V-ball results expose deeper inadequacies

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First, the good news. The Dinos men's volleyball team came back from two embarrassing losses to the U of A Golden Bears to split a pair of 3-2 matches against the UBC Thunderbirds.

The bad news? The weekend split meant the Dinos lost to UBC again, a feat no one but Calgary has managed to accomplish this season.

The 3-5 Dinos are certainly in trouble. Calgary did come back to beat UBC after losing the previous night, but a program of the U of C's calibre should not be in that position in the first place.

The Dinos now sit sixth in the conference, an unfamiliar spot for a team who had a realistic chance at a national title just two seasons ago.

The problem? There are many.

Reigning CIS Player of the Year Denis Zhukov isn't with the squad yet, but the Dinos didn't manage a winning record last season when Zhukov was in the lineup all year. In fact, last year's Dinos split with the Thunderbirds as well.

Also, Head Coach Greg Ryan's recruiting has slipped in the last couple of years. Current Dinos like Scott Thomas or Steve Brand are good players, but they fail to strike fear into opponents' hearts like Bill Byma or Jeremy Wilcox did.

And finally, the Dinos play like they either don't have enough talent or don't have enough heart. There is no reason why a team should hover between great and crappy every week. Sure, it's funny that the Dinos split almost every weekend series they play, but they're either good or bad; they should make up their minds sometime.





Where is the fan support when needed?

Cheer them on in the good times and the bad and the in-between-times.

These players and coaches give their all and don't deserve the comment on "no heart" or "no talent." They are a "Band of Brothers" fighting every game. Unless you have walked the walk kindly reconsider your candor.

Let this paper start a fan base and give these guys the support they deserve. C'mon lets see more positive comments on line now.

We're under no obligation to provide "school spirit." If the Dino's give it their all and lose, that's one thing. If they play a crappy game, suffer loses that could have--and should have--been prevented, that's something entirely different.

If the Dinos, or any other team for that matter, play well (win or lose), they should receive praise (and, for the most part, they do). If, however, they have a bad game, play poorly and make wrong decisions, someone needs to call them on it.

If you want blind support, then you'll have to look elsewhere. To support the Dino's just because their campus would be wrong and irresponsible.

What should we say? "Great job on the losing... it's okay, I know you could have done better"?