A season of follies

When a coach sums up a season with descriptors such as “fallen off the turnip truck” and “unbelievably annoying,” it is fairly evident that something has gone horribly awry. Anyone in attendance at the Dinos men’s volleyball team’s matches Jan. 20-21 could attest to that. The squad hosted the second-ranked Trinity Western University Spartans and it wasn’t pretty.

Friday night’s match got off to a rough start. The Dinos seemed to have dozed off during the national anthem and were spanked 25-13 before anyone realized what was happening. The second set was marginally better; the home side managed to score three more points, losing 25-16.

Just as fans began to grow restless and the referee heckling looked like it might get out of hand, the Dinos came out swinging in the third set, playing good defense and running their attack with confidence. They were up 18-16 at the second technical break, forcing the Spartans to play catch-up for the first time. Trading points down the home stretch, the teams provided some much-needed suspense with Calgary having two match points. Unfortunate service errors on both occasions allowed the Spartans to squeak by 29-27 to take the 3-0 victory.

Blake Adair led the Dinos with 11 kills while Rob Ellis chipped in nine digs. The real story was on the baseline, however, as the Dinos recorded 13 service errors on the night.

Saturday’s match proved to be much of the same. The Spartans completed the weekend sweep with three straight sets (25-18, 25-18, 25-19). While the scores were closer, the Dinos had to scramble for every point, recording a 19 per cent kill efficiency to the visitors’ 51 per cent.

The third set was again the most entertaining as the home side was only down 16-14 at the second technical break. But TWU stifled any momentum the Dinos may have been building and went on to win the set handily.

Eric von Engelbrechten paced the team with nine kills. Paul Albert provided seven digs in the loss.

The Dinos play their final home games of the season Jan. 27-28 against the 1-13 Thompson Rivers University WolfPack. Games are at 7 p.m. in the Jack Simpson Gymnasium. The Dinos are just two points ahead of the WolfPack in the standings, so will have to fight to stay above the bottom rung of the ladder.

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