Olivia Krol; Dinos Communications
CALGARY – The University of Calgary women's volleyball team downed the Trinity Western University Spartans in three sets (25-17, 26-24, 25-12) Friday night in the Jack Simpson Gym.
Kate Pexman led the Dinos (16-3) with 18 kills and a .394 hitting percentage, with support from Laura McManes who recorded 14. Kennedy Snape assisted Calgary with 11 digs, as did Brianna Solberg. Jaylynn Moffatt added another note to the scoreboard tonight, registering 8 kills and .800 as the Dinos clinched home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs and took over sole possession of first place in Canada West.
Hilary Howe had a standout night for the Spartans (13-6), recording an impressive double-double of six kills and six digs. Avery Heppell also assisted Trinity Western with seven kills and two digs. In total, the Spartans tallied 30 kills, 28 assists, 32 digs and seven service aces, as compared to the Dinos who noted 45 kills, 45 assists, and 48 digs.
The Dinos were off to a fast start in set one, tallying their first three points thanks to kills by McManes, Vinnell and Solberg. Katelyn Devaney retaliated, minimizing the point difference to just two, but the Spartans were unable to get any closer. At 16-14, the Dinos came out firing with kills by McManes and Pexman as well as a service ace by Vinnell, setting path for Calgary to seal the set 25-17, with a kill by Moffatt from Shevkenek.
With the second set, the teams traded several points before Calgary took its first lead at 5-4 following an attack error by Ashtyn McKenzie. Katelyn Devaney was able to tie things up at 6-6, and the score remained even for almost the entirety of the set. The two teams went point-for-point until the Spartans went on a 3-0 run extending its lead to 22-19. However, the Dinos slowly chipped back at the Trinity Western's advantage with service aces from McManes, making the score 24-24. Ultimately, Calgary capitalized on two attacking errors by the Spartains, taking the set 26-24.
The Dinos played an incredible third set, with their first significant advantage recorded at 5-1 off a kill by Pexman. A 9-0 run gave Calgary security, and though the Spartans attempted to chip back, capitalizing on errors by the Dinos, they were unable to secure the win, falling 25-12.
"We battled pretty closely for the first two sets, and we discussed throughout the year to play our best set in the third set," said Dinos Head Coach Natalie Gurnsey. "This is because whether we are down 2-0, tied 1-1, or up 2-0, we want that to be our best volleyball. I think the way the girls played tonight was just another goal we have set for ourselves and met; the team is in a great mindset – they want to achieve their goals, and they're hungry for a win."
The teams return to action tomorrow at 4 p.m. MT, live on CanadaWest.tv.
Photo by David Moll