The Dinos Volleysaurs got the proverbial monkey off their back by winning their first game of the season, and head coach Rod Durrant's first in Canadian Interuniversity Sport, as they split the Nov. 24-25 set with the University of Manitoba Bisons.
A large energetic crowd was on hand as the men's team started the weekend following an exciting five set match by the women's volleyball team. The volleyball was great as the Dinos battled hard with the CIS fifth-ranked Bisons. After winning the first two sets by identical 25-23 scores the Dinos dropped the next two before winning impressively in game five.
"When you win it's sweet," said Dino setter Glen Handley. "When you win after two and a half hours it's even better."
The Dinos quickly dominated Manitoba in the first set, taking a 16-5 lead before the Bisons stormed back. The set came right down to the wire, the Dinos taking it by a close 25-23 score. The lead changed hands many times during the second game, and it was a much tighter game from the start. Two ace serves for the Dinos resulted from fortunate bounces off the net onto enemy court. The Bisons demonstrated their high ranking as they ended up taking set three by a 25-18 score. The Bisons took set four 25-23, setting up a fifth and deciding set.
The Dinos stormed out of the gate in the fifth set as they got good blocks and a huge kill by David Egan to make the score 11-8. The Dinos won the set 15-8 on an air ball that found the back corner.
"Tonight [the team] had to work hard," said Durrant. "That's a good team over there and they had to earn every point."
Saturday didn't prove to be as successful as Manitoba defeated the Dinos 3-1. The Bisons, who were led by power hitter Josh Klassen and his 23 kills, outplayed the Dinos. Despite the last two sets being close, the Bisons eaked out wins and took the match 3-1.
It was good weekend to build upon for the Dinos, who are now 1-5 on the season.