Men win while women wince
By Anthony Thomas
Not even broken racquets could stop the Western Mustang tennis teams from succeeding this weekend at the Ontario University Athletics individual championships.
While the men walked away with a singles silver and bronze, as well as a doubles gold, the women's side was marred by injuries, resulting in some unexpected early exits from the tournament hosted by Wilfred Laurier.
The Western men's representatives were all eventually eliminated by the same player Waterloo no. 1 seed Dave Marken. Mustang Brendan Collins won his first round match against McGill's top ranked player and then was eliminated by Marken in the quarter finals.
Next to face off against the eventual gold medal winner was Western's Dave Dodge. Dodge won the first set 6-4 and looked strong, but he ended up breaking the strings of four racquets. This forced Dodge to borrow one of teammate Jamie Dunnett's old racquets. Dodge ended up losing a tough three set match.
Dodge's teammate and no. 1 ranked player in the tournament, Jamie Dunnett, met Marken in the finals, losing 6-4 and 6-4.
Marken was the defending champion going into the tournament but was only ranked no. 4 because he did not play all of his regular season matches.
Despite the loss to Marken, Dodge came away with a bronze medal and Dunnett brought home the silver in singles. The duo of Dunnett and Dodge then captured the gold in doubles.
"That was my goal going there this weekend," Dunnett said. "It felt really good. Dave and I have worked well together. Out of all the doubles players I have played with over the years he and I make up the best combination."
Dunnett said he believes that it will be very hard to replace the graduating Dodge and the team's incredible season.
Mustang head coach Anthony Glavanic felt the performance of his athletes proved beyond any doubt Western is deserving of the no. 1 ranking.
"This weekend proved that we are a dominating force," Glavanic said.
After missing the team finals by one point, the women wanted to perform well at the individual finals. Unfortunately, both Kelly Kives and Dominic Hein were hampered by injuries and exited early in the singles and were then eliminated in a tough three set doubles match.
"It's disappointing for both players," said women's coach Suzie Hatch. "For Kelly, because it's her last year and for Dominic, because she came off an undefeated season."