Youngsters nail Cougars

By Kevin Rothbauer

It may have only been the first series of a long season, but the Dinosaurs women’s volleyball team is already proving that the nay sayers may be wrong.

With an inexperienced squad of only nine players (up from eight a few weeks ago), many insiders had already counted the Dinos out. The team isn’t going to go down without a fight, however, and they started the fight by sending the University of Regina Cougars home with their tails between their legs.

Friday’s match saw the Dinos win 3-1, with game scores of 15-9, 10-5, 15-13 and 15-12.The offence was balanced, with three players hitting double figures in the kill column. Marcy Oakes led with 17, followed by Agata Woloszyn’s 11 and Amanda Conly’s 10. Janet Pauls contributed nine kills and led the Dinos defensively with 16 digs. Woloszyn added 15 digs, and Oakes had 12.

Saturday’s match followed a similar pattern and the Dinos won again by a score of 3-1 (15-8, 9-15, 15-9,15-0). Woloszyn topped the kills list with 13, followed by Conly’s nine and Oakes’ eight. Pauls again led defensively with 15 digs, while Woloszyn had 10.

Without a doubt, it was a positive season opener.

“We had a good weekend for sure,” said Head Coach Marla Taylor, before listing the main reasons for the back-to-back victories. “We kept our middle attack going; it had been really inconsistent until now. All our hitters contributed. Our defence worked really well against this team. We served really well-we put them in a lot of trouble.”

All things considered, the Dinos should have been terribly nervous going into the Regina series. The Cougars were ranked higher in the national standings. They’re a much taller, more experienced team and, above all, have dominated the Dinos in recent exhibition matches.

“We had a tough time this year with our pre-season and had already been defeated by Regina three times, so they were on the hunt for another win,” said Conly, player of the match on Friday. “We just were not going to let them beat us. We know we are a good team and it finally came together for us this weekend.”

The confidence was evident to everyone in the small Jack Simpson crowd. From the opening serve, the Dinos appeared composed and energetic, and looked like they wanted to be on the court, all things that other Calgary squads have lacked in recent years.

“We had a lot of fun playing, and that really made it worth it,” said Conly.

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