With a national title under their spandex, memories of trailer trash themes and "Journey" filled Den nights, three Dinos women's volleysaur middles flee the coop to enter the unknown: life after the Dinos. Leaving the team lacking middles and size on the court, these three players will be remembered long after they're gone.
First up is Reid Brodie, who fled the mountains and the University College of the Cariboo to grace the Dinos with her presence in 2002. Brodie was a consistent powerhouse on the court, playing three solid seasons with the team.
"Reid is the most successful transfer I've ever seen," according to Head Coach Kevin Boyles. "To come from college and become one of the best in Canada and CIS is phenomenal.
With a gold medal from the 2003-2004 national championship and two CIS All-Star nods racked up, what is next for this multi-talented athlete--who speaks four languages fluently?
"If you could answer that for me, I'd love it," Brodie laughed.
She has applied to grad schools for speech pathology, and in the meantime is trying out for the National A team in the summer. Despite the excitement ahead, Brodie knows she will miss the team.
"[They're] the 13 best friends I've ever had. We have the reputation of having most fun in Canada and I think we prove it," she claimed. "Going into a team without that will be a big change."
Not only will it be a big change for the departing players, but for the rest of the team that returns in the fall as well. Boyles knows he's taking a hit.
"All three are excellent personalities and I loved having them on the team," he admitted. "We'll miss what they brought to the court: strength, size, and physical play."
Also a stowaway from the Cariboo is Robyn Horner, who began with the Dinos in 2003 after three years at UCC. Robo, as her team affectionately calls her, is being torn from the team due to eligibility, but will be continuing school next year to finish her degree in communications.
Horner had been a force to reckon with this season, coming in with big blocks and solid serves. Despite the disappointing loss in the semis at this year's nationals, Horner still has many good memories, including some highlights she'll never forget.
"Saturday morning practices, but mostly the relationships you build with everyone," she recalled as some of her favourite memories.
What's up next for Robo?
"I have a year left, so school, working... who knows?" commented Horner, who knows one thing for sure. "I want to play beer league. It's time for some non-competitive volleyball."
While the beer league sounds appealing, Boyles hopes that Horner will continue building on the second half of this season when she was approaching the level she's capable of. He dubs her "one of the best middles in the country."
Another departure from the team due to eligibility is Sarah "Pipes" Onofrychuk, who puts bodybuilders to shame with her impressive one armed pushups. Pipes started with the Dinos back in the day, and after a year off in 2001-2002, Pipes came back to the court with a vengeance.
"She came back much better, and she knew she wanted to play," remarked Boyles on Pipes' breakout play since 2002.
The Arts and Sociology major is looking ahead to playing baseball more competitively, as well as applying to the Calgary Police Service in the future.
Where can you find her?
"I'll be at every home game next year with a beer in my hand. I'll be at Nationals for sure," Pipes foretold.
With three key players gone, there's no telling what next year will bring. But with national championships coming to the Jack Simpson Gymnasium, the girls have a secure spot and will surely put on a spectacle worth spectating.