The University of Calgary Dinos women's volleyball team served notice on the weekend that they will be a force to reckon with this season.
Opening their season on the road in Burnaby, British Columbia against the Simon Fraser University Clan, the Dinos made quick work of their opponents taking all the sets on both Fri., Nov. 2 and Sat., Nov. 3.
"It was a solid start to our season," said Dinos head coach Kevin Boyles about the team's performance on the weekend. "We've had difficulty closing teams out [in the pre-season] and this weekend we were pretty solid from start to finish both nights."
The Dinos were so dominant over the weekend they were only trailing the Clan at one point in the second set Sat. night, struggling early and falling behind 10-3. The Dinos regrouped behind a strong showing from Laura Wilson, who had a game-high 18 kills, and finished the set on a 22-5 run.
"17-year-old Laura Wilson was excellent both nights and went eight for nine in that second-set turnaround," said Boyles. "She's been our best attacker and led us in kills both nights and went off for 18 kills with only two errors on Sat. night."
The wins over the weekend represented a strong start for a team that looked shaky during the pre-season, failing to close out teams and hold leads late in matches. The Dinos serve receive and passing was especially lacking during the pre-season, but against the Simon Fraser Clan, that problem seemed to dissipate, giving way to a more balanced attack from Calgary.
"We were solid in the middle and with our passing improving and our middle attack is becoming a bigger factor every week," said Boyles.
This bodes well for the Dinos as they prepare for matches against some of the tougher teams in the league, but according to coach Boyles, the most important factors dictating the Dinos season will be the health of their regulars and the team's consistency.
"To knock off the top teams in the league, we just need to stay healthy and keep getting better every week," said Boyles. "We had a lot of injury setbacks in the pre-season and if we can avoid those problems, while continuing to improve our consistency, we'll be really tough to beat. We've got a lot of weapons and two setters who can deliver the ball, so we should be able to cause significant problems for any team in the league."