Top Ten matchup goes T-Birds way over Dinos

Top Ten matchup goes T-Birds way over Dinos

Lindsay Franco, Dinos Multimedia and Communications 

CALGARY – In a battle of two U Sports Top Ten teams, it was the No. 4 UBC Thunderbirds that came away with the 3-1 (25-11, 25-21, 16-25, 25-23) win over the No. 6 University of Calgary Dinos in the first game of a doubleheader series at Jack Simpson Gym.

Coming into the game with matching records, the Dinos now drop to 13-4 while the T-Birds improve to 14-3.

Kate Pexman's team-high 11 kills and game-high 17 digs led the way for the Dinos in the loss. She was the only Dino to hit double digits in kills on the night. Fourth-years Laura McManes and Jaylynn Moffatt both added nine kills while rookie setter Lexis Peart recorded 29 assists.

For UBC, fifth-year veteran Danielle Brisebois led all players with 20 kills, followed by Juliana Kaufmanis with another 14 for the visitors. Both outside hitters recorded 10 digs. Libero Samantha Patko had a team-high 16 digs in the four-set match.

In the first set, a rough start saw the Dinos in a big hole that they just couldn't get out of. The Dinos found themselves down 16-8 at the technical due to some great defence played by the T-Birds. Unable to put a ball down, Calgary dropped the first set 25-11. Pexman and Brisebois each recorded eight digs for their respective teams after the first.

With UBC holding down a three-point lead early in the second set, the Dinos were able to tie it up at 10 after some promising offence coming from their side of the net. Unfortunately for Calgary, it didn't take long for the T-Birds to adjust back to their stingy, scramble defence to gain their three-point lead back at the technical timeout. Later in the set, libero Natasha Gordey who came off the bench after the first set, played some fantastic defence in the back court to keep the Dinos alive, but it was too little, too late. UBC went up 2-0 in the match with a 25-21 second set win.

Needing a win to keep this game going, the Dinos picked up the defence, not only in the back court, but at the net with some great blocks from Moffatt. Up 13-10, forcing UBC to call a timeout, the Dinos increased their lead to 19-13 and sailed to the 25-16 win to force a fourth set.

UBC's offence picked right back up to start the fourth set and gave them a solid four-point lead through to the technical timeout. It was the serving of Moffatt that brought the Dinos back to life to tie the set up at 16, including an ace to force UBC to use a timeout. Tied up until 19, it was the offensive prowess of Brisebois that led the T-Birds to the win, using the block for points and capitalizing on the Dinos' errors. UBC went on to finish off the match with a 25-23 win. 

The Dinos will look for revenge against the Thunderbirds tomorrow night at 4 p.m. in the second game of the weekend series.