The University of Calgary Dinos women’s volleyball team is currently on track to make the Canada West playoffs again this season, something the program has accomplished every year for over a decade.
The Dinos’s 2011–12 season came to an abrupt end in a best-of- three CW quarterfinal to the Trinity Western University Spartans two games to none.
The women’s team had a disappointing start to the season, losing all three matches in the Dino Cup. In the regular season so far, however, the women have been successful. With solid play going into the winter break — winning three of their last four games — the team posted a 6–6 record during the 2012 portion of the season.
The squad currently sits at seventh in the CW conference and in the final playoff spot with the University of Brandon Bobcats trailing the Dinos by just two points. In the second half of the season, the Dinos will be hoping to secure a playoff berth as well as move up the standings in order to gain an easier quarterfinal match-up.
Dinos head coach Natalie Schwartz is relying heavily on veteran leadership this season as she started the same six players in all 12 games. Of those six players, half of them are in their fifth year of eligibility. These players — Sarah Moncks, Lindsey Doland and Andrea Price — have a lot of responsibility this season for the Dinos.
However, Schwartz is getting production from a younger player as well. Second-year middle Courtney Dawson is leading the team in points scored with 174 and averages 2.76 kills per set. Schwartz’s consistent use of similar players has no doubt allowed the Dinos to build chemistry, something that should help the team compete in the final half of the season, especially as the team tries to put together a playoff run.
Though the Dinos entered the winter break winning two-straight against the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, the Dinos have struggled to put together an extended winning streak.
The team faces a big test the first week after the break with back-to-back home games against the University of Alberta Pandas, a team that has won eight-straight games and sits second in the standings.
These matches will give an important indication as to whether or not the team has made the necessary improvements to contend for the championship.
Overall, the Dinos season has been moderately successful so far. The women’s volleyball team is on pace to achieve a similar record this season and are currently in a position to make the playoffs and keep the streak alive.
Making it deep into the postseason would be a pleasant surprise, but seems unlikely at this point. It appears as though it will be another solid, but probably far from spectacular, season for the women’s volleyball team.