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Volume 90, Issue 72

Friday, January 31, 1997

big stick


Mizak to my ears

©Sean Burges/Gazette
THIS IS A SET UP. Western setter Geoff Miller made life easy for the Mustangs' bashers during Wednesday's 3-0 win over Brock. Western's only two losses this season came against Laurier.

By John Intini
Gazette Staff

If the Western Mustangs men's volleyball team needs a shoulder to carry it, it can add starting middle Rob Mizak to the list of able-bodied candidates.

Mizak, who had been battling a shoulder problem over the last couple of weeks, was back for his second game in a row, helping the Mustangs dominate the winless Brock Badgers in three straight sets, 15-9, 15-8, 15-5 at Alumni Hall Wednesday night. The victory lifted the 'Stangs regular-season record to 8-2 while dropping the sorry Badger team to 0-9. Mizak, who was named player of the game, was a force at the net, holding a Badger attack at bay with countless blocks and devastating kills.

"Having Rob back is a big boost for us," team captain Geoff Miller said. "His overall presence on the court definitely gives us a more-consistent attack."

Mustang head coach Dave Preston felt his team was stronger with Mizak in the lineup.

"Craig Ridout has played great for us over the last little while but nothing can account for the experience and leadership that Rob brings to the court," he said. "He's an OUAA all-star, it's great having him at 100 per cent."

Badger head coach Kirsan Ashukian attributed the loss to inexperience, saying it was impossible to expect anything spectacular against a much bigger and stronger Western team.

"Without a win coming into the game all I was looking for was possible double digits," he said. "We just couldn't match up to their size. They're just too big."

Although the cellar-dwelling Badgers were not the toughest challenge for the Mustangs, Preston felt they provided his team a chance to iron out some wrinkles in its game.

"This game gave us the opportunity to work on our ball control, blocking, as well as the fine-tuning of our defence," he said. "It gave us a chance to practice in a real game situation which is a real plus with the playoffs right around the corner."

There were two scratches on the Mustang side of the court. Setter Scott Peckham was out with a knee problem and middle Darren Brownlee didn't dress due to a back injury. Preston explained both injuries are not big worries, even with the playoffs looming on the horizon.

"I have no doubt they will be back in next week," he said, "They both could have dressed tonight but we thought it best to give them a chance to rest up."

The Mustangs will see their next action on Wednesday when the Guelph Gryphons come to Alumni Hall. They finish the season on the road next Friday in Waterloo against the Warriors.

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

Copyright © The Gazette 1997