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Volume 90, Issue 75

Thursday, February 06, 1997

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SPORTS
 

Guelph spikers kept in question


©Sean Burges/Gazette
IS IT ME, OR DOES THE NET SEEM A LITTLE HIGH? Western's Kim Hefford (6) attempts to volley the ball at the marching band. She missed but the Mustangs spiked Guelph pretty hard.

By Kathy Ens
Gazette Staff

The women's volleyball team squeaked out a close win over the Guelph Gryphons last night at Alumni Hall diminishing the Gryphons' playoff hopes. The Mustangs swept three games over Guelph by scores of 15-13, 15-11 and 15-11.

For Western, it wasn't serving that won the game.

"Our serving was simply awful," said Western captain Lynn MacDonald. Western was inconsistent with its serving in contrast to Guelph's strong serving performance.

"Our poor serving showed early in the game," said Western coach Dean Lowrie. "When we miss serves, it affects us emotionally." Missed serves were a clear factor in the game for Western – these unforced errors could have helped them in the late stages. Mustang middle hitter Julia Brand added, "Our serving should have been much better since we were playing in our own gym."

Western knew the Guelph squad was a good team and a tough battle on the court was expected.

"Guelph needed this game for a playoff berth in the Ontario finals," said Lowrie. "We had the opportunity to play well, as we have to battle for the rest of the year." Western's coach was impressed by Guelph's defence and gave credit to the Gryphons for scoring points on a lot of tips.

"Guelph did a good job on changing up what they were doing," said MacDonald. "Our win was due to us executing our game plan."

"I wouldn't say we played exceptionally well," said Guelph coach, Linda Garratt. "Western definitely did stuff to beat us."

Guelph was a player short on the night, using only one setter with Josephine Ngiau making an outstanding contribution to her team. This slowed things down in the backcourt, putting a halt on the squad's defensive attack. "Western beat us. I don't think we lost, in terms of a poor performance," said Garratt. "I thought we could beat them. We expected to beat them."

All the Western starters made fine contributions on the court. Marnie Simpson led the team with 17 kills and 17 digs. MacDonald added power with 10 kills, 5 blocks and 14 digs. Brand also contributed with 11 kills and 12 digs.

With a 12-1 record, Western is the only team which has clinched a playoff berth. "This would be a good season if we finish 13-1," said Lowrie. McMaster, Windsor, Waterloo and Guelph are still in the playoff hunt. Guelph must win its next game in order to qualify. Western now prepares for a tough match at Waterloo tomorrow night.


To Contact The Sports Department: gazsport@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright © The Gazette 1997