Perfect season dreams die

By Rhiannon Kirkland

The Dinos men’s volleyball team went into last weekend with the chance at a perfect season. Unfortunately, their hopes were dashed by the University of Alberta, who handed them their only two defeats of the season.

“There was a sense of disappointment,” said men’s volleyball head coach Rod Durrant. “We had high expectations and there was a feeling that we were playing very well. U of A came in here and played better. First night went five and the next night was three straight. It’s an opportunity for us to get better and we have an opportunity to do that. It’s not like it’s the end of the season.”

Friday’s game was close with the Bears beating the Dinos 3-2. Alberta opened the match strong and took the first set 19-25. The Dinos kicked it up a notch in the next two sets winning 25-21 and 25-22. Alberta produced a comeback taking the last two sets 25-18 and 8-15 and winning the game.

Graham Vigrass had 18 kills and Allen Meek had 14 kills for the Dinos. Jay Blankenau and Blake Giles each had eight digs.

For the Bears, Spencer Leiske had 12 kills and Jay Olmstead 14. Erik Mattson had 17 digs.

“We missed 18 serves on Friday night and then the next night we missed one. So I would say the scores reflect that it was closer on Friday than it was on Saturday, but there just some different areas that we broke down on Saturday,” said Durrant.

Saturday’s game would prove to be less competitive with the Bears winning 3-0. They took the first two sets 25-19 and 25-20. After this the Dinos came to life and produced a close set, which Alberta eventually won 28-26.

“It was a few things that we did differently on Saturday that resulted in us not being able to be successful in sets one and two, but set three was 28-26 and we played better ball in set three,” said Durrant. “Our service didn’t hold up the way we had hoped and we just made too many hitting errors — we had double digits in two out of the three sets.”

Vigrass and Curtis James led the Dinos with 13 and eight kills respectively. Giles had eight digs and Blankenau had seven.

Olmstead led the Bears with 12 kills and Mattson had eight digs.

The Dinos play UBC in the first round of the CW playoffs. They finish the season with a 16-2 conference record and are ranked second in CW and third in CIS.

“They’re a good team,” said Durrant. “They play really hard on the defensive end, they don’t give you a whole lot on the serve. We expect a playoff match.”

With the two wins over the Dinos, Alberta finish the season ranked first in CW and will host the CW final four.

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