The best women volleyball players in Canada were bumping their brains out in the Cougar gymnasium this past weekend at the University of Regina Invitational women's volleyball tournament.|
The biggest surprise, in a tournament where everybody lost at least once, occurred in the final game. First place went to the University of Saskatchewan Huskies.
"Saskatchewan, well, we will wait and see if they will stay at that level," said Miles Kydd, head coach of the Cougars Womens Volleyball team.
Kydd is not sure if the Huskies are in the same league as the University of Manitoba Bisons, or the University of Alberta Pandas.
Most of the coaches, players and enthusiastic fans figured that the Pandas, who were three time CIAU defending champs, would be competing in the final game against the Bisons.
"I think you can look for Manitoba to sneak through and win the tournament" said Kydd before the tournament began.
It was not to be as the Huskies beat the UBC Thunderbirds in straight sets 15-10, 15-11, and 15-3. All-Canadian
| Natalie Lukiw and Denise Meier were named tournament all-stars. |
"I'm maybe a little surprised they (the Huskies) won so easily," said Kydd.
The other tournament all-stars were Barb Bellini and Sarah Maxwell from the UBC Thunderbirds, From the Bisons Christa Walker from the University of Manitoba Bisons, and Cheri Lansdown of the University of Alberta Pandas.
The Bisons appeared to have some timing problems with their new setter Nadia Melon.
"Heather Newsham would have made them (the Bisons) a much better team," said Kydd.
The Cougars beat the University of Calgary dinosaurs. Both Denise Donahue and Janna Kuffner had many blocks resulting in points.
"For us to do well, Denise has to be a demi-god at least," said Kydd.
Kydd thought Donahue, who lead CWUAA/GPAC in blocking as a rookie last year, also played well against the University of Winnipeg Wesmen. She was voted player of the game.
"Denise was the best player on the floor in the
| match against Winnipeg," said Kydd. |
Kuffner had 14 kills against Calgary. She helped the team out and had a powerful ace in the second set to tie up the game, 8-8.
"Considering she was sick, she played pretty well, " said Kydd. "She has the talent to play. She just needs to be consistent."
Katharine Brown's setting allowed Cougars like Kuffner to rack up their kill totals though out the tournament.
Katherine is a river boat gambler and we have to curve her tendency," said Kydd. "(She) can't have an off day if we're to do well."
Brown is the only setter on the Cougars roster right now. It is a concern to Kydd.
Kydd did not want to speculate if the Cougars would have placed higher if GPAC Rookie of the Year Lisa Reynolds and Second Team GPAC all-star Kristal Rippert were in the line-up.
"I'm not going to discredit the girls that went out there. They played their asses off," said Kydd.
The Cougars will next play at the Mizuno Cup Invitational tournament in Winnipeg October 3rd to the 5th.