Volleyball women swept by Pandas

By Kevin Rothbauer

The 1-7 record held by the Dinos women’s volleyball team is a little deceiving. In the first four weeks of the season, the Dinos played four of the top 10 teams in the country. That hasn’t given the Dinos much of a chance, considering they’re still coming together.

Last weekend, the Dinos had the pleasure of hosting the second-ranked University of Alberta Pandas. The Dinos were beaten 3-0 in both matches, but coach Kevin Boyles wasn’t entirely disappointed in the team’s performance.

"We played pretty average on Friday night, but we played very well on Saturday night," he summed up.

Friday’s games saw the Dinos lose by scores of 25-16, 25-16 and 25-12, but Saturday’s results were much closer: 25-20, 25-23 and 25-17.

"On Saturday we made good adjustments to their blocks and defense," said Boyles. "[The Dinos] did a good job of following the game plan. We had legitimate chances to win a game."

Although Friday’s match was a write-off for many reasons, Boyles drew some positive aspects from Saturday’s match, including a number of individual performances. Middle blockers Joanna Pollonais and Sarah Onofrychuk received praise, as did the Dinos’ setters, particularly rookie Amanda Stepenko.

"Saturday was probably the best the setters have played all year," said Boyles. "Amanda ran a creative offense and made good choices."

The Dinos close out the first half of the season this weekend against the Trinity Western University Spartans. This is the √ěrst-ever visit to the University of Calgary by a TWU team. The Spartans are the first addition to the Canada West conference since 1970, and, fortunately for the Dinos, they play like an expansion team, which could mean two valuable wins.

"We’re hoping for a little relief," stated Boyles. "The reality is that we’re not at the level of the top five teams in the country. Whether you considering a good thing or a bad thing, the top three teams in the country are in our conference. It can be a great thing, because when you’re playing the best, that’s only going to make you better, but it’s a little disappointing to go 1-7 to start the season.

The interesting thing is, we’re 1-7, but we’re still in a good position to make the playoffs."

The playoffs. may hinge on this weekend’s series with the Spartans. Games go Friday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

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