Western Broncos playoff set
By Josh Webster
The Western women's volleyball team's regular season ended Friday the same way most of its matches resulted this year with a victory. But uncharacteristically, this one wasn't easy.
The Mustangs defeated the Waterloo Athenas in five sets, by scores of 15-6, 11-15, 14-16, 15-5 and 15-7 to pad their lead on top of the OWIAA's West division.
After a quick start to the game, the Mustangs found themselves tied after two sets. The Athenas took their momentum into the third game, taking a 14-6 lead in the set. The Mustangs, however, were able to come all the way back to tie the set at 14. Although Waterloo was able to hang on to win the game, Western clearly recaptured the momentum and won the final two sets to win the match.
"We started off really strong and had a lapse in the middle," Western starter Marnie Simpson said. "Even though we lost the third game that was the turning point for us."
"Halfway through the third game we picked our butts up and it took us right on to the fourth game which was good for us," Western captain Lynn MacDonald added.
This was the best test the doctor could have prescribed for the Mustangs. With a regular season record of 13-1, it is easy to get over-confident. This game showed the Mustangs two things they can be beaten on any given night and when the team has to fight through adversity the Mustangs can pull together and end up on top.
Western won its division earlier this month. An early clinching of this much sought-after position can be dangerous, however, since it is easy for a team to lose its edge playing meaningless games to end the regular season. Much like the Denver Broncos, who after home field advantage was achieved, lost two out of their last three regular season games and lost their first playoff game to Jacksonville, Western could fall in that rut. Western coach Dean Lowrie certainly wants to avoid this fate.
"That is not the way we are approaching [these games]," Lowrie said. "We only have a limited amount of games in the month of February and we have to take advantage of every team we face."
"I don't take any team lightly in volleyball," Simpson added. "I think any team can come out and beat you. We can't take any team in the OWIAA lightly."
The next stop for the team is a trip to Kingston for the OWIAA finals on the weekend of Feb. 21. Until then Western has a stretch of two weeks without seeing any action.
TO BE OR NOT TO BE. Mustang Stephany Cahill plays around with a cute little bally-ball. Unbeknownst to the ball, he's about to have the crap beaten out of him