Dinos drop five-setter to T-Birds

Dinos drop five-setter to T-Birds

Olivia Krol, Dinos Communications Assistant

CALGARY- The University of Calgary men's volleyball team was unable to hold on to a 2-0 lead on Friday night, as the visiting UBC Thunderbirds came back for a five-set victory at Jack Simpson Gymnasium, serving the Dinos a 2-3 loss.

Calgary dropped the contest 25-20, 25- 19, 20-25, 22-25, 10-15, despite winning the opening two sets and showcasing several impressive plays. Though the rivals had a small advantage early on in the first, the Dinos fought back to tie it up at 15-15.  Following kills by Alex Bader, Curtis Stockton and Mitchell Higgin, Calgary was able to take the set 25-20 and start off hot.

The second set was tight between both squads, as UBC came back with a vengeance, and continued to step on Calgary's toes. The teams traded points almost all throughout, until a series of errors by the opponents and a kill by Stockton gave the Dinos the advantage. The team got even closer following a service ace from Tyson Smith, pulling them within 24-17, and Stockton clinched the set with another stellar kill.

The third set was the most competitive of the four on the evening, as the Dinos opened up an early 6-2 lead, but an impressive run from the T-Birds gave UBC an 18-13 advantage. Despite the deficit, the Dinos managed to pull within three at 21-18, and got even closer following another kill from Stockton, pulling them within 21-19. Unfortunately, they were ultimately unable to grab the set, as two straight points gave the T-Birds victory.

The Thunderbirds rode the momentum in the fourth for a 25-22 victory, taking the Dinos to a competitive fifth set, during which play continued to be level. A kill by Brett Bolin equalized the rivalry at 10-10, but Calgary was unable to grab the win, with the T-Birds sealing the deal with a heart breaking 15-10 score.

Head Coach Rod Durrant expressed his disappointment in the team's performance, especially in light of a fight for a play off spot. "We were up 2-0 tonight, and we didn't fight hard enough in sets three, four and five. UBC isn't going to go away, and you have to be consistent. We served well in the first two sets, not so much in the others. In the fifth set we were up 8-6, but weren't able to hold on to that advantage."

Curtis Stockton led the Dinos with 22 kills and just 10 errors tonight, hitting .214, and grabbing a total of 25.0 points for the team.

Alex Bader had nine kills as he hit .185, while Parker Siroishka added 10 kills and seven digs. 

Calgary returns to action tomorrow evening when it once again hosts the UBC Thunderbirds at 5:30 pm.