The Dinos women volleyballers went into a Jan. 26-27 series with the Trinity Western University Spartans with sky-high hopes of a sweep, but came away with a sky-scraping split instead.
“Certainly [a sweep] was possible,” said Dinos head coach Kevin Boyles. “We’re a good enough team to beat any team in the league on any given night.
We came out a little flat [on the Saturday]. Some of our better players weren’t our better players. To win against the top teams in our league you need your best players to be on top of their game.”
Though the Dinos were flattened like a pancake Saturday, they hope that the breakfast food comparisons won’t apply in an upcoming series against the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds Feb. 2-3. While the Dinos dropped the T-Birds twice in pre-season play, Dinos team captain Brittany Hutton noted that the results were only in the pre-season action and have little to do with the T-Birds team coming into the Jack Simpson Gym.
“You have to wash that all away, that’s preseason,” said Hutton. “It’s a fresh start every single weekend. We have to go out with our heads held high, make sure that we’re confident with our own abilities, and go out there and perform. [We have to] do what we need to do.”
Boyles was leery of assuming anything of the T-Birds’ ability. The ‘Birds are young and Boyles expected them to grow as the season went along.
“UBC’s changed a lot from the beginning of the year,” he said. “It was a really young, very athletic team without much experience. I expected them to get better every week, and it really showed in the second half. They’ve won seven of their last eight now. They’re a team that’s on the rise, and they’re definitely very dangerous.”
Despite how well the Dinos have been playing—they, like UBC, have won seven of their last eight—these last two weeks can still largely determine playoff ranking. The Dinos have already secured a spot in the playoffs, and can finish no lower than fifth. As it stands now, the Dinos are in a position to host a playoff series, but losses against UBC may change who they’re hosting.
With the CIS nationals only four weeks away from hitting the Jack’s floor, it’d be easy for the team to be looking ahead rather than making the most of the games now. Though the nationals are close, Hutton and the team are making sure to keep focused on the final two weeks.
“Nationals isn’t going to be as good if you don’t perform right now,” said Hutton. “Making sure these next two weekends are strong, solid performances will allow us to build up to nationals and make it that much better of an experience for us.”