Volume 91, Issue 57

Friday, January 9, 1998

on the rocks


Pezzolo turns up the intensity

©Geoff Robins/Gazette
WHY DO I GET THE FEELING EVERYONE IS STARING AT ME? Co-captain Nadia Pezzolo will be looked upon from coaches and teammates for her emotional leadership and strength under the basket this season.

By Alan Russette

Gazette Staff

Western's women's basketball team has a tradition of winning through hard work, discipline and unselfish play. Veteran Nadia Pezzolo, one of this year's team co-captains, exemplifies all of these characteristics.

The fourth-year forward from Grimsby is one of the cornerstones of the starting line-up, specializing in rebounding and defence on a team with a high-powered, guard-based offence. Although it may be easy for Pezzolo's contributions to get lost in the shuffle, her effort and specialized skills have in no way been taken for granted by any of her teammates or coaches.

"Nadia's a vital part of the team this year. She's a definite leader on and off the court and plays with a lot of heart," veteran guard Angela Nobes said. "She's got absolutely amazing rebounding skills and is able to spark us on both ends of the floor."

Pezzolo's ability to push the team to their maximum performance was rewarded this season with the title of co-captain.

"I was very honoured to be chosen as one of the co-captains this year," she said adding she plans to expand her role, particularly on offence.

Assistant coach Don Coleman said he feels Pezzolo's veteran leadership and wisdom will be a key to returning to the national championship tournament this season. "She's one of our mainstays at this point and is a very emotional player. She's got great drive and is definitely the heart of the team."

Bitten by two failed bids for the Canadian title after her second season on the team, Pezzolo took a year off to participate in an exchange program in France. "I think I took the losses harder than some of the other players. That was part of the reason why I took a year off," she said. "Sometimes I wish the younger players were in fourth or fifth-year so they could appreciate the team we have now."

With the team currently ranked fourth in Canada, Pezzolo believes the Mustangs have not yet hit their peak performance. "In past years we've started out strong, but it's been hard to maintain the same intensity over a six or seven-month season. I think it's only going to get better from here."

Currently in her final year of a double major in French and History, Pezzolo hopes to attend Western's Althouse Faculty of Education next September and play out her fifth year of eligibility. She also wants to keep involved in basketball after her career as a Mustang.

"After I finish playing, I think I'd like to start coaching," she said, adding that next year she may try to help out Mustang assistant coach Don Coleman with his other coaching duties at Regina Mundi College secondary school.

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

Copyright © The Gazette 1998