Volume 92, Issue 52

Friday, December 4, 1998

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SPORTS
 

Mustangs Rideout great first half


©Tom Baumgartner/Gazette

OH YEAH, THERE THEY ARE! Mustang player Andrew Coles takes a peek over the net to see the competition. Western is head and shoulders above the rest with their 6-0 record.

BY JUSTIN KLEIN

Gazette Staff

The Western Mustang men's volleyball team were forced to play a tough four-game match against the basement dwelling McMaster Marauders Wednesday night at Alumni Hall.

Western (6-0) started off the first game without any rhythm, which allowed winless McMaster (0-6) to take a 7-5 lead. However, the 'Stangs quickly turned things around, led by left-side players Craig Rideout and Jeff Ranson, who made some big plays. Western's offence was too overwhelming and they won the first game 15-11.

"I am pleased with our effort tonight. Each player contributed to the victory," Western's head coach Dave Preston said. "Craig Rideout, Mike Wilson and Chris Gruhn all gave us a really good chance to get our offence going when we needed it."

The Mustangs started off the second game with a bang, as both their offence and defence held their ground. Winning the second, 15-11, Western was once again able to overcome a variety of errors to pull it out.

The third game featured much of the same action as the underdog Marauders took it to the much heralded Mustangs, winning 15-12, behind Courtney Smith's and Joseph Murray's domination and control of the net.

McMaster's head coach Scott Cooper did not feel Western's offence was anything special and blamed the loss on his own team aborting their game plan.

"Their offence is not so imaginative and is pretty basic," Cooper said. "What hurt us was our setter not sticking to the game plan."

Despite the simplicity of the Mustang offence, they have maintained their unbeaten record and forced the other teams to make mistakes.

In the fourth game, Western's offence got on track led by Jeff Ranson's 18 kills, as they disposed of the Marauders, who could not handle the overwhelming offence and stingy defence, 15-10.

Between Rideout and Ranson, Western has been able to dominate most of their competition this year. These players have been counted on to create winning opportunities for the Mustangs, but also their control of the net has allowed Western to keep the other clubs off the scoreboard.

"Rideout is an unbelievable leader on the court," said Mustang setter Peter Testa. "We looked to him when we needed him and tonight he played a great game."

The Mustangs go into the Christmas vacation with a perfect 6-0 record, which puts them in first place in the Ontario University Athletics standings. They resume action in Alumni Hall on Jan. 16 against the Laurier Golden Hawks.


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Copyright © The Gazette 1998