The University of Calgary Dinos women's volleyball team closed out their regular season in winning fashion Feb. 8-9. Gearing up for the playoffs the Dinos swept Thompson Rivers University in both Fri. with 25-18, 25-18, 25-12 and Saturday's 25-20, 25-20, 25-17 matches, building much needed confidence heading into the post-season.
"We played a solid weekend, albeit against a weaker team, so we weren't really significantly challenged on either night," said Dinos head coach Kevin Boyles after the weekend's matches. "I thought that it was a good opportunity for us to make sure that everyone got some time on the court and to have a good sense of confidence heading into the playoffs."
A quad of Dinos, Laura Wilson, Holly Harper, Lauren Perry and captain Julie Young, led the way to victory on Fri. night, all finishing the game with seven kills. According to Young, the women came out a bit sluggish but got their feet under them as the game went on.
"We blocked, hit and dug well, it felt good to play solid especially before our playoff stretch begins," she said.
Perry and Deanna Delisle led the way for the Dinos on Sat. night finishing with 10 kills and eight kills, respectively.
The Dinos finish the season with a 16-4 record and now have to prepare for their first-round match against the University of Regina, who finished with a 10-10 record Feb. 15-17. The series will be played in a best of three matches, with the first two games scheduled for 8 p.m. in the Jack Simpson Gym on Fri. and Sat. The third game of the series is scheduled for Sun. at 2 p.m., if necessary.
The weekend will also mark the end of the line for two fifth-year Dinos players as Delisle and Willemina Stikker-Breemhaar, both middles for the team, will be honoured for their time with the team. Despite this, the Dinos have to remain focused for what should turn out to be a challenging match over the weekend.
"I think we're as ready as we can be for the stretch run," said Boyles. "Everyone is healthy and motivated and we're looking forward to the opportunity to see how far into the post-season this team is capable of going."
That sentiment was echoed by Young, who was excited for the weekend to come and hopes for a large turnout of loud fans to help support the teams.
"We are very focused and practices have been very intense, so we are ready for a big crowd to cheer us on," she said.
For Boyles, the team's work will come to a head this weekend.
"This is the part of the season that we all live and train for--motivation is not an issue," he said. "It's time to put in some great playoff performances and take a run at a national title."