No. 6 Dinos up next for No. 9 Heat in Calgary

Men in Calgary this weekend (Photo by Vanessa Hodak)

The men’s volleyball team will take their 3-5 record on the road as they head to Calgary to play the No. 6 University of Calgary Dinos (5-5) for one last doubleheader before the league settles into the semester break. First game will be Friday Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. PST; they play again on Saturday at 7 p.m. PST. Both days the game will be played in the Jack Simpson Gymnasium on the University of Calgary campus.

Friday, December 2 – No. 9 UBC Okanagan Heat at No. 6 University of Calgary Dinos (7 p.m. PST, Jack Simpson Gymnasium, Calgary, AB)
Saturday, December 3 – No. 9 UBC Okanagan Heat at No. 6 University of Calgary Dinos (7 p.m. PST, Jack Simpson Gymnasium, Calgary, AB)

Both games will be streamed with live video:

HEAT (3-5)

CIS National Ranking: 9th

CanWest Standings: 7th

Last Week: 0-2; Fri 3-0 loss to TWU, Sat 3-0 loss to TWU

Streak: 5 losses

2010 CanWest Record: N/A
2010 CanWest Championship: N/A

2010 CIS Tournament: N/A

Last CanWest Title: N/A

Last CIS Title: N/A

Full Schedule / Roster

After shocking the national volleyball world and winning their first three Canada West league games, the Heat have hit the road and not been able to enter the win column since their victory on Friday Nov. 4 over the T-birds.

In a true tantamount to the strength of the Heat’s schedule they have lost five games in a row and yet still sit ninth in the nations poll.

Calgary is coming off of a split on the road versus the Thunderbirds, and their results mirror those of the Heat’s; both teams split with UBC, both teams have swept Winnipeg, and the Dinos and Heat have both fallen twice to Manitoba. Calgary has picked up their extra two wins in splits with unranked TRU and eighth ranked Brandon. The Heat had their bye week already and fell to the undefeated No.1 Spartans this past weekend.

Fifth year player Mark Broome (Outside hitter/middle blocker, Kelowna, BC) wants to finish the fall semester on a positive note. “It’s the last game before the big break; it’s a great opportunity to show what we can do.”

The Dinos as a team average 14.05 kills per set, 13.08 assists per set and are successful on 22.8 percent of their attacks. The Heat in comparison are at 12.11 kills per set, 11.63 assists per set and successful on 20.1 percent of their attacks.

Coach Greg Poitras has his team working on improving their offensive output and improving areas that didn’t work last weekend against the Spartans, where the team scored more than 20 points only twice in six sets:

“We’ve made some adjustments this week in practice with our defense that will allow us to be in a better position to score,” explains Poitras.  “We found that we played good defense and blocked okay against Trinity [Western University], but we weren’t transitioning and scoring as our players were not in the right spots.  But they’re [Calgary] a strong, powerful team, same as Trinity, and we’re going to have to really put them in trouble from the service line to have a chance with them.”

Both teams are led by strong individual outside hitters as UBC Okanagan has fourth year Nate Speijer (Outside hitter, Penticton, BC), he leads Canada West with 4.19 kills per game, while third in Canada West is Dinos right side Allen Meek (5th year, Sherwood Park, AB) at 4.00 kills per game. Speijer is slightly more efficient at a .248 hitting percentage, while Meek is at .201.

This is the last action for Canada West as teams will take off for the semester break after this weekend. The Heat have no scheduled events during the six weeks off but Poitras is going to use this break to refocus and improve his team.

“The break is a long time of not doing a lot of volleyball. We’re still only really worried about the process of how we do things, not necessarily wins and losses,” Poitras says.  “We just have to worry about how we’re scoring points. Are we giving up too many points? Are we giving up streaks of points? That’s been our problem right now.”

Canada West league action will see the Heat continue on the road when they head to Brandon in the New Year for a pair of games Jan 13-14 at the University of Brandon against the Bobcats. The action is scheduled to start at 5:45 p.m. PST.


CIS National Ranking: No. 6

CanWest Standings: 5th

Last Week: 1-1; Fri 3-1 loss to UBC, Sat 3-0 win over UBC

Streak: 1 win

2011 CanWest Record: 16-2 (2nd)
2011 CanWest Championship: 4-0 (gold)

2011 CIS Tournament: 2-1 (bronze)

Last CanWest Title: 2011

Last CIS Title: 2010

Full Schedule / Roster



Some more info from

Key additions:
 Greg Mann, Daniel Ryskamp, Ivan Kartev

Key returnees: Graham Vigrass, Jay Blankenau, Allen Meek

Key departures: Curtis James, Ciaran McGovern, David Egan, Blake Giles

CALGARY – Despite graduating five fifth-year seniors and a former starting setter from the program, the defending Canada West champion and CIS bronze medallist Calgary Dinos look to be right in the thick of it again in 2011-12.

Led by CIS player of the year and Canada West BLG Award nominee Graham Vigrass, the Dinos return a solid, veteran lineup, many of whom were part of the post-season runs in both 2010 and 2011 that brought home CIS and Canada West titles, respectively.

Vigrass, who completes an outstanding CIS career in 2011-12, joined setter Jay Blankenau to represent Canada at the Summer Universiade in Shenzhen, China last August. That pair, along with right side Allen Meek, left side Levi Nutma, and libero Jace Richards, represent the five graduating fifth-year seniors who have one last chance to win a championship in their varsity careers. Left side Chris Hoag, meanwhile, will be counted on for significant offensive production for the Dinos.

Sixth-year head coach Rod Durrant brought in several transfer players this season to replace those that were lost. One of the most intriguing stories is Ivan Kartev, a seven-foot-one middle from Calais, France who starred for Keyano College in Lloydminster, Alta. last year. Kartev joins Daniel Ryskamp, Travis Banks, and Will Young as transfers, with the latter trio moving up the road from Mount Royal University.


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