As I checked the University of Calgary women's volleyball results from their tournament at the University of Alberta Oct. 1-3, I was struck by a case of dejÃ vu. Lose to U of A, win the rest, just like the tournament the previous weekend in Regina. Those pesky Pandas must be getting cocky.
Fri., Oct. 1 our ladies lost three very close games in a frustrating opener against our Albertan rivals. The team makes no pitiful excuses like "van legs" from traveling or the U of A home court advantage. Head Coach Kevin Boyles realizes that getting a team's footing is the nature of preseason.
"I'm okay with giving them the preseason wins, we'll take the league games," said Boyles with a grin.
Luckily, the rest of the weekend went better for the Dinos. After barely losing the first two sets, our ladies came back to shoot down the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds in mid-flight, winning 3-2 on Sat., Oct. 2. Those Pandas were not quite as successful against the T-Birds and lost 1-3.
Despite also winning Saturday night against Laurier, Boyles knows his team has some work to do.
"We were struggling to find the identity as a team as well as our on court leaders."
The rookies seemed to be up to the challenge, all playing well throughout the tourney.
In particular, Julie Young "was consistent and really made an impact," according to Boyles. "The vets were not playing at their regular season level yet."
Lucky for the team and the fans, it's just preseason, there is still time to put those Pandas in their place before the league games start. Next up is the University of Saskatchewan tournament over Thanksgiving. It is the first tourney of the year to have overall champions. Champions who will ideally be the Dinos.
"We want to win it," said Boyles. "We want to win it with U of A there."