"It was a disappointment," summed up women's volleyball coach Kevin Boyles. "We had two good opportunities to win matches and we let them go."
Last weekend, on both Friday and Saturday, the Dinos were up 2-1 on the visiting University of Winnipeg Wesmen, and on both nights, the Dinos went down 3-2.
"Two of our strengths let us down," explained Boyles. "We usually pass well and we usually serve well. They were both weak."
The Dinos and Wesmen are fairly equal teams, but, as the record states, the Dinos had trouble finishing.
"It was only the second and third time this season that we had faced a fifth game, and we didn't handle the pressure very well," he explained.
"We weren't too bad in the first four games [of either match]" said Dino left side hitter Janet Bang. "But we didn't play well in the fifth We gave them too many runs. In rally-point scoring, you can't give up four points. If you're down 20-16, it's hard to get back."
Boyles acknowledged that the Dinos outplayed the Wesmen in many aspects of the game, but gave up too many easy points.
"In the first match, we outhit and outblocked them," said Boyles. "But they aced us nine times and we aced them once. They made five serving errors and we made 13. They had a lot of free points that we gave them.
"In the second match, we tried not to make as many errors, and the result was that we didn't serve as hard."
"Janet Bang, Amanda Moppett and Sarah Onofrychuk each played great at times," said Boyles. "But all of them also had major lapses. That kind of inconsistency is what we need to get rid of."
With the mid-season departure of Þfth-year Dino Agata Woloszyn, Janet Bang has become the most senior member of a team loaded with youth and potential. In only her fourth year, Bang has had to add the role of team leader to that of valuable offensive contributor. The leadership position comes with a lot of pressure, but Bang, also the team's only married player, appears ready for the job.
"I'm not used to it," said Bang. "On most of the teams I've played on, I've been the youngest. It's different being in this role. It's nice to be the leader. I have more control over my emotions, but I have to be consistent all the time, setting an example of steady play and work ethic."
Consistency, says Bang, has not only been a problem for the team, but for herself as an individual.
"I'm either passing really well or really poorly," she said. "I need to be at more of a steady state of the higher level."
The Dinos' next matches will be at home to the University of Saskatchewan Huskies. Like the Wesmen, the Huskies are relative equals to the Dinos in terms of talent, and represent the Dinos' rival for a Canada West playoff spot.
The Dinos play at 6 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday, in the Jack Simpson Gymnasium.