Last weekend's volleyball action between the second-ranked Uni-versity of Calgary Dinos and the 10th-ranked University of Alberta Pandas was about as evenly matched as a fight between your local karate club and assassins from the Yakuza. While both got skills, the gory outcome was never in doubt.
The Dinos gutted the Pandas with ferocious efficiency not once, but twice. The 3--0 match on Fri., Jan. 25 wasn't the best Calgary has ever played, but in this business it's results that count. The shots weren't right between the eyes but the Pandas were laying dead nevertheless. Middle Jill Friend led the charge with 10 kills and Head Coach Kevin Boyles described her play as "deadly, efficient and effective."
Saturday night, the Dinos won 3--1. They dropped the first set, obviously still drunk on the previous night's victory. However, the first set was the only one the Pandas could steal. Outside hitters Amanda Moppett and Krista Kinsman had 14 kills each and reduced the Pandas to a sobbing and twitching mess. The wins raised the Dinos record to a conference-leading 16--2.
After the weekend, Calgary is ranked second in the nation behind the hated University of Manitoba whom they've beat twice and never lost to. They also have a better record than the Bisons, but apparently, that doesn't count for much.
The Dinos close out their regular season with a weekend tilt against the University of Winnipeg Feb. 1--2 at the Jack. The Dinos already have a first-round bye and a weekend split would guarantee them home court throughout the playoffs.
The return of Moppett and rookie Joanna Niemczewska to the Dinos lineup signal that slowly but surely, Calgary is gaining strength.
A note to the Canada West Conference: never underestimate the Yakuza.