Larissa Vicente Ferreira; Dinos Communications
Calgary – The University of Calgary Dinos are through to the Canada West semifinals after beating the Manitoba Bisons in straight sets (26-24, 25-13, 25-17) on Friday at the Jack Simpson Gym.
The Dinos won the best-of-three conference quarter-final series 2-0 and will face the UBC Thunderbirds next weekend after they upset the Regina Cougars.
Hannah Tanasichuk was the offensive catalyst again for the Dinos, posting a game-high 12 kills. Fourth-year middle Beth Vinnell supported the offence with nine kills.
Jocelyn Koswin was the only Bison to reach double digits with 10 kills.
"Today was a much better representation of what we can bring to the table," said Adriel Goodman, who had five blocks during the match. "We played just like yesterday's last three sets and we just played the right away."
Learning from their early struggles on Thursday, the Dinos came out sharp in Game 2. Calgary focused on their defensive line and put together three blocks in the first set. The Bisons pushed back as they kept the score close and eventually tied it at 23. A kill by Tanasichuk put the Dinos back in front late while an attack error from Manitoba ended the set 26-24 for the Dinos.
After posting seven attack errors in the opening set, the Bisons had more problems in the second. The visiting team had a -.152 hitting percentage and were credited with 11 attack errors in the set. The Dinos dominated the net play and achieved a .292 hitting percentage as they won 25-13.
Manitoba had their season hanging in the balance in the third set and a number of lengthy service runs by the Dinos put them in position to close out the series. The Bisons brought the score within four at 20-16, but Tanasichuk recorded five straight kills in the final six points to end the match. Calgary took the final set 25-17.
When asked about the difference in her team from the start of the series to the end, Goodman explained it was all in the mindset.
"It was a confidence thing and a little bit of assertiveness that we are the No. 1 team in Canada West, and we played like that today."
The Canada West playoffs continue at the Jack Simpson Gym with the Dinos beginning their next series on Friday, March 1.
Photo by David Moll