Volume 92, Issue 25

Tuesday, October 20, 1998

coughing up debt


Big win, too little too late

©Tom Baumgartner/Gazette

SMASHING SUCCESS. Despite a poor season for the women's tennis team, Dominic Hein (above) and Kelly Kives will be volleying their way to the individual championships Oct. 30 and 31.

By John Dinner

Gazette Staff

In a tennis season that was dominated by the men and not because of their winning ways, the Western women's tennis team is making some noise.

Saturday saw the tennis end their season on a high note, thrashing Waterloo and Laurier, 8-0 and 7-1 respectively. Despite these wins, Western still finished fifth overall in the Ontario University Athletics tennis circuit, meaning last year's second place team is out of the playoffs.

"It's a good way to end out the season," first-year coach Suzie Hatch said. "It's disappointing. We started to peak at the end of the season but we were playing the weaker teams. If we had started out-playing the weaker teams and played the tougher teams later, then our fortunes would probably have been much different."

Even with the team having a disappointing season, Western will still send two women to the individual finals to compete on behalf of the university – Western's no. 1 ranked player Kelly Kives and the so far undefeated Dominic Hein from Mexico City.

Hein, in her third year at Western, had the first undefeated season of her career, going 7-0 in singles action. Despite her excellent season, Hein was quick to deflect praise and focus on the team.

"We're not really satisfied with the season," Hein said. "There was a lot of change this year. New players and a new coach, so we had some adjusting to do, but we did end the season on the right note."

Hein and the rest of her teammates hope they can carry their play at the end of the season into next year and get back to the level of play theybelieve they are capable of. But for now Hein and Kives must focus on the individual championships being held in two weeks at Laurier.

"My biggest strength is my strong mind, I play very focused," Hein said when asked what she brings to the court. "I play a very smart game. I try not to force anything and keep the ball in play."

For Kives, the year has been particularly hard as she has had to battle some injuries to remain competitive.

"She's very intense and focused on the court," Hein said. "She brings a lot of intensity and emotion to her matches."

Kives believes if she can maintain her health, she could be a force to be reckoned with. She also believes Hein can fare well against the tough competition.

"In our three years of playing together, this is the toughest competition ever," Kives said. "The play in the league has been very high. But this is also the best I've ever seen Dominic play. She's playing tough and she's really focused."

With Hein and Kives going to the championships, Hatch hopes they can bring some success back with them to continue their growing process.

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

Copyright © The Gazette 1998