Poised for victory

By Lawrence Bailey

They were the toast of the nation when the preseason opened and they remain atop the polls as the new season dawns.

The Dinos women’s volleyball team capped an impressive preseason run by dominating the Sask Cup Tournament in Saskatoon Oct. 10-12, going 5-1, their only loss coming at the hands of the University of Alberta Pandas. Despite dropping the round robin tilt, the Dinos still rolled to the finals where they made short work of the University of Regina Cougars, winning in straight sets (26-14, 25-16, 27-25).

"I’d probably be more worried if we weren’t making the mistakes we’re making in the preseason," explained Head Coach Kevin Boyles regarding the team’s penchant for unforced errors over the weekend. "The girls have an understanding of how good they can be–if they come into the game prepared.

"Our full expectation is to win our final three matches this year and be national champs," Boyles added, about heading into the season.

The Dinos kick off their national title quest against those same Pandas at the Jack Simpson Gymnasium with a pair of matches Thu., Oct. 23 and Sat., Oct. 25. The season openers will be the lone women’s matches at the University of Calgary’s annual volleyball extravaganza, the Husky Dino Cup, running Oct. 23-25.

Rally Points:

A vicious flu bug made it’s presence felt in Saskatoon, as rookie Christy James and starting setter Natalie Schwartz took ill Saturday night, with Schwartz spending the night and much of Sunday in the hospital being rehydrated. Ever the optimist, Boyles pointed to the stellar play of 17-year-old rookie backup setter Brittany Hutton in leading the Dinos to a pair of victories, knocking off the University of Manitoba Bisons in the semifinals and taking the title match from the Cougars later in the day.


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