I still remember the shortest volleyball match I ever witnessed. It was Sat., Nov. 17, 2001 and the University of Calgary Dinos women's team embarrassed the Trinity Western University Spartans 3-0 in a mere 31 minutes. They actually took the second set 25-6. Needless to say, Trinity doesn't like coming to Calgary.
Which brings us to the pair of matches Jan. 23-24 at the Jack Simpson Gymnasium.
The lady Dinos were expected to dominate, they are tops in the land while the Spartans are among the worst in Canada West. Thankfully, they did just that, taking Friday's match 3-0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-19) and closing out their perfect weekend 3-0 (25-13, 28-26, 25-13) on Saturday.
"It's hard to go from playing [the University of Alberta] to playing Trinity," explained second-year Dino Janelle Findlay. "Coming into this weekend ranked #1 we had everything to lose, and taking both matches 3-0 is huge."
Findlay, grinning ear-to-ear, also expressed unbridled happiness about the victories due to the trash-talking nature of the women from Langley, British Columbia.
Heading into a pair of home matches Jan. 30-31 against the University of Manitoba Bisons, the Dinos are as confident as they have been all year. They are also bolstered by the return to form of middle Jill Friend and the improving health of captain Amanda Moppett, who has been battling bronchitis in the second half of the season.
"I'm always a player's player," smiled Moppett. "I may be coughing and nearly dying, but I'll still come ready to play."
With the wins over TWU, the Dinos secured home court in the first round of the Canada West playoffs, however, they still need to win their remaining four matches and hope for one U of A loss to clinch home court throughout the post-season.
"We haven't always been doing what we should be doing all year," commented Dinos Head Coach Kevin Boyles of the fact his squad beat a weaker team as definitively as they were expected to. "This is our gym, and we're starting to believe nobody can beat us in our house."
Kicking someone when they're down isn't always nice, but it's often funny. You can imagine my incredible joy, then, when the following barb was overheard in the stands Saturday after a TWU "serving specialist" entered the match and promptly served into the net.
"If that's her specialty," quipped a smarmy Dinos supporter, "I'd hate to see the rest of her game."
Yes, we're a cocky bunch, but this weekend gave us good reason to be just that.