By Jon Roe
The road to Winnipeg for Calgary leads through B.C. Though counter-intuitive and downright geographically inaccurate, that’s how it currently stands for the Dinos women’s volleyball team as they look to move on to the Canada West final four by taking out the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds in a Canada West quarter-final playoff series Feb. 16-18.
“In the UBC matches, despite how poorly we played, were a lot tighter than you think,” said head coach Kevin Boyles, referring to the two games the Dinos dropped against the T-Birds on home court two weeks ago. “That first set on Saturday could’ve gone either way. We went to five on Friday, without us playing very good ball.”
Since the CW adopted its current final four format in 2002/03, the Dinos have faced the T-Birds in the CW playoffs three times going 2-1. All three of those meetings came in the CW final four. Though that record seems favourable, the Dinos have not had any luck against the T-Birds lately, dropping all three of their playoff meetings since 2004/05, including two heart-breaking losses in the CIS semi-finals.
“The UBC team we’re playing this weekend is completely different than the one we saw last year,” said Boyles. “We’ve been in the national semi-finals going on five years now. We should have lots of experience, we should know what it takes.”
But if the Dinos stop the T-Birds here, they won’t have to face them in the CIS championships. The Dinos are going there regardless of what happens this weekend, but for the T-Birds, the road to the ’07 CIS championships in Calgary leads through Calgary.