To keep their slim conference title hopes alive, the University of British Columbia women's volleyball team needed to come to the Jack Simpson Gymnasium last weekend and take two games. It's really too gosh-darn bad the Dinos got in the way.
"It was awesome--totally awesome," said Dino standout Alisa Marriott after the home side swept the weekend series in impressive fashion. "This was one of the teams we really wanted to beat."
Marriott and crew clinched home court throughout the playoffs with a merciless thrashing of their closest rivals. Though Friday's game was a 3-2 (25-18, 25-21, 20-25, 23-25, 15-13) thriller, the lady Dinos left nothing to doubt in Saturday's contest when they ravaged the T-birds in three quick sets (25-15, 25-16, 25-22).
"Oh, they absolutely deserved to lose," responded Marriott when asked about her feelings for UBC. "Let's just say there was a lot of trash talking going on out there and it feels good to come out on top."
Head Coach Kevin Boyles shared his team's enthusiasm and rightfully so. In only his second year with the program, the Dinos are making a splash with their high-intensity attitude and dominant play.
"I think the girls enjoy getting a little heated at the net and certainly like the challenge of playing a good team," said Boyles. "And they'll (UBC) be back to play here in the conference final I'm sure--that just adds to the atmosphere and the girls have a good time."
One player having a really good time on the weekend was Krista Kinsman. She punked out the T-birds with 31 kills on her way to Canada West Player of the Week honours. Marriott looked like she was having fun too, as she threw down 24 kills and 20 digs. The Dinos now have an 11 game unbeaten streak in the Canada West and have not lost a match at home all year.
"If we can do it we'd like to pack the gym for sure," smiled Boyles looking on as the men whupped their UBC counterparts on Saturday night. "I think people are starting to realize how well we're playing and the men's team is doing the same thing. We hope to host the conference finals together."
The Dinos play their last two home games of the regular season Feb. 9-10 at 6:00 p.m. when the University of Alberta Pandas come to town. Calgary will be looking for revenge against their bamboo- munchin' northern foes, who along with UBC, are the only team to beat the Dinos this year.
(Completed with additional information from Gauntlet sports writer Daorcey LeBray)