Volume 92, Issue 41

Tuesday, November 17, 1998

no. 1 where it counts


Testa's return sparks triumph

Tom Baumgartner/Gazette

PLEASE LET ME HIT THE BALL, PLEASE. Mustang co-captain Craig Rideout looks to be playing homage to the ball, but it was the Guelph Gryphons who bowed under the Mustang pressure Friday night at Alumni Hall.

By John Intini

Gazette Staff

Using the adrenaline generated by the return of Peter Testa, the Western Mustang men's volleyball team won a tough four-set match over the visiting Guelph Gryphons Friday night.

Testa, the starting setter and co-captain of the Mustangs, returned to the line-up after being out of action for two weeks with a lateral meniscus tear.

The Mustangs (2-0) looked solid overall, winning their home opener at Alumni Hall 3-1, (15-12, 12-15, 15-10, 15-8). According to Mustang middle Andrew Coles, Testa's return was a huge boost to the club.

"Peter brings a lot of competitiveness to the court and although we have had some great help from Scott [Peckham] and Chris [Gruhn] the last couple of weeks, their top priority is not our setter position," he said. "This is Peter's priority and it is great to have him back."

Western's other middle player, Jeremy Jonckheer, said the game with Guelph, which was a lot tighter than the score shows, was exactly what the Mustangs were expecting.

"We expected a tough match and got one," he said. "They have a lot of guys back from last year, but it seemed to come down to us just wanting it more in the end."

Gryphon head coach Doug Dodd was disappointed with the loss and said his club just broke down too many times with their serving and passing game.

"Western was able to maintain a high level of play the whole match," Dodd said. "Our serving and passing broke down and we are just not as smooth as Western is right now."

Dodd did not count out his team's future superstars against the Mustangs. "We have a good shot at them, but as tonight showed, we are not quite up to speed."

Jonckheer said although the teams were evenly matched, the Mustangs had the decisive advantage in height, which he said can play a large factor in long games.

"We are one of the biggest teams across Ontario," he said. "Our height allows us to tire out our opponents which seemed to be the case with Guelph. Their smaller guys became fatigued as the match went on."

Consistency is the only point of concern for the Mustangs, Jonckheer said.

"We have such issues with consistency we have to work on," Jonckheer said. "With Peter back we have a better flow and things are looking real good right now."

The Mustangs will get a shot at working on consistent play when they host the Windsor Lancers at 8 p.m. at Alumni Hall tomorrow night.

To Contact The Sports Department: gazette.sports@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998