Tiffany Tse; Dinos Communications
CALGARY – The University of Calgary Dinos clawed their way back into the match but could not close it out as the Manitoba Bisons pulled through with a five-set win (25-16, 25-18, 20-25, 14-25, 15-9) on Friday night at the Jack Simpson Gym.
Playing their first home game in over a month, the Dinos were outhit in the opening two sets, putting them in a massive deficit. Back-to-back sets with hitting percentages over .400 by Calgary forced the game into a fifth, but six attack errors in the final set became their undoing.
The Dinos lose their third straight and now sit at 2-5 on the season, while the Bisons improve their standing to 4-5 as they end a three-game skid.
"It was disappointing the way we started. We went down 2-0 we fought our way back, showed some character in the third and fourth and then had a slow start in the fifth," Reflected Dinos Head Coach Rod Durrant.
The Bisons took the opening set of the night with strong hitting as a .556 hitting percentage carried them to a 25-16 win over the Dinos. The Bisons also carried the play at the net with four blocks.
Impressive net play by the visitors continued in the second set as they out-blocked the Dinos 5-3. Manitoba build up a three-point lead early and held onto it until mid-way through when Calgary grabbed two one-point leads. The Bisons regained control and pulled away from there, earning a 25-18 win.
The Dinos played some of their best volleyball of the season in the third and fourth sets, with massive contributions from Taylor.
The fourth-year outside hitter scored five straight points for Calgary in the middle of the third set to turn the game around, setting the stage for a 25-20 win in the third and a convincing 25-14 fourth set decision.
Tied 3-3 to begin the finals set, the Bisons picked up three points in a row to pull ahead. Despite another late run by Calgary, they were never able to make up ground and fell short of the comeback.
Three players stood out offensively, combining for 66 of the night's kills. Kevin Negus and Dustin Spiring had 23 and 19 respectively for Manitoba, while Calgary's Taylor led the game with 24.
The Canada West block king Brendan Warren led the game with 11 and was countered by Liam Laidlaw who scored six.
The Dinos will play the Bisons again tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. MT in the Jack Simpson Gym.
Photo by David Moll