Larissa Vicente Ferreira; Dinos Communications
CALGARY – The No. 2-ranked University of Calgary Dinos added another win to their record Saturday, defeating the University of Winnipeg Wesmen 3-1 (20-25, 25-11, 25-14, 25-11) at the Jack Simpson Gym.
Calgary improves to a 14-2 after a fourth straight victory, while the loss was Winnipeg's seventh consecutive as the Wesmen fall to 3-13 on the year.
Calgary's Kate Pexman led the team with 20 kills throughout the match, and a couple of her teammates also reached double digits: Beth Vinnell and Hannah Tanasichuk had 16 and 12 kills, respectively. For the Wesmen, Emma Parker and Ashleigh Laube each gathered seven kills in Saturday's match.
The Wesmen came out prepared and with a different attitude from Friday's game. They focused on their defence and were rewarded with five blocks in the first set while the Dinos had zero. The different sense of urgency by Winnipeg forced the opposing team to commit critical errors, and the Wesmen took the first set with a 25-20 score.
After the first set, the Dinos ruled the rest of the game.
The second set was consistently Dinos having a four-point lead. With a .360 hitting percentage by the Dinos against a .095 from the Wesmen, the latter was not able to get past 11 points. Calgary took the second set going away, 25-11.
The Wesmen opened the third set, having the longest rally of the night with great defence by Madison Fyvie, who had six digs on Saturday's game. They started to gain momentum while the Dinos had a hard time getting the blocks closed. It was a tight set, but the offensive line of the Dinos continuously made it difficult for Winnipeg to score. With 14 kills in one set, Calgary won the third set with 25-14 on the scoreboard.
The final set started with a smaller difference in the scoreboard. However, the Dinos were good at adapting their game in order to beat the Wesmen. Over 60 per cent of the kills in the last set were made by Pexman. but it was her teammate Marina Culo's block who set the Dinos up for the win, 25-11.
"I feel like we responded well after the first set when we were not really doing our jobs," said Dinos Head Coach Natalie Gurnsey. "It is amazing what happens when everyone is accountable for their performance and their individual jobs. I'm happy we found a way to flip that switch."
Winnipeg heads on a bye week before facing the Brandon Bobcats in a home-and-home series Jan. 25-26. Calgary, meanwhile, remains home to face the Alberta Pandas next weekend.
Photo by David Moll