DAVID LARKINS, Wesmen Athletics
The playoff hopes of the Winnipeg Wesmen are on life support following a Calgary Dinos rally on Friday night.
The Dinos women's volleyball team came back from a set down, dug out narrow victories in Sets 2 and 3 and posted a 3-1 (18-25, 30-28, 25-23, 25-18) Canada West conference win over the Wesmen Friday at the Duckworth Centre.
The Wesmen remain a match up on the Dinos for the eighth and final playoff in the conference with three to play. A win in the rematch on Saturday would go a long way to helping the Wesmen get into the post-season for the first time since 2011-12. A loss and it will put the onus on Winnipeg to go on the road to Mount Royal next weekend likely in search of two wins and help.
"We're going to watch some game film on Saturday morning and find out what kinda things we can do to change a little bit of our blocking scheme to help out and also a little bit about their blocking scheme to see when they're releasing their blockers because they seemed to be seeing where we were setting," Wesmen interim head coach Phil Hudson said. "We weren't quite as deceptive as we need to be."
Emma Parker had 21 kills and 12 digs to lead the Wesmen. Taylor Kleysen, who got the start at the last minute for an injured Kalena Schulz, had 12 kills and hit .306. Haille Bujan also had 12 kills. Setter Rylie Dickson had four kills on seven swings, 49 assists and a team-high 14 digs.
The Wesmen were solid in a first-set win and bounced back from 24-22 in the second set and held four different set points. Winnipeg (8-13), however, wasn't able to capitalize and the Dinos hung on in extra points to even the match.
The Wesmen were also up in the third set, 23-22, but gave up three straight points to fall behind in the match.
The Dinos hit .313 for the match, including .409 in the second set.
The Wesmen peaked at .300 in the first set and hit .198 for the night.
"We cleaned up mostly our errors, more than anything," Calgary head coach Natalie Gurnsey said. "We just had way too many serve-receive errors and attack errors in the first set, and we did a way better job in defending their left-side attack.
"When you're in-system it's way easier to run an offence and get one-on-ones, and our setter did a really good job of capitalizing."
Adriel Goodman had 21 kills and hit .425 to lead the Dinos (7-14), who also got 19 kills from Trinity Solecki, and 10 each from Autumn Davidson and Kenzie Vaandering.
The two teams meet again Saturday at 5 p.m.