…men undaunted

By Ryan Laverty

The loving punishment starts now.

The men’s volleyball team closed out the first half of their season Nov. 30-Dec. 1 with a pair of fifth set losses at the hands of the University of Manitoba Bisons. The team fought hard throughout the weekend but did not see the fruition of their labours–something that has happened more often than not thus far.

"We’ve been to seven five-set matches this year and lost six of them," said Head Coach Greg Ryan. "All of them have been close. We aren’t getting blitzed by anyone but we do have to work on finishing the fifth game."

To get over that final frame hump Ryan and his boys will spend a lot of time in the Jack up until the team goes there separate ways for the holidays.

"Everyone has to put in eight hours before they go home," explained Ryan while taking a break from firing balls at his players from volleyball’s version of a 100 mph pitching machine. "They make their own schedules so it means a lot of time in the gym for me because everyone is coming in at different times.

"We’re not going to work too much on kills or jumping, were going to concentrate on passing, serving, digging. This is a time to improve technique."

Technique can always be improved upon but this season difficulties have mainly arisen from mental errors. Nonetheless, according to Dinos outside hitter Paul Armbruster, things should look up in the new year.

"We’ve split with UBC and Trinity, two teams we have to beat both nights if we want out of the conference," explained the first-year Dino/fifth-year player. "I think it had a lot to do with growing pains, but we’ve gotten consistently better and we’ll continue to improve in the second half."

The Dinos return to battle Jan. 4-5 when the team takes another shot at the T-birds.