Volume 93, Issue 52

Wednesday, December 1, 1999


Lancers skewered by Mustangs

Badminton team makes rivals watch the birdie

Keeping squashing streak alive

Taunting - it's just unnecessary

The last Canadian hockey dynasty

Keeping squashing streak alive

By Wes Brown
Gazette Staff

The Mustangs squashed all those who stepped into the same court as them this weekend, as Western hosted and won the second West sectional of the season.

With the tournament victory, the men's team has won all of their matches including the first West sectional and the crossover tournament earlier this season. Western is a flawless 10-0 on the season and ranked first in Ontario University Athletics.

Head coach Jack Fairs said the team has good balance and depth right through the lineup which gives him the ability to play different people at different positions within the team.

"So far this year we haven't lost any matches to any other school," Fairs said. "No team at Western has won as many championships as the squash team – 17 in a row and 25 over the last 30 years."

Fairs said the university has been lucky with the quality of teams they have had over the years and credited the players the Mustangs' have had in their lineups.

"We have the top players in Canada, which is an ideal talent base. Because of our program, we are the only team in Canada that plays in the [United States] Collegiate Championship. Last year, we finished fifth in the tournament and we're ranked fifth this year [going in]."

Team captain and second-year player Jamie Nicholls said this year's team is looking equally strong as last year's, despite losing two top players from their roster.

"Western has been the dominant program over the past 20 years or so," Nicholls said. "We haven't really had any serious scares this year, but you definitely wouldn't want to be the team to lose the first match in years."

After another successful tournament, Nicholls said the University of Toronto is gunning for them this season, especially since Western beat them in last year's finals. "U of T has a fairly strong squad. We beat them 5-1 but there was some very close matches."

As captain this season, Nicholls said he has focused on motivating the players to work hard. He said although he may not be the most talented member of the team, he makes up for it in volume on the side lines. "The older guys like to lead by example, where as I'm just outspoken."

The University of Waterloo was second at the tournament and head coach Clive Porter said the rank was just as good as coming in first, because the Mustangs always win. "Western has always had one of the top teams for the last 10, 15 even 20 years. They have strength and lengths, you need that if you're going to compete against the States," Porter said.

After Western, Porter said all of the universities are pretty close in skill. "Western is number one and they're definitely deserving of it. Right now, we're doing our best to battle for the fourth playoff spot."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999