Just out of reach

The battle of Alberta continued its long tradition Nov. 7-8 as the Dinos opened their season losing a doubleheader against the University of Alberta Golden Bears.

Friday night saw the Bears have their way with the Dinos in a three-game romp. The Dinos battled hard in the opening game, showing their practice and preparation paid off. Alberta only led by one point during the break, 16-15, with the Dinos looking to finish them off after tying the game 20-20 late in the game.

But a costly service error triggered a 25-22 loss. Even though they dropped the game, the Dinos still looked competitive, giving hope for the next two games.

This was not to be however, as flat play, poor passing and hasty execution resulted in very convincing Bears victories in the last two games.

Looking to redeem themselves as legitimate national contenders, the Dinos came out with a more relaxed attitude in Saturday’s match. The first game ended in a disappointing 25-17 loss, but the second game proved to be a real momentum-shifter as the complacent Bears came up against a Dinos squad that refused to quit. The game ended in a 25-22 win for the Bears, but the game, and possibly the match, looked like it was in the hands of the Dinos.

“We lost the first two sets but we felt we had the momentum,” said power hitter Rob Ellis. “It sounds weird, I know, but we just maintained our level and they dropped off, and we just kept pushing the envelope.”

The second game was a wake-up call for the Dinos, as their defense came to life and strong hitting by players such as Sean Kendall opened up the match for the first time. The Dinos went on to win the next two games, looking to close the match out in the fifth game.

The Bears thought differently however, as they brought their game to another level with strong serving and passing, while running a variety of quick plays in the deciding game. With Ellis’ strong serves, the Dinos came within striking distance of the Bears, but it was not enough, and the Bears finished off with the win, 15-12.

The difference between the two games of the doubleheader were quite noticeable, with the Dinos making key position changes and adjustments to the Bears’ offence.

“I’d say the passing [was adjusted] for sure, last night we just could not run our offence,” said Kendall. “We also switched our positions and had a lot more fight.”

Thus, the first two matches ended in defeat, and the Dinos still need to make the necessary adjustments.

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