By Jo Wynn
They’ve still got it. That’s what the Dinos women’s volleyball team showed last weekend at the University of Regina’s tournament. The team opened on Friday to a bittersweet beginning, beating the U of R Cougars 3-0, but losing to the University of Alberta Pandas 1-3. After Calgary won the first set, the Pandas came back to win the next three sets.
According to Robyn Horner, “that’s what pre-season’s all about. We tried some new things and we lost our focus. We don’t plan on losing to them again this season.”
Not all hope was lost though, as those Pandas were squashed by the University of Manitoba Bisons 1-3. The Dinos beat U of M 3-1 on Saturday. The game against the Bison’s showed that not only can our girls lead, they can make a comeback.
“We were down and we fought back to win it,” Holly Harper explained.
This is something the team has the capability to do all season, fight.
The rest of the tournament was a success for the team, winning the rest of their games against the University of Saskatchewan Huskies and the University of Winnipeg Wesmen.
“Everyone played really well,” said power Janelle Findlay. “Robyn had a really stellar weekend and all the rookies played great. Holly put up a great show and really fit in with the Dino mould.”
Who else shone over the weekend? Horner put it most aptly, commenting: “Jo was Jo.” She was referring to star player Joanna Niemczewska, who is “always going to shine.”
Another very important thing the team is taking away from the weekend is confidence.
“Regina was a defining weekend on how deep our bench is, and with two of our vets benched with injury [Reid Brodie and Natalie Schwartz], it really showed the transition of players was seamless,” commented Findlay.
Leaving the “technical volleyball” side alone for a moment, another key factor to this team’s success grew last weekend: Their ability to have a damn good time.
Harper, a rookie, when asked about first game nerves said: “It felt really good playing with them, once I started I was having too much fun to be nervous.”
This goes for on and off the court, take it from one who has partied with these girls, they know how to have a good time. Don’t believe me? You can see it when they play, the genuine love for the game. So keep your eyes out during Dino Cup in October and watch these girls dominate. What’s in store for the near future? Next weekend the team heads to Edmonton to get their revenge on the Pandas.