Olivia Krol; Dinos Communications Assistant
CALGARY – The University of Calgary men's volleyball team showcased true grit and determination throughout a nail-biting performance at Jack Simpson Gymnasium on Saturday evening, as they fell to the Winnipeg Wesmen, 3-2.
The Dinos overcame a first set defeat in an extremely competitive match that saw the Wesmen have a slight advantage in both kills (70-55) and efficiency (0. 309- 0.211).
From the first serve, the match was high in tempo and emotion, as both teams demonstrated a superior skill level. Despite efforts, the Dinos lost momentum and trailed for the last minutes of the first set, resulting in an unlucky 25-16 performance.
The second set was tight throughout, as the point advantage was minimal, but ultimately the Dinos managed to force through (25-22), with stellar kills by both Sean Martin and Alex Bader.
In the third set, the Dinos showed some hesitancy, on which the Wesmen capitalized, winning the set 25-19. The Dinos showed true athleticism, and refused to surrender, coming back strong in a close fourth set.
Throughout the fourth, the two teams continued to answer each other's points, and it was a gritty battle between two teams looking for a win. The Dinos went ahead 24-23, and it was a kill by Mitchell Higgin that gave the team hope.
Unfortunately, it was Winnipeg who took the 5th set, gaining a 15-10 advantage, and thus solidifying their win.
"We weren't able to sustain quality, basic play over and over again," said head coach Rod Durrant. "Because of that, we give up a run of seven in the last set, which is the difference between winning and losing. We didn't have the strongest first set and third set, we competed in the second and fourth, but the fifth set was a bit of a disappointment. We need to reevaluate and get better."
Senior Alex Bader finished with 16 kills, while Curtis Stockton was close with 15. The Dinos had 11.0 total blocks, and 22 block assists. Alex Cook boasts a total of six kills and 41 assists for the game, while Sean Martin grabbed the team 8.0 points with 6 kills.
In earlier action, the Dinos played Trinity Western to open the season. They will next face the Winnipeg Wesmen Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. at Jack Simpson Gymnasium.