Volume 91, Issue 67

Wednesday, January 28, 1998



V-Ballers starving for competition

©Geoff Robins/Gazette
HE CAN FLY HIGHER THAN AN EAGLE. THEY ARE THE WIND BENEATH HIS WINGS. The men's volleyball team have been soaring past their competition this season on the arms of co-captain Andrew Brunton [13] and the rest of the Mustang squad.

By Ian Ross

Gazette Staff

Like a sniper with an itchy finger, Western's volleyball teams have been blowing away their competition this season without any remorse.

Last Friday, both the men and women continued to compile undefeated records with their latest victims, the Windsor Lancers, through the scores 9-15, 15-12, 15-4, 15-5 and 15-10, 15-5, 15-5 respectively.

Heading into the home stretch towards the playoffs, both teams feel they have not yet played strong competition on a consistent basis nor received proper credit for their success.

"I've been here for four years and it always seems we get overlooked," men's co-captain Travis Wintjes said on Western's lack of respect outside of the division.

The men of Windsor (7-2) produced the best competition Wintjes and the rest of his team (10-0) has seen during the regular season – not saying much for the level of competition the Mustangs must compete against on a regular basis.

"The Ontario West has always been the weakest league," Wintjes said. "And if you don't play against the top teams in the country, you will have trouble trying to match up against them later."

Women's co-captain Bonnie Matsubayashi would also rather be playing some of the tougher teams that Western (11-0) met in exhibition play, game in and game out. However, she stresses the team has managed to make the best of the competition they have faced.

"When we are playing teams that are not as good, we make ourselves better by trying new plays," she said.

Mustang women's head coach Dean Lowrie admits the team's success has raised expectations for the season, but insists going undefeated is nothing more than a perk for the team.

"The goal at the start of the year was to win the West," Lowrie said. "We have now changed the focus to improving for the playoffs."

In need of some serious competition to prepare for the post-season, both teams will have to settle with playing the bottom dwelling Brock Badgers in St.Catharines tonight.

Lowrie feels his women's team will be more than ready for the 1-7 Badgers, but is cautious to walk into the game unprepared for a fight.

"We haven't seen them since Christmas and they have a history of injuries so we never know what we will see when we play them," he said.

Brock's men's team is no better, sporting a 0-8 match record.

"Our goal is to work on the flow of our game so we can go into the playoffs feeling comfortable," Wintjes said adding that the Badgers pose no threat to derailing Western's perfect season.

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

Copyright © The Gazette 1998