Olivia Krol, Dinos Communications
CALGARY – The University of Calgary Dinos women's volleyball team bested the MacEwan Griffins in four sets on Friday afternoon in front of a roaring crowd of grade school students as the Dinos hosted their annual School Day game. The win came with set scores of 18-25, 25-18, 25-21 and 25-20.
"In that first set, it was very loud, and the energy was extremely high; it was great to be a part of such dynamism from the crowd, but it is not an environment we ever played in," said Calgary bench boss Natalie Gurnsey when asked about the boisterous home crowd. "This challenged us to change the way we communicated – how loudly and frequently we had to say things, which made it extremely beneficial for us to have to play in such an atmosphere."
Kate Pexman led the Calgary attack with 18 kills, nine digs and a .239 hitting percentage, while Beth Vinnell and Laura McManes followed closely behind at nine and eight kills, respectively. Leah Shevkenek added 33 assists, with support from Lexi Peart who had six of her own. Kennedy Snape guided the defence, recording 17 digs on the day.
Cassidy Kinsella led the Griffins with 21 kills, with support from Haley Gilfillan who tallied 12 kills along with a .579 hitting percentage. Kate Rozendaal also assisted MacEwan, adding 11 kills and 13 digs.
The Griffins jumped out of the gates with the first four points of the first set with kills from Lauren Holmes and a service ace off Kinsella. Calgary battled back to come within three points 14-11, following a service ace by Amber Adolf, but the Griffins would not let them adhere any closer. A service ace from Rachel Jorvina gave the Griffins the set point, 25-18.
Going into the second set, MacEwan registered the first three points of gameplay, but Calgary was able to come back and equalize off a service ace by Pexman, tying at 3-3. The teams traded the next several points, meeting again at 10-10, after which the Dinos pulled away after going on a 4-0 run. MacEwan was unable to find its footing throughout the rest of the set, falling 25-18 off a kill by Pexman.
With the third set, the Dinos bolted out to a 7-0 lead, capitalizing on plays by McManes, Adolf and Vinnell. MacEwan battled back to come within two points at 19-17 and 21-20, but Calgary would not let them come any closer. An attack error by Hailey Cornelis captured the set point for Calgary, 25-21.
The MacEwan Griffins jetted off to a 5-2 lead early in the fourth stanza, maintaining the three-point advantage through to 7-4. An attack error by Rozendaal followed swiftly by a kill off Pexman gave the Dinos the momentum to push ahead, grabbing their first significant lead at 13-10. Weber tied things up for the Griffins at 15-15, and the teams traded the next four points until Rozendaal and Holmes were able to notch two kills and grab the lead, 19-16. Calgary responded with two of their own, matching the score again at 20-20, and later pushing ahead 23-20 after several attack errors and a kill by McManes. The Dinos took the third set, 25-20.
The teams return to action tomorrow, with a 12 p.m. start at Jack Simpson Gym.