A new rivalry brews in the West

By Kris Kotarski

While Good versus Evil is the original epic feud, it is by no means the only one. Many others have formed since the dawn of time. A good example is East Coast rappers versus West Coast rappers, a battle which culminated in the double murders of Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur in 1997.

There’s also France versus Germany–a feud brewing since the Holy Roman Empire broke up in the years after Charlemagne’s death. From the soccer pitches of Munich, to the trenches of Belgium, this particular quarrel has been fought almost everywhere. Soon to be added to the list of epic feuds is the Dinos women’s volleyball team against their University of Manitoba counterparts.

"They’re the exact opposite of us," said Dinos captain Amanda Moppett, after the teams faced off twice at a tournament at the University of Saskatchewan last weekend. "They’re unemotional, tough-lookin’ and very steady."

While the Dinos get to be emotional, not tough lookin’ (which is a good thing) and unsteady, none of these traits seemed to help. It was the defending National Champions, Manitoba, who were victorious in their two meetings in Saskatoon.

"They’re a team of tough girls," said Moppett, after Calgary lost both matches 3-1. "We’re extremely emotional and we go on huge peaks while they play very consistent volleyball."

"They’re the most disciplined team in the country," added Dinos Head Coach Kevin Boyles. "I don’t think they’re better than us talent-wise but they’re steadier."

By beating Regina 3-0 and the University of Alberta 3-1, the Dinos showed they had an easy time with the other teams at the tourney. Calgary also added a 3-1 win over the hosts make it to the final where they dropped their second match of the weekend to Manitoba. After splitting the first two sets, the Dinos were up 21-17 in the third before they lost momentum and fell into what coach Boyles described as a "bad rut." Manitoba won the set and went on to take the next two to win the tournament.

The bright spot for the Dinos was the performance of rookie right side hitter Joanna Niemczewska who earned an all-star mention for her stellar play on the weekend.

"When my name was called, I just kind of stood there," she said with an embarrassed smile. "But I thought it was really encouraging."

"Our rookies have been great so far," said Boyles, obviously happy with her performance. "It’s really great to see."

Moppett, who was also an all-star, had some advice for her young teammate.

"She’s doing awesome," said the captain with a grin. "But she’s gotta get some kneepads on and play defence."

Next up for the Dinos is another date with Manitoba in front of a hometown crowd at the Husky Dino Cup on Oct. 26.

"It’s going to be awesome playing in front of all the fans," said Niemszewska. "We’re going to be out to get them."

Rally Points:

The Dinos were ranked first in the country going into last weekend’s play but move down to second with their two losses. They are one of the seven Canada West and Great Plains teams in the top 10. Manitoba is ranked fourth.

Krista Kinsman rejoined the Dinos this week after a summer with the Canadian National Team. After going to interesting places such as China, Kinsman will now have to settle for travel to Edmonton and the glitz and glamour of Whyte Ave.

The team’s regular season starts Nov.2-3, on the road against the University of Alberta.

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