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Dinos head into break with setback to ‘Birds

VANCOUVER – The UBC Thunderbirds recorded 16 service aces en route to a 3-1 win (25-16, 25-16, 24-26, 25-9) over the University of Calgary Dinos women’s volleyball team on Saturday night at the War Memorial Gym.

Fourth-year outside hitter Katarina Pantovic dominated the score sheet for the ‘Birds with 13 kills and two aces, while teammate Lucy Borowski racked up 11 kills and five aces. Elisabeth Lee added nine kills and three aces. 

Calgary’s third-year outside hitter, Sophie Reed, led in kills for the Dinos with eight, while teammate and fellow outside hitter Dominique Desautels added six kills with an ace. Sam Silva had a solid performance at the net for the Dinos with six total blocks.

The Thunderbirds improve to 11-1 on the season while the Dinos slip to 4-8.

Borowski started the night’s first set and the opening T-Bird possession with a hat trick of aces, but a steady supply of Calgary blocks from Silva and Evelyn Kath kept the Dinos trailing by only a handful of points. Near the middle of the set, a flurry of kills by Pantovic and Lee forced the Dinos into a timeout with the frame slipping away from Calgary at 16-9. After the pause, the T-Birds took control with Pantovic racking up four kills taking the set out of reach for Calgary.

The Birds stacked up points early in the second set from all corners of the court, with a booming Borowski kill swiftly making the score 7-1. The Dinos countered with a handful of kills and another powerful block from Silva, killing the UBC hot streak, but hope for Calgary was short-lived. Danielle Price and Ella Ungemach continued a standout performance at the net with strong blocking, forcing another Calgary timeout with the game handily 12-5 for the home team. The Dinos’ break could not stop UBC as they grabbed a second-set win.

The Dinos entered the third set looking like a new team as the two sides went point for point with Reed accumulating kills and making the score 12-12. With the game at 21-20 after a crushing block by Kath and Silva, the T-Birds regrouped with a timeout. A tight rally with a massive kill made the score 24-23, but with a match point in their hands, UBC managed a net violation and a relentless digging effort by the Dinos earned them a set point which they capitalized on to take the game to a fourth set.

Michela Alongi was put to work early in the fourth set with Borowski and Emma Doyon relentlessly attacking the right side of the net. The ‘Birds rolled with the momentum until a match point with Issy Robertshaw serving an ace for the T-Birds to win. 

The Dinos will travel to Edmonton in late December to take part in the Alberta Pandas’ New Year Classic non-conference tournament. They will return to Canada West play on Jan. 5-6 when they host the Brandon Bobcats.

UBC will begin the second half of the season on the road with a pair of games versus the UBC Okanagan Heat.

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