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Volume 90, Issue 81

Tuesday, February 18, 1997



Western diesel derails Lakehead

©Geoff Robins/Gazette
HAYL TO THE BUS-DRIVER MAN. Mustang Jennifer Haylor sets up for a shot from downtown at this weekend's home showdown with Lakehead. We whipped their sorry asses.

By Ian Ross
Gazette Staff

Like a freight train without any brakes, the Western women's basketball team continues to pick up momentum in its quest for a perfect season and a shot at the Canadian championship.

This past weekend, the undefeated Lakehead Nor'Westers pulled into town for a head-to-head showdown for first place in the Ontario West division. When the dust settled in Alumni Hall, Lakehead found its perfect season derailed by the Mustang machine, who won 69-57 on Friday and 86-69 on Saturday.

Setting down the best possible route to bring Western a national crown this season, head coach Bob Delaney has once again displayed his gift for adjusting the team's style of play from game to game to bring each player's talents out to their maximum efficiency. In his seventh season as head coach at Western, Delaney had proven this approach successful with an incredible 87-5 regular season record, three trips to the Canadian nationals and the respect of many coaches around the league.

"Bob is an outstanding coach," Lakehead head coach Stu Julius said. "His record speaks for itself and I'm sure that they will be very successful at the Ontario and Canadian championships."

After bidding good-bye to all-time Mustang scorer Michele Vesprini last season, Delaney has moulded this team into more of a balanced attack and, so far this season, this focus has proven successful with a 25-2 overall record and 10-0 in the regular season.

"[Delaney] has done a good job of recognizing players' strengths and weaknesses and realizing that some players are more suited to different styles of opponent play," third-year veteran Nadia Pezzolo said.

Delaney's talent for adjusting the team attack proved successful once again this weekend, when he asked to Pezzolo to turn up her offensive focus after spotting weaknesses in Lakehead's inside attack.

"Stu is a good coach so he's going to take away our strengths in [Angela] Nobes and Jen Haylor, but we have so many weapons that they could not possibly cover everyone," Delaney said. "In that situation we expect Nadia to step up and she did with an absolutely outstanding performance this weekend."

Leading the charge, Pezzolo hit 11 of 13 shots Saturday for 22 points and topped the team in scoring in both matchups. Known more for her defensive play and domination on the boards, Pezzolo's arrival on the scoresheet is a welcome addition to Western's balanced attack.

With a playoff spot guaranteed and the league's stiffest competition derailed, Western will swing through Waterloo at full steam tomorrow, looking to fine tune its skills and prepare for the aggressive East division opponents it will face in the OWIAA championships in mid-March.

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

Copyright © The Gazette 1997