By Douglas Long
There was no easing up this past weekend as the University of Calgary men’s volleyball team extended their win streak to 12-0 after trampling the Trinity Western University Spartans in a two-game road series.
“We came out strong and our efforts proved to be valuable,” stated men’s volleyball head coach Rod Durrant, who is currently in his fifth season coaching the Dinos.
After dropping the opening set of their Jan. 21 match 15-25 to a seemingly dominant Spartans team, the Dinos took a tight second set 25-22. Calgary kept their momentum going and carried a close third set by 25-22. The Dinos won a decisive fourth set 25-20, their biggest margin of victory that night, to take the match 3-1.
The Dinos bettered their performance the next night with a victory in straight sets. The games were once again close with the Dinos taking the first two sets 29-27 and 25-23. The Dinos were able to finish off the Spartans 25-21 in the third set to win 3-0.
After winning back-to-back games versus TWU, the Dinos clinched a playoff spot and now sit atop the standings with a perfect 12-0 record. The Dinos are hoping to keep first place to guarantee themselves a first round bye into the final four.
“The team that finishes first will automatically receive a first round bye and the right to host the Canada West Championship. This is definitely a spot we want to finish in,” said Durrant. “The players are very excited for the upcoming games, we have maintained the same consistent attitude all year and as a team we are very much so looking forward to the next games.”
Even though the Dinos are currently undefeated, there will be no looking back. Four of the six remaining games are at home and couldn’t come at a better time.
“We know that we are going to have some competitive opponents and we are going to prepare one game at a time, like we have done all season,” said Durrant.
The Dinos will move on to play the remaining six games, against the three other top four teams in CW– second place U of A, third place Manitoba and fourth place TRU.
“The players know they have some tough games ahead of them, and the ability to stay focused is going to be an integral role in the upcoming weeks,” said Durrant.
The Dinos so far this season dominated in almost all of the stat categories. They are currently leading CW in hitting percentages, assists and kills. This comes as no surprise, as the Dinos have pretty much dominated every opponent they have faced. The Dinos will now move on to play a two game home-stand versus a tough Thompson Rivers University squad.
“Kamloops always has a tough competitive team,” stated Durrant. “We are going to prepare for them just like any other game. The team is very healthy and excited for this weekend’s home game.”
It was close when the Dinos and TRU met in the preseason, with the Dinos winning 3-2. The two teams will play on Jan. 28 and 29 in the Jack Simpson Gym, at 8:00 p.m. on both nights.