The atmosphere was electric in Calgary this past Friday night when both Thompson Rivers University and Mount Royal University competed for their first Canada West medal in program history.
It was a classic showdown where the winner would earn a berth to nationals. In front of a packed crowd with raging MRU fans, the two teams battled it out; unfortunately, TRU was defeated in three straight sets. The scores were 25-21, 25-16, 25-12.
“It’s not the way we wanted to end the season. I thought we came out fairly well and played tight. They came out fired up and their home crowd was behind them,” head coach Chad Grimm remarked. “I thought in the first two sets, we had some chances. In the third set, we couldn’t stop them. I don’t think that takes away from the season that the girls produced.”
Despite the loss, this season will go down as the most successful campaign in program history. The girls managed to win their first-ever playoff series in a sweep of the Grant MacEwan Griffins; they were nationally ranked a number of times throughout the season.
They had two Canada West all-stars being Kendra Finch and Kseniya Kocyigit, and they had a major award winner as Finch also won the Canada West community service athlete of the year. The ladies will be hoping to use this experience as a way to push the program to the next level and hopefully continue to reach and surpass its current success.
“We will use this as a lesson moving forward. It’s always a disappointment to end the season with a loss, but there is only one team that ends the season by winning. Unfortunately, that won’t be us, but hopefully, we can use this experience moving forward,” Coach Grimm announced.
Mount Royal will join the University of Alberta Pandas, Trinity Western Spartans and the host Calgary Dinos at the USPORTS women’s volleyball nationals which will be taking place from March 13-15. The girls should expect to see a strong season next year with the returning group roster excluding all-star Kendra Finch.