While Halloween was the obvious hot topic of last weekend, the die-hard volleysaur fans know that the action was at the Husky Dino Cup that ran Oct. 28-30. The women played their second round of league games Thu., Oct. 28 and Fri., Oct. 29, winning both games 3-1 against the University of Winnipeg Wesmen.
Thursday night opened with the Dinos leading from the get-go, winning the first set 25-23 after a solid closing kill by Joanna Niemczewska. The second set was easily taken 25-13, but they lost their groove for the third set losing 17-25.
"We lost our focus and made some unenforced errors," power Janelle Findlay commented.
The fourth set cut it close as the Dinos fought back from being down 12-8. They took the lead after some great kills by middle Reid Brodie. Followed up with solid plays by Niemczewska and rookie Julie Young, the Dinos won the last set 25-22. Niemczewska racked up in the game with a punishing 16 kills and 11 digs, followed by Brodie with 14 kills and nine digs.
"A few individuals really stepped up," Head Coach Kevin Boyles commented. "Reid played a great game Friday and really made a difference."
Thursday night's victory was followed by the raising of the Dinos National Championship banner in the Jack in front of a huge crowd, with large support from our Rez students. Despite some complications in the raising of the banner (it got stuck after being raised lopsided), it brought some luck to the Dinos.
They faced the Wesmen again on Friday night, repeating their 3-1 win. The Dinos came out strong, winning the first set 25-17, but had to fight in the intense second set. The Dinos were down 13-16, but after some intense rallying and superb plays by Findlay and Niemczewska the Dinos took the second set 29-27. Winnipeg made a comeback in the third set to win it 25-19. Calgary stepped up in the fourth with solid playing by Sarah "Pipes" Onofrychuk to win the last set 25-18. Pipes won player of the game and contributed 11 kills and an amazing 36 per cent kill average.
Upon inquiry as to how Onofrychuk was awarded the name "Pipes," this reporter was told she could do one armed push-ups, which she obligingly demonstrated.
Pipes is also reputed to be "like a physics equation. Power plus force equals velocity," according to an anonymous player.
Also putting in a stellar performance in the front and back court Friday night was Findlay with 12 kills and 13 digs.
"We're getting adequate results without presenting our best package," Boyles explained. "Sometimes it's good to win ugly, but at some point we're going to have to step up the level we're capable of."
When will that step be taken? For the coach and the team, the goal is when they face off against their nemesis, the University of Alberta Pandas Fri., Nov. 12 in the Red Gym and Sat., Nov. 13 in the Jack. The Pandas are the only team that has beaten our Dinos this year and we're looking for payback.
"With this week off, we're working on our blocking and passing so that we are at that level when we meet U of A," commented Boyles.
When Niemczewska was asked what the Pandas had coming she simply grinned and said: "It's going to be good."