The Dinos women's volleyball team finished out their pre-season schedule by playing a two-match set during the Husky Dino Cup Oct. 18 and 19. Despite appearing to be the stronger of the two teams on both days, the Dinos lost both matches.
Thursday night saw the University of Alberta Pandas take the match three sets to one, winning three straight sets after losing the first. Bolstered by 30 Dino attack errors and 13 Dino service errors, the Pandas took full advantage of Calgary's sloppy play. The Calgary volleyballers also lacked a killer instinct as they surrendered a six-point lead late in the third set, ultimately ensuring the Dinos' fate for the evening.
"If there's one thing we need to work on, it's our ability to close out the opposition at the end of the set," said Dinos head coach Kevin Boyles.
Friday was much the same for the Dinos. After taking the first set 25-22, Calgary looked to be well on their way to a quick victory in the second, jumping out to a 15-8 advantage early on. When the time came to drop the hammer on a struggling Pandas team, the Dinos women came up empty. The Pandas fought back, lifted by the play of Jocelyn Blair who stood out as the best player from either team on this night. The set lasted until a 31st point and ended with the Pandas on top. From there, it seemed the Dinos lost confidence and Alberta took full advantage, exploiting a sloppy Dinos service reception and a number of key service errors by the Calgary team. Despite this, the Dinos were able to pull out the third set, only to lose a close fourth set and not-so-close fifth.
The Dinos have experienced a tough pre-season, losing many of their starting players to the injury bug early this year. Luckily, most of those players are well on their way to recovery and should be available for the first league match against Simon Fraser University. One bright note coming from the injuries was the play of young Laura Wilson, who, despite only being 17 years old, stood out among her more experienced peers. On Fri., Laura led the Dinos with 19 kills and 16 digs, leaving the team hopeful for the season.