Zenan Sherbaniuk, Dinos Communications
CALGARY – The University of Calgary Dinos women's volleyball team suffered a setback Friday, losing in straight sets (23-25, 10-25, 16-25) against the University of Alberta Pandas at the Jack Simpson Gymnasium.
In the process, Pandas head coach Laurie Eisler picked up her 721st overall win, setting the school record set by Clare Drake while coaching the Golden Bears hockey and football teams.
Playing a day game in front of 1146 fans, the Dinos looked to keep their winning streak alive against the first place Pandas.
A highly competitive affair saw a quick 4-0 Alberta run, that gave the Pandas an early 6-2 lead, which ended with a Laura McManes kill. Alberta retained a small lead for the majority of the first set but four straight points stretched the gap to five, which forced a Calgary timeout. The run was finally ended after an attacking error by middle Vanessa Jarman. Calgary used this break and rallied back, tying it up at 21 after being down by as much as six. However, a Kacey Otto kill from the right side gave the Pandas set point at 24-23 and Alberta finished it off with a combined block from Shauny Hogg and Kacey Otto.
Kate Pexman and Meg Casault put on a show in the first set finishing with six and seven kills respectively.
The second set started out with a quick 6-0 run by the Pandas, which forced head coach Natalie Gurnsey to call an early timeout. Four straight service aces by Karly Janssen stretched the lead to ten leading to a second Dinos timeout. Calgary was finally able to end a 7-0 run with a Hannah Tanasichuk kill but the Pandas took a huge 16-5 lead into the technical timeout. Alberta cruised to a 25-10 second set win with Casault once again leading the way with another seven kills.
With Calgary down two sets to none, Alberta came out firing again as they grabbed a quick 8-2 lead to force a Dinos timeout. The Pandas scored 12 straight points before a service error by Janssen finally ended the run. Alberta took a huge lead into the technical timeout for the second straight set, up 16-6. Calgary was unable to make a dent in the lead and dropped the third set 25-16.
Alberta finished the match with 43 kills and an absurd 0.443 attacking percentage. Casault led the way with 20 of those, while hitting 0.514. Janssen gave the Dinos serve receive fits all game as she finished with seven aces.
Calgary managed 32 kills in the defeat with McManes and Pexman picking up nine and eight kills, respectively.
With the loss Calgary sees its five-game winning streak come to an end as they drop to 18-5. Alberta, after losing their first games of the season last weekend, improves to 21-2. These two teams will wrap up the regular season Saturday with first serve scheduled for 12 p.m. at the Jack Simpson Gymnasium.
Photo by David Moll