Volume 90, Issue 62

Wednesday, January 15, 1997



Women spikers up in arms over Laurier

By Kathy Ens
Gazette Staff

The Western women's volleyball team had a great Christmas and is looking forward to a high-flying 1997. However, these university students did not have time to take a long rest. Over the holidays the Mustang team travelled to British Columbia and Ottawa to compete in two exhibition tournaments.

In B.C., Western earned a bronze medal behind Victoria and U.B.C., who finished second.

The team recently played with immense focus at a tournament hosted by Carleton in Ottawa, but fell a short volley shy of a gold medal. The team's loss in the final came to F.X Garneau College of Quebec by a score of 15-17, 10-15, 15-4 and 17-15. Until the final the Mustangs were undefeated, beating Halifax's St. Mary's University 16-14, 15-9 and 15-7 in the semi-finals and Carleton (3-2), Brock (3-0) and John Abbot (3-0) in the preliminary round.

The team utilized key role players to make up for the absence of Lynn MacDonald, who stayed home to rest with the flu. Stepping up were Julie Brand and Marnie Simpson – both being named to the tournament all-star team.

"Our goal from coach [Dean] Lowrie was to work as individuals in the first half and then to work as a team which we did at past tournaments," Simpson said. "We gained good experience in order to be recognized as a winning team and know that other teams want to beat us."

MacDonald is a questionable starter as the team begins the second half of its season at home today against a young (1-5) Laurier team which is still focusing on its defensive approach, blocking and offence. The top-ranked Mustangs shouldn't have any trouble with the Golden Hawks, however, the squad knows no team should dismissed as an easy win.

"We can't take any team lightly," Simpson said. "Any team in volleyball is beatable."

Western prevailed in its last match against Laurier, winning three games to one. "We will be playing with confidence against Laurier," Lowrie said. "Although, we must not think of future matches in order to win this game."

"Western is a good team and we are looking forward to a good match," Laurier coach Cookie Leach said. "To beat Western we must cut down on unforced errors and play the whole match instead of half of a match."

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