For me the women’s volleyball team teeter tottered between a B+ and an A- before I finally settled on giving these ladies the A-. Here’s why.
First, let’s talk performance. For a team to go to Nationals three years in a row and walk away a third time empty handed, it would be hard to see why they deserved an A-. This was a team that was expected to roll over their competitors right from the start of the season, but were hit hard with a reality check and lost more often than years past.
So after a start that was less than par for such a talented squad, the girls decided to suck it up and play to win, without expecting the wins to be handed to them. They fought through the loss of setter Natalie Schwartz (which happened in their first game of the season), rookie Anna Columbos (torn ligaments in the knee), the pain felt by middle Jill Friend (stress fractures in her shins right before playoffs) and the inexperience of some new faces to the floor.
Still, an A- might seem high. But this team finished second in the Canada West Conference, placed third overall in CIS and still made it to the bronze medal game at Nationals–despite all the adversity.
This team also carried two players that just dominated as the season went on. Janelle Findlay was named Canada West and CIS Rookie of the Year, and was named to both Canada West and All-Canadian Rookie teams. Team Captain Amanda Moppett was named Canada West Player of the Year and was also named as one of the Canada West and CIS First Team All-Stars. But that’s not all. Co-Captain Tracy Keats also managed to claim a spot as a Canada West Second Team All-Star.
I’m sure that if one team was allowed to claim as many awards as possible, this team would have almost all of them. But I guess you can only give them some, and give the rest to Quebec in the interest of fairness.
With a team that expected to come home with nothing less than a national title, it would have only been a national title that could have persuaded me to give these Dinos an A. Regardless of the fact that the team took a fellow writer and I to a banquet full of gorgeous women and for dinner at Nationals in Quebec City, it’s still only an A-.