Getting the call

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Rookie Trisha Dobson earns starting role with the U of R women’s volleyball team

Autumn McDowell
Sports Editor

When the University of Regina Cougars women’s volleyball team was faced with adversity, rookie Trisha Dobson took matters into her own hands.

Due to an injury to standout middle blocker Michelle Sweeting before the season even began, the Cougars were on the hunt for a capable replacement. Dobson, who is in her first year with the team, got the call to start much quicker than she could have ever imagined in her university playing career.

“I didn’t think I would start this soon,” said Dobson, who is listed at 6-foot-5. “I thought I wouldn’t see the court until my second year, but because of injuries I’ve had a great opportunity to adjust to the speed of the game.”

Dobson has been seeing top minutes on the court since the middle of September. Preseason tournaments, including the Lee Marc Invitational, allowed the rookie to prove her skills and adjust to the CIS style of play. But the most valuable tournament for Dobson was close to home.

“Our home tournament (University of Regina Invitational) was my favorite,” Dobson said. “My family got to come watch, and it being my very first CIS experience was very exciting.”Although Dobson has been having considerable success on the court, registering 23 kills and 10 digs in just six regular season games, adjusting to the university lifestyle off the court has been a bit of a stretch.

“It was very difficult for me,” said the Melville product. “Leaving home and having volleyball everyday on top of classes was rough. It took me a few weeks to get used to it but now I enjoy it.”

As far as the remainder of the volleyball season goes, whether Dobson secures a starting position when Sweeting returns or if she is forced to take a backseat roll, Dobson has a few goals that she looks to accomplish this year.

“My goals are to improve my skills every time I see the court,” she said. “I want to get out of my comfort zone and take risks. I also want to become more confident in my performance as the season progresses.”

Dobson and the Cougars (2-2) took on the Thompson River WolfPack (1-3) on Nov. 11-12 at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health and Sport. However, the weekend series against a top five team in Canada West did not exactly go how Regina planned it.

The Cougars were able to build up a 2-1 set lead (15-25, 25-19, 16-25) over the visitors, but strong play by Katarina Osadchuk propelled the WolfPack to a 25-17 fourth-set victory. After gaining valuable momentum in the fourth, the tiebreaking set was strongly in Thompson River’s favor, who took the final set by a score of 15-10.

Out of the 14 blocks that the Cougars recorded on Night 1, Dobson was responsibly for half of them.

Unfortunately for the Cougars, Saturday’s match-up would prove to be more of the same; Regina was unable to finish as strong as they started.

The Cougars had a two-set cushion heading into the third (19-25,17-25) but the WolfPack managed to rally together once again to steal the momentum and get themselves back in the game with a 25-20 third-set victory over the home team.

With momentum in their court once again, the Wolfpack went on to tie things up with a 25-21 victory in the fourth set, and finally an identical 15-10 win in the fifth to sweep the weekend series with the Cougars.

Two fifth-year players were a force for the Cougars on Nov. 12 as Meagan Onstad ended the night with a career-high 24 kills, while setter Tiffany Herman finished off with 52 assists, seven blocks, and a career-high 18 digs.

The Cougars (2-4) will look to get back on the winning track this Friday and Saturday at Trinity Western University (2-2).

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