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Dino Cup marks the end of volleyball exhibition games

By Kristy Koehler, October 17 2018 —

The University of Calgary hosted the 32nd annual Dino Cup from Oct. 1113. The volleyball tournament is a Dinos tradition that for many years involved teams from the United States’ collegiate league, the NCAA. Unfortunately, stringent rules put in place in 2010 by the American league barred any non-regional travel. Despite an absence of American teams, however, there is plenty of healthy competition at the Dino Cup from Canadian universities. The timing of the tournament gives the Dinos an exhibition-style series to prepare for the conference opener.

This year, the Dino Cup brought the mens teams from the University of Guelph, Brandon University and the University of Alberta to the Jack Simpson. The University of British Columbia Okanagan was the sole women’s team competitor.

Dinos men’s volleyball head coach Rod Durrant says the Dino Cup was a chance for the team to play some quality matches in front of a decent crowd and get their feet wet. The U of C men’s team defeated the Guelph Gryphons but were bested by the Brandon Bobcats and the U of A Golden Bears, while the women beat the UBC Okanagan Heat in both matchups.

The competition in Canada West — the conference the Dinos compete in — is fierce this year.

“You can’t take a weekend off,” Durrant said. “Every match matters.”

If the team doesn’t remain focused and loses a match, they risk sliding in the conference standings. Teams on the cusp can earn a wild card berth to Nationals, so keeping up the school’s ranking can mean the difference between attending the championship or not.

The Dinos face a tough fall schedule. Travel is required for the majority of the matches as the team competes on the road against the University of Brandon Bobcats, the Trinity Western Spartans and the University of Saskatchewan Huskies. The winter semester offers some relief from travel with a few short jaunts up to Edmonton punctuating a majority home-court schedule.

Canada West Conference games open on Friday, Oct. 19 with both the men’s and women’s teams taking on the Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack. The women play at 6 p.m. in the Jack Simpson and the men follow at 7:30 p.m.

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