"Dino Extinction Tour."
It's a popular shirt for $20 in the University of Alberta gym. The simple white tee sports a fossilized Rex and the dates the Dinos men's volleyball team meet the University of Alberta Golden Bears this season. Hurtful enough to make a Dinos fan angry. True enough to make him cry.
Jan. 16-17, the Dinos and Bears clashed for the second time this season, leaving the Calgary team beaten, bruised and broken in three sets at each match. While the Dinos never fell below a 15-point game, they never broke 20 either.
Missed blocks, poor passes and miscommunication coloured the evenings as far as the Dinos were concerned. According to one U of A fan, the second match was a rip off--too short to be worth the student ticket.
"The one who blinks first loses, and we blinked," said Dinos Head Coach Greg Ryan of his team's efforts. "Our struggle right now is to try and play within the system."
What ails the Dinos is a lack of cohesion, with too many players failing to trust each other to play their respective positions.
When fans can expect to see the Dinos coalesce, no one can tell. According to Ryan, it could happen at any time for any player. Hopefully, it'll happen before the playoffs.
"We knew we were going to be a little dodgy until we learned to play together. So let's learn to play together and win."