Men’s Volleyball

By Chris Johns

The University of Calgary men’s volleyball squad toppled Goliath one night and fell apart the next.

On Fri., Jan. 11, the Dinos gave their fans an amazing 3–2 come-from-behind win over the second-ranked Saskatchewan Huskies only to follow it up with a 3–0 defeat the very next night. Why did two different Dinos teams show up?

"I have no idea, I can’t get inside their heads," said Head Coach Greg Ryan, obviously frustrated after Saturday’s loss. "If you’re prepared to play, then you don’t just come out for the first half of the first game, you come out for the whole match. You got to be that way every day. Either you have character or you don’t."

Ryan was miffed by his team’s inability to bounce back after blowing an 18–11 lead in the first set. Calgary dropped three straight sets to the Huskies and at times didn’t look like they belonged on the same floor as their visiting foes.

"Last night, we got ourselves into a bad spot to start off with and they gave us a break and we came back and made the best of that opportunity," said Dinos middle Warren Jerred on Friday’s win. "Tonight, we started breeding a lot of negativity, guys getting tense, yelling at each other, not doing their job. Bottom line is, we should have cleared our heads and gone back to our game plan but we didn’t. We just went away from what got us the win last night. Too many guys just trying to win the game by themselves on one play and it doesn’t work that way.

"Guys weren’t playing within themselves," added power hitter Andy Holland who paced the red and gold with 16 kills Saturday night. "Guys were coming out of their own game trying to win to do their own thing.

"The whole night is what’s disappointing," he added. "We couldn’t maintain a lead or any sort of consistency throughout the night."

Holland had 14 kills Friday night and helped spearhead the comeback with all-star Denis Zhukov who had 19 kills of his own. Solid blocking helped the Dinos in their comeback, and fittingly, the last point of a thrilling 15–13 final set came on a Eric von Engelbrechten block.

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