DAVID LARKINS, Wesmen Athletics
The Winnipeg Wesmen will be in the playoffs, they just won't be at home, and now there's one more week to determine where exactly they will be.
Daniel Thiessen had a career-high 27 kills but the Wesmen men's volleyball team couldn't come all the way back in a 3-2 (22-25, 25-22, 25-18, 19-25, 15-12) Canada West conference defeat at the hands of the Calgary Dinos Saturday night at the Duckworth Centre.
The Wesmen had already secured their post-season berth, but still had a shot at the top four and a hosting position. But the loss, combined with Brandon's win over Manitoba, assured them they would go on the road for the first round in two weeks time.
The Dinos (11-9) pulled into a tie with the Wesmen (11-9) but will own the tiebreaker over Winnipeg after having won both matches on the weekend. If the playoffs started today, the Wesmen would be at UBC for a first-round series.
Thiessen added nine digs and two stuff blocks for a career-high 30 points.
The Wesmen honoured their lone fifth-year senior, setter Mikael Clegg, in a pre-match ceremony. Clegg went on to post 38 assists and three aces, which gave him a career-high mark for a season. He also added 12 digs.
After forcing a fifth set, the Wesmen were tied 11-11 in the fifth but gave up four of the next five points.
"I think we can probably take another step up," Clegg said of his team that will go on the road to Mount Royal next weekend before opening a best-of-three playoff series. "I think we have it. It's just a matter of getting a little bit more playing time here. It's our first weekend off the bye, so what we're going to look to do probably is get a good weekend in against MRU and head into playoffs strong."
Calgary got 24 kills and 10 digs from Mac McNicol and 17 kills from Hamish Hazelden. The Dinos hit .262 for the night.
"It was just being able to execute down the stretch," Calgary head coach Rod Durrant said. "Both teams are very equal and I'm really proud of the way our guys stayed with it. They came out and put some pressure on us early and I was just really happy to see us stay with it and find a way in the end."