By Carly McKay
The team definitely boasted some talented individuals, including former members of the junior national team, several provincial champions and even a Canadian Colleges Athlete Association All-Canadian in Rob Ellis. Led by Sean Kendal’s 123 kills, Tyler Fraser’s 62 digs, and Ellis’ monster serve, the Dinos posted some pretty decent numbers all year. Unfortunately, injury shuffled many starters in and out of the lineup, but those who managed to suit up on any given night proved they could be competitive in the uber-tough Canada West conference.
Battling injury and illness all season, the guys still managed to score some key wins against tough opponents–including one against the CIS silver-medalist Trinity Western University Spartans. Every game saw a spectacular crashing-into-the-bench dive by Glen Handley or an acrobatic maneuver at the net by Eric von Engelbrechten. The team never gave up when there was a chance at victory. If a season could be decided on effort alone, the Dinos would have kicked some serious ass.
Based on his experience, Greg Ryan looked poised to take his team all the way to the finals at the outset. Unfortunately, 20 years at the helm of the Dinos program and 13 berths at the national championships were not enough to propel this season’s team to anything better than a 6-14 record. Although there were fleeting moments of brilliance, like throwing rookie Cam Main into the mix late in the season, something just wasn’t clicking for Ryan this time around.
In a nutshell, there wasn’t much of it. Instead, they came oh-so-close week after week before dropping the last few points to wind up on the receiving end of some severe beatings.
That being said, some players made some huge personal strides over the course of the season. Brian Nelis rose to hitting dominance and Cam Forster had consistent backrow play. If the younger players can continue to build upon this year’s experience, the Dinos should find themselves back in the playoff mix next spring.
Singer/Band: Velvet Revolver. A bunch of superstar individuals, but the live show still leaves something to be desired.