Volume 91, Issue 69

Friday, January 30, 1998

cheque please


Perfect women spike Brock

©Geoff Robins/Gazette
IF ONLY I HAD WORN MY PLATFORM SHOES. Stephany Cahill [4] leaps for the sky as the women's volleyball team jumped past Brock in a straight sets victory.

By Michael Sikorski

Gazette Staff

On Wednesday evening the Mustang women's volleyball team travelled to St. Catharines to play an overmatched Brock Badger team, winning in straight sets 15-8, 15-2 and 15-12 against a team which has spent most of the season in the basement of the Ontario West standings.

However, Western's perfect season, with a 12-0 record thus far, has not gained the national recognition many would expect.

Even with the convincing win and Western entering the game as obvious favourites, the Mustang players were not about to rule out the possibility of a Brock upset.

"It's easy to lose your focus when you're playing a weaker team. We had to make sure not to play down to the level of the team we're playing against," Mustang Marnie Simpson said.

Western co-captain Bonnie Matsubayashi agreed that concentration was a key factor going into the game.

"We didn't know what to expect, we took the attitude: we'll do what we have to do on our side and see what happens," she said.

One of the many bright spots on the Mustang side was the ability for the bench to step in throughout the game and punish a less talented Badger squad.

"He [coach Dean Lowrie] played a lot of the younger players. It was good to play a match with the whole team playing," Simpson said.

The women have two more regular season games, including a big game against second place Guelph and the season ending with a match against Waterloo.

Traditionally, teams from the Ontario West have been weaker compared to teams from the Eastern division. However, with the OUA playoffs approaching, the West is hoping to knock off some of the Eastern teams and in the process get the attention of the rest of the country.

"There are at least three solid teams in the West this year – Guelph, McMaster and us," Simpson said.

Even with these improved programs in Ontario, nationally it will take a CIAU title to earn the respect of the the rest of the country in the national rankings.

"Ontario isn't really looked fondly upon, because we have that many more universities spread the athletes around," Matsubayashi said.

As for Western, it will be hard to say whether the Mustangs are as good as their perfect record indicates (or if their competition is really that bad) until the Ontario finals.

"It's kind of hard to move up in the rankings when you don't get to play against ranked teams," Simpson said.

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

Copyright © The Gazette 1998