The University of Calgary Dinos men's volleyball team was shutout in two straight games against the University of Alberta Golden Bears last weekend.
Despite the 0-3 loss on Friday (22-25, 28-30, 22-25) followed by a similar 0-3 shutout Saturday (21-25, 20-25, 15-25) the Dinos are optimistic future battles against the top team in the Canada West standings won't be so one-sided.
"For the most part I think we competed with them," said Dinos head coach Rod Durrant. "We're just not finishing against that team. That's the best team we'll play against all year."
Sitting in fourth place heading into the two-game series against Alberta, the Dinos felt confident they could win, but several errors ultimately cost them the first game Friday. The second set was error heavy on both sides of the net, making it a 28-30 marathon.
Durrant said the Dinos improved their play the next day, but the Bears were too much for them to handle, especially the play of fifth-year powerhouse Joel Schmuland who banked 15 kills (he totaled 26 on the weekend) and three aces.
With two games remaining before the semester break, the Dinos will use the weekend sweep as a learning tool.
"I think we're going to continue to get better and use that as a measuring stick to see where we're at," said Durrant.
The team travels to Regina to take on the University of Regina Cougars this weekend. They realize the importance of winning the two-game series as losing the games will give them a 5-5 record, while winning will set them up nicely at 7-3.
"We respect Regina, we know their athletes pretty good," said Durrant. "Our team is excited. They know what's at stake. They're intelligent enough to know that these matches are the matches that you need to go out and compete and be successful at."