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Midseason report: Dinos hope to build on strong first half

By Sonny Sachdeva & Emilie Medland-Marchen, January 12, 2016 —

Women’s Hockey

The Dinos women’s hockey team stumbled through the fall semester, winning only four of their first 18 games and dropping to last place in the Canada West division.

Their struggles continued in their first game of 2016, as they suffered a 4–3 loss to the University of Regina. However, they followed up with a strong 3–0 victory one day later, marking the fourth time this season that they’ve won the second half of a back-to-back after dropping the initial game.

The Dinos play the second-place University of Saskatchewan and the top-ranked University of Alberta this month, so a climb up the standings won’t come easy.

Men’s Hockey

The men’s hockey team hasn’t fared much better, posting a 7–8–3 record so far.

However, the club has recently been on a roll, winning four of their last five games. They opened the new year with two victories, but now face two games against the top team in the Canada West division — the University of Saskatchewan.

The Dinos will have to be at their best against the U of S, as the two games will be their last chance to prepare for the Crowchild Classic versus Mount Royal University.

Women’s Volleyball

The Dinos women’s volleyball team has been a tough sell so far, posting an underwhelming 6–8 record through the first half of the season.

The team has struggled since the preseason loss of veterans Jaylynn Moffat and Kate Pexman, but the two are back in action for the winter semester. Beth Vinnell and Ali Wooley have been the team’s top options so far this year, leading the team in total points with 156 and 138, respectively.

The Dinos have gone 3–2 since the start of the new year but recently posted two straight set victories over the University of Regina. With their two leaders back in the fold, the Dinos have four games to right the ship before their Crowchild Classic series on Jan. 29–30. Following that, they’ll take on the CIS’ best squad, the University of Alberta Pandas.

Men’s Volleyball

It was a semester of success for the Dinos men’s volleyball team, who currently rank third in the Canada West with a strong 11–3 record.

Newcomers Mitchell Higgin and Liam Laidlaw, who joined the roster this past summer, have easily integrated into a team stacked with veterans, allowing them to hold a winning record all season.

Staying healthy will be key to continuing that early success, especially with a few key match-ups on the upcoming schedule.

The end of January will bring the team’s Crowchild Classic against the Mount Royal University Cougars. Immediately after that, they’ll close out their season with four games against the University of Alberta Golden Bears and University of Manitoba Bisons — the two teams ranked directly above them in the CIS’ Top 10.

Women’s Basketball

One of the most successful teams on campus thus far has been the Dinos women’s basketball team, who currently hold a 7–4 in-conference record and rank fourth in the Canada West’s Pioneer Division.

Prior to their recent losses, the Dinos reeled off a dominant stretch that saw them win 10 of 11 total games dating back to early November.

That run included a trio of strong showings during the team’s non-conference road trip through California, in which they won three of four games, losing the final contest in overtime.

The Dinos’ dominance looks set to continue, as their next six games will consist of back-to-back sets with Brandon University, Trinity Western University and University of Lethbridge — none of whom managed to earn a single win against the Dinos last season.

Men’s Basketball

The men’s basketball team has posted a strong effort this season as well. They currently rank second in their division with an 8–3 record.

The Dinos opened 2016 with two wins over the University of Saskatchewan, taking their in-conference winning streak to four games.

Fourth-year guard Thomas Cooper leads the team with 25.7 points, which also ranks as the highest average in Canada West.

The Dinos’ upcoming schedule should give them a strong chance to remain near the top of the standings. While Brandon University and the University of Alberta have put forth decent seasons, the three other teams facing the Dinos before this season’s end — Trinity Western University, University of Lethbridge and University of Regina — all rank among the bottom five of all 19 Canada West teams.

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