V-ball predictions

A lesson on the nature of sports critics: they can’t help but give their opinion. Fearing nothing, they willingly raise their voices above the match recaps of the sports section while risking one or both feet in their mouths.

That said, let me suggest where the women and men of Dinos volleyball are headed.

Just two weeks into the season, there are a couple of patterns emerging that may dominate the rest of the year. Over that short time, the University of Calgary teams have not yet competed in their home gym and have faced the pressures of beginning a new season on the road.

The men came home this week from the University of British Columbia with their second two-match trumping of another Canada West volleyball team. Against the Canadian Intercollegate Athletic Union’s ninth-ranked Thunder-birds, the Dinos proved they have the stuff needed to stay high in the top 10, taking wins of 3-0 and 3-1.

The women, on the other hand, seemed to take a bit more complex approach to winning. A tough split against the CIAU’s top-ranked women T-Birds demonstrated the problems that may plague U of C’s women this year. Don’t get me wrong, the Dinos women should take pride in trouncing Trinity Western two weeks ago and in their tie against UBC. Saying that they’re looking good would be pretty darn close to accurate. But, unfortunately, some point gaps (such as a 25-13 set for UBC on Friday) have highlighted what Head Coach Kevin Boyles calls "inconsistencies."

"Our passing really let us down," he elaborated.

Luckily for the Dinos, aggressive play offensively and defensively made up for the passing problem on Friday to force a 3-2 win for the U of C, but on Saturday that tactic fell apart to give the T-Birds a straight three-set triumph.

"We had an opportunity to get both [matches]; we let them go," conceded Boyles, realizing that if the team doesn’t come together at the crucial moment, any hope of winning can fall apart.

Boyles has a card up his sleeve to be played in two weeks in the form of southern import Krista Kins-mann. Her experience, garnered while playing the past four years for Oregon State in the National Collegiate Athletic Association, should give the Dinos a shot in the arm that could make those inconsistencies go away. Until then, the Dinos have the next couple of weekends at home to work out the problems that caused the "off weekend" in B.C.

The Dinos men have some very solid prospects and the future holds mixed feelings for the women. As can be seen from their legitimate competition with UBC, the women have a lot of talent but if they can’t come together to take some predictable wins (minus the devastating point gaps), a tied weekend with the Thunderbirds may be as close to the top as they get. But please, make me put my foot in my mouth. I hope you can.

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