 as he was twice named team co-captain and, in 2003, earned the school's first ever CIS All-Canadian award while also being named a Canada West First Team All-Star. That year, his last as a Spartan, Josephson averaged 9.82 assists per game, second best in the conference.
Along with his side-line duties at Trinity Western, Josephson has also coached internationally as an assistant with Canada’s senior team in 2009 and with Canada’s World University Games teams in 2005 and 2011.
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Trinity Western Spartans