Lady v-ballers win big when it counts

By Chris Pedersen

The University of Calgary women’s volleyball team moved one step closer to the Canadian Interuniversity Sports championships with the defeat of the University of Regina Cougars at the Jack Simpson on Feb. 13-15, and a bronze medal win at the Canada West Final Four in Edmonton from Feb. 20-22.

They defeated the Cougars 2-0 in the best-of-three series, with scores of (25-15, 17-25, 25-14, 28-26) in the first match and (25-20, 22-25, 25-20, 25-20) in the second match.

The Dinos were able to dominate for the majority of Friday’s match, with slight let downs in the middle sets.

“I feel we played good except for the second set,” said Dinos left-side Julie Young. “I thought we played well as a team.”

Calgary opened Friday’s match with a dominating first set with help from a potent attack and multiple service aces from middle Laura Spence. They took a 16-9 lead into the second technical timeout and, with tough defence, cruised to the set win.

The second set saw Regina take the game to the Dinos, winning the set easily. The Dinos committed 12 errors in the set.

“I think that because we beat them by so much in the first set, we took a step back,” said right-side Holly Harper. “We can’t do that in the playoffs.”

The Dinos regained form in the third set, cruising to the win and never trailing.

With little excitement occurring in the opening sets, the fourth set proved to be a fitting climax to the evening. The set was tight until the end and the Dinos were able to take it by a mere two points. With the score at 24-21 and the Dinos ready to celebrate, the Cougars rallied off three straight points to tie the match. The Dinos were not able to end it until the sixth set point, finally winning 28-26. It was scary as Regina kept the set close, only making two mistakes at the end.

“It’s a little nerve-racking, but it’s mostly really fun,” said Harper. “It’s good going point-by-point against a good team like that.”

“I think we’ve all been in that situation before,” added Young. “They must have been scared as they made the last two errors. It’s really whose team has the guts.”

Harper made the most of her last outing at the Jack Simpson Gym with an inspired performance, adding 18 kills on the evening.

“It felt really good,” said Harper. “Regina is a good team and they don’t give up on anything.”

In Edmonton, the Dinos lost their first match to the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds. They rebounded and beat the University of Alberta Pandas in the bronze medal game to secure a spot in the CIS championships.

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