DAVID LARKINS, Wesmen Athletics
A year ago, Eric Dornez was watching games from his street clothes. Today he's doing his best to make a case for himself as a regular in the Winnipeg Wesmen rotation.
Dornez, a third-year left side who redshirted 2018-19, had a team-high 10 kills Thursday night to lead the Wesmen men's volleyball team to a 3-0 (25-23, 25-13, 25-21) non-conference victory over the Dalhousie Tigers at the Duckworth Centre.
Dornez, who amassed 28 kills to lead the Wesmen over the course of four matches last weekend at a tournament in Brandon, also had four digs and three aces in the win.
"I think I'm getting there," Dornez said of his progress. "I'm absolutely trying to take advantage of all the chances (head coach Larry McKay) is giving me. I want to prove myself and I'm still trying to compete for a spot on the team. Just being on the court is a great thing, but supporting guys on the bench -- if that's my role, that's my role. I appreciate that, too."
Freshman Josh Terin added nine kills and sophomore Nigel Nielsen seven for Winnipeg, which improved to 5-1 in non-conference play. The Wesmen will play in the University of Manitoba tournament against the Bisons, Tigers and McMaster Marauders this weekend.
And while the Wesmen got done work early on Thursday the win wasn't without a bit of a grind. The Wesmen trailed 22-20 in the first set but came out of a timeout and won the next four points and five of the next six to close it out.
The Wesmen rolled in Set 2, going on a seven-point run that turned a 5-2 deficit into a four-point advantage and eventually building their lead to as many as 10 points at 18-8. The Wesmen put together another seven-point run to get it to that point, a stretch that included three Matt Klysh aces.
In Set 3, the Wesmen again turned a modest deficit into a substantial advantage winning eight of nine points early to take a 12-7 lead. Dal managed to pull to within one and was down 22-21 before a Tigers service error, a Dornez ace and a kill from freshman Liam Markesteyn finished things out.
It was the second time in as many nights the Wesmen knocked off the Tigers.
"I think we're going in the right direction right now," Dornez said. "Guys are starting to step up in their roles, our team, in general, is pushing each other at practices, which is a great thing. And we're connecting already."