Fourteen members of the cash-strapped Dinos tennis team squeezed into a 15-seat bus and traveled down to Washington over reading break to play a series of doubles and singles matches against four American schools.
The little bus they went in had enough space to fit their tennis racquets, but evidently not enough room for the Dinos' A-game. Only the women's doubles squads were able to collect any wins during their week of matches in the alliterative city of Walla Walla, Washington.
Co-captains Kelly Gordon and Amanda Szpecht defeated a Whitman College duo in an exciting pro sets tie-breaker, 9-8 (7-4). Amanda's sister Heather, a Dinos alumni combined with rookie Kasia Kwiatkowska to win against Spokane's Gonzaga University in straight pro sets 8-4.
The Dinos were unable to win any matches against the other two American schools they played, the University of Idaho and Lewis and Clark College.
While the Dinos didn't fare too well against the Yanks, they got a chance to see how serious the American schools are about tennis compared to the University of Calgary. On campus courts, plenty of funding and overseas recruiting make the American schools more competitive, noted Gordon. Despite their poor results, Gordon felt the team bonded more over reading week than they had all season so far.
All the tennis Dinos will be piling into some cramped transportation again in March to travel to a tournament at the University of Alberta.