So close, yet so far away

By Katy Anderson

Despite close matches both nights, the University of Calgary Dinos men’s volleyball team walked away losing six sets to one against the Brandon Bobcats at the Jack Simpson Gym this weekend.

Friday’s game saw four close matches, each game decided by a spread of just two points.

“We have to realize that we need to perform when it is close and we did not perform in games three and four,” said Dinos head coach Rod Durrant.

Durrant added that although the boy volleysaurs both train hard and have ambition, the young team faces an uphill battle as twelve out of fifteen players are new this year.

Despite an injury on his hitting hand, Omar Langford led the Dinos with 20 kills Fri. night and 15 on Sat. Langford has been with the team just three months after playing with Mount Royal College for two years.

“I broke my finger a week ago playing volleyball,” said Langford. “It’s fine. It doesn’t really bother me that much. You just gotta fight through it.”

Throughout both nights, Langford battled the Bobcats’ Paul Sanderson for the lead in kills, going point-for-point in Saturday’s third set, which went 29-31.

“[The Dinos] played pretty good,” said Sanderson. “It was hard. Look at the scores. It was 23-25, 25-23 and so on and so forth. That’s a grind and we just got it in the end.”

Durrant explained that Langford played well, but he–like the rest of the team–needs to be more consistent throughout the match.

“Omar was pretty solid and he’s come a long ways,” said Durrant. “He’s doing what he needs to do on the right side of the court for us to be successful.”

Saturday’s games weren’t as close and the Bobcats walked away with all three sets.

“We didn’t play the best we can play,” said Durrant. “We’re young and once we figure out that every match is important, every match is an opportunity, and you need to play your best to successful. At the end of the day, it was another learning match for us.”

U of C Haskayne School of Business professor Dr. Robert Schulz helps Durrant recruit some of his players and comes out to nearly every game.

“I would have thought they’d do a little better, they beat UBC last week on the coast,” said Schulz. “The men have to work hard to make the playoffs. Omar was great. He’s got a lot of energy and a lot of velocity and makes you come out and watch.”

Durrant explained having fans come out to the games makes for a great environment that athletes can thrive in.

“For them to play at home in front of their family and friends and show what they put a lot of time in and every day–two, three hours a day–in training and weights and rehab and getting ready to play in front of this crowd is what it’s all about for these guys,” said Durrant.

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