The people demanded that Students' Union Vice-President External Oliver Bladek help with this week's women's volleyball preview. The people were heard. We went to lunch and talked volleyball. The people rejoiced.
The people are into betting heavily on women's volleyball. Here's all the wisdom we can pass along to help them win.
If the Dinos (pronounced Deenos) stick to the game plan they will succeed. As Oliver pointed out, the bumpers need to bump, the spikers need to spike and the setters need to set. So far this year, the spikers have been really good. Bet your right kidney against $100 that Calgary will stick to the game plan.
Unlike their competition, the Dinos don't have a significant weakness. The outside hitters are Krista "I'm on the national team" Kinsman, Amanda "I'm the team captain" Moppett and Alisa "I was player of the year last season" Marriott. That's as good as it gets. That's like having a Benz, a Caddy and a Land Rover.
In the middle are Tracy Keats and Jill Friend. Both are over six feet tall and as Oliver points out, they got game. Keats is in the national program as well, and Friend looks well on her way to joining her teammates in Canadian colours. You can bet your right earlobe against $200 on that.
The setters are Heather "Waiting for a nickname" Wearmouth and Natalie "Westjet" Schwartz. Oliver says Wearmouth is wily. I agree. Schwartz is athletic and her blocking is excellent. She's the Darius Miles of this team.
Liberos Tara Deeks and Erin Turner have been steady. There's also a bench. Rookie Joanna Niemczewska terrorizes the opposition with her power and her last name. Even myself and Oliver (both Polish) are intimidated.
The Dinos had a first round bye and enjoyed their holiday as the University of Saskatchewan earned a chance to play them. They'll kick off their playoff run with a match on Feb. 15 followed by another on Feb. 16. On the other side of the bracket the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds will face the defending national champs, the University of Manitoba. This means the top four teams in the country will play for three spots in the national tournament. Bet you left femur against $300 to see the Dinos make nationals. They're the most talented team in the bunch.
Oliver points out that the only team that can beat the Dinos is the Dinos. About the only thing that can stop this star-studded lineup is mental collapse, collective depression or voodoo. And while predicting national championships is risky business, anything less than an appearance in the finals would be disappointing. My bookie has been paid and so has Oliver's. It's up to the women now. I like my kneecaps nice and healthy and my arms unbroken, so please play well.