With a third shot at a Canada West title on the line, the Dinos' women's volleyball team failed to deliver. Fortunately for the Dinos there were some positives to the whole experience.
The Dinos have now jumped into a second place tie with the Laval Universite Rouge et Or in the national rankings, which gives them the second seed at nationals. They will begin the tournament against the University of Toronto.
Calgary had high hopes going into the Canada West Champion-ship ,and although they did not win their third title in a row, their gutsy performance in the first round against UBC put them through to the finals against the U of A and gave them a much needed boost as well as a reality check.
The first round proved Calgary was not ready to give up their title--but things did not go their way in the finals against their provincial rivals. It was a game that saw the Dinos make many a mistake.
"We had a rough passing night," said Head Coach Kevin Boyles. "We kept putting our hitters in bad positions."
"We lost the game on our side," admitted power hitter Joanna Niemczewska, referring to the errors that plagued the team and the inability to take advantage of the situation at hand.
Niemczewska was solid over the weekend, keeping her team close. Although her effort came in a losing cause, Niemczewska is playing with a lot of momentum, and will be considered a constant threat to other teams at nationals.
The Dinos also had a hard time playing defense. They were out- blocked 14-5, an anomaly for a team that usually dominates the net and blocks others into submission.
Middle Jill Friend noted that "it was hard to make blocks off sets set so far from the net--it gave them a good angle to hit from."
But the loss did not shake up the Dinos. They got over it quickly and are now looking ahead to the challenge of nationals.
"We now have to adopt the underdog attitude--nothing to lose, just go for it," stated Boyles.
His team will have to show up each night if they hope to go far against the nation's best.
With this being the third attempt at a national title in as many years, the Dinos will have to take full advantage. It's not very often a team gets so many chances at a championship before retiring into the world of the obscure. The Dinos will have to treat this opportunity as their last if they ever want to know what it feels like to be a national champion.
Thus far, it's a feeling only experienced by one member of the current Dinos squad--Head Coach Kevin Boyles.