In a few years, the Jack Simpson Gymnasium will be hallowed ground. In both 2006 and 2007, the best of the best in Canadian university women's volleyball will set their sights on the University of Calgary, as we have been awarded the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Women's Volleyball Championships for both years.
Hosting the competition brings more than just prestige, as the Dinos squad also receives an automatic bid in both tournaments.
Perennial national heavyweights, the Dinos have finished in the top four at each of the last national championships and, come 2006/07, they will be led by setter Natalie Schwartz, power hitter Joanna Niemczewska and last year's CIS Rookie of the Year Janelle Findlay, among others.
"I was so happy when I found out," exclaimed Caitlin Bell, a Chestermere native, entering her second season with the squad. "Having my fourth and fifth years at home, at nationals--it'll be awesome."
Head Coach Kevin Boyles is just as excited, as he knows the joy of winning a title on your home court.
"You can only imagine what it's like, standing on your home floor in a full gym, having just won a national title," reminisced Boyles, a member of the 1989 national champion Dinos squad, who won their title at the Jack.
"Just being able to give these girls that opportunity, I feel really good about that," continued the Dinos' bench boss. "It gives us something as a team to strive towards over those two years. The knowledge that we can achieve something special right here on our court is going to be a great motivator for us."