Men’s volleyball squad sweeps Huskies on home opener weekend

By Courtenay Adams

The men’s volleyball team sustained their momentum gained during pre-season play as they swept the University of Saskatchewan Huskies at home this past weekend.

Though they dominated in the regular season opener match Friday night, taking the Huskies 3-0 (25-17, 25-21, 25-22), Saturday’s outcome was a little less assured. Despite some early set backs, the Dinos managed to rally in the third set to take the match 3-2 (22-25, 23-25, 25-20, 25-21, 15-11).

The victory over the Huskies on Friday night left the Dinos resting on their laurels as they headed onto the court Saturday. During the first two sets, they suffered from a handful of errors in communication and a stubborn Husky defence.

The Dinos service game, as noted by head coach Rod Durrant, also proved too easy for the opposing team to handle.

“We made [the serves], but we were serving right at guys,” he said. “Games three, four and five we started hitting the seam a bit more. They started passing a little more off the net and that allowed us to block a little bit better.”

Durrant noted that the comeback during the latter half of the match stands as a testimony to the club’s growth in maturity. Mentally rebounding in the third set allowed the team to attack with more clarity.

“I give our team a lot of credit,” Durrant said. “They just didn’t give up and that’s what we’ve been trying to emphasize. Don’t give up anything and keep going. We did that. That’s a good team over there and we were able to stay together and not get panicky. When you come back from being down two-zero, that’s a good come back. Our guys were coachable throughout the night and because of that they were rewarded with a win.”

Libero Tom Porta was quick to point out that the victory was a result of the team’s ability to come together in the end and keep one another motivated.

“It was a bench effort,” he said. “The first two sets we took them lightly, but then we made a couple subs and the bench just got into it. We brought energy. It was a combined effort and that’s why we got the win tonight.”

He noted the team’s depth aided them during the match as substitute players could come on formidably in the instance of a starter losing his edge.

“It’s a tryout every week to see who’s on the floor, but a really competitive atmosphere makes for a better team. We have a really deep team, and we’re all pretty even, skill-wise. So, if one guy’s struggling, we can pick him up.”

Porta transferred from Mount Royal College and is in his first season with the Dinos. He is confident about his team’s prospects.

“These are big wins for us because they’re the first two home games, and the first two games of the season,” he said. “We got a really strong group this year and pre-season was pretty good. So, I’m really looking forward to [the year].”

As for Durrant’s outlook on the upcoming away matches against the Trinity Western Spartans, he’s taking it in stride.

“We’ve got to improve again,” he said. “They finished fourth in the playoffs last year and they’re a very good team. But we’ll enjoy our victory tonight and maybe start working on that on Monday morning.”

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