The University of Calgary Dinos have played a two-game series on eight different occasions. In that span, they've faced six different opponents and six times they have come away with a weekend split. The conlusion? They're somewhere between the gutter and the stars.
"We have to be reasonably happy with winning on the road, especially in the gym that we played in with the really low roof and the really loud crowd," said Head Coach Greg Ryan after the Dinos split a pair of 3--2 matches with Trinity Western University. "We are starting to play as a really mature group. I can see us making progress."
Despite 21 kills from Denis Zhukov, Calgary lost in the last set on Fri., Jan. 18. However, they came back the next night to beat the Spartans 15--11 in the deciding set on the strength of Andy Holland's 20 kills.
"We knew we were in for a dogfight in the small gym at TWU. The fans are relentless, they're on you all the time," said Holland after his team dropped the third and fourth sets before pulling out the fifth. "We need to learn how to finish out a match. We're a young team and we have to learn to finish when we're leading."
Last weekend also marked the un-retirement of middle Wes Montgomery who decided to play out his last year of eligibility in the second half of the season.
"He increases our team speed by about 50 per cent," said Ryan. "It made a difference for the other hitters. As soon as you get someone who's as fast as Wes is that gives more opportunities for the other players.
"He's just an old guy coming back, and doing really well for us," explained Holland. "By old guy, I mean in a sense that he's experienced and I think he's done wonders for the team."