Jefferson Hagen, MacEwan Athletics
EDMONTON – Although they're going from an undefeated team to a winless team on back-to-back weekends, the MacEwan Griffins women's volleyball team isn't about to be fooled.
Calgary may have four-straight losses on record so far this season, but they're only a season removed from winning a Canada West silver medal.
"Calgary had a few key injuries at the end of last season and that's affected their depth," said MacEwan head coach Ken Briggs. "But they've got lots of athletes and probably have the best Alberta recruit (Trinity Solecki) playing for them this year. She's young and she's learning, but she gives them just another weapon."
In other words, don't expect the Griffins (2-4) to take the Dinos (0-4) for granted, even if they'll be focusing their energy on being the best they can be heading into a weekend series in Calgary on Friday (6 p.m.) and Saturday (4 p.m., both games Canada West TV presented by Co-op).
MacEwan is coming into the weekend off back-to-back straight-set losses to U SPORTS No. 1 Trinity Western (6-0) at their home in Langley, B.C.
"For us, we've learned a lot in our first three weeks and we've certainly learned a lot about being on the road," said Briggs. "We'll continue that. We're positive. Every weekend has given us a new lesson. We saw the top of the pyramid last weekend. Still, there are things we do very, very well and we're just learning how to deal with pressure.
"It's another weekend of that playing away. I've always felt we've played well at U of C because there's lots of family and friends in Alberta. We're looking forward to it."
MacEwan won the last meeting between the Alberta rivals last February in Edmonton – shocking the then-No. 2-ranked team in U SPORTS.
Key to this meeting will be how they bounce back from being on the wrong end of a weekend sweep at Trinity Western.
"That's what mental training and sports psychology is all about," said Briggs. "The biggest thing is there are certain things we have no control over. (Trinity Western) has the best player in the league right now in Hilary Howe, coming off her national team experience. She's playing so well. There's just no way to stop her in some situations.
"In the end, we go back to serve and serve-receive controlling the game. Those are the things under our control."
Next home action for the Griffins is Nov. 22-23 when they host Brandon.