Too early to count out women’s v-ball Dinos

By Kris Kotarski

The 1999 season does not look good for the University of Calgary women’s volleyball team. After a promising start, the Dinos took a plunge and find themselves near the basement of the Canada West division. Following two losses to the tough ubc Thunderbirds in Calgary, the Dinos set out to exciting Saskatoon to take on the seventh-ranked Huskies in a two-game set. They managed to split the two games, losing on Friday, but dominating the Saturday game 3-0.

A 1-3 record after facing the Thunderbirds and Huskies was certainly not what the team had hoped for–things would not get any easier. The Dinos’ next stop was a two-game set against the top-ranked University of Manitoba Bisons. It proved to be no easy task, as Calgary only managed to take one set losing 3-0 on Friday and 3-1 on Saturday.

The losses dropped the Dinos to a woeful 1-5 record. Calgary currently occupies the fourth spot in the Canada west division behind Saskatchewan, ubc and their next opponent, the University of Alberta Pandas.

"We’ve been inconsistent," said coach Kevin Boyles. "At times we’ve played well. We’ve really challenged some of the teams we’ve played. We’ve had a tough schedule to date. If we’d have been more consistent, we’d have had more success."

With three rookie starters, Boyles has a young team, but he refuses to blame that for the team’s struggles. In fact, he names the newcomers, Amanda Stepenko, Amanda Moppet and Sarah Onofrychuk as some of his standout players.

"I think at times the inexperience certainly has hurt us," said Boyles. "For example, Manitoba uses a complex offense, so it was tough to block against them. That comes from the lack of experience, but it’s certainly not an excuse."

Handling our unbeaten neighbours to the north will be no easy task, but the Dinos have something to prove and nothing to lose. They have to move up in the division to make the playoffs to deem their season a success. After this week, they get a visit from the last-place Trinity Western University Spartans, so a strong showing this week would certainly put Calgary back into the playoff hunt.