Volume 92, Issue 75
Wednesday, February 10, 1999
Mustangs spike Guelph
By Chad Thompson
If you were driving on the 401 near Guelph this weekend and listening real hard, you could have probably heard the sounds of the Western women's volleyball team driving spikes into the Guelph Gryphons.
Western was able to take the match in four games (11-15 17-15, 15-7, 15-12) Saturday afternoon to remain undefeated on the season.
"It was a good game," said Western coach Dean Lowrie. "It was a good challenge to play Guelph and especially tough to play them at home. We expected a battle."
Mustangs co-captain Marnie Simpson echoed her coach's response.
"We did really well," she said. "We were able to come back after losing the first set to take the match. We showed a lot of heart."
Gryphons head coach Linda Melnick said she felt the match could have gone either way if her team had been able to win the second set.
"Our team played well," she said. "I think we beat ourselves. We made a lot of mistakes they were able to capitalize on."
As for the first set, Lowrie said his team had to adjust to the flight of the ball in Guelph's gym.
"Their gym is funny in certain places," he said. "The ball seems to carry, which made us serve a lot of balls out of bounds. We misjudged a lot of balls but were able to adjust to the gym by the second game."
Simpson said she felt the set-up of the court was a factor in the early part of the match.
"The court is shaped like a hockey rink," she said. "It is really hard to know where you are because the lines are not really defined. The ball carried a lot and many times we were going for balls that were out of bounds."
"Our gym is a tough gym for others to play in," Melnick agreed. "They have to adjust to the way the ball carries which works to our advantage at times."
With the playoffs fast approaching, Lowrie said his team is taking each game one at a time. A win on Friday will be Lowrie's 40th in his Western career.
"We are focusing on each game as they come," he said. "We play McMaster on Friday and they are one of the hottest teams since the Christmas break. It will be a huge test and we are looking forward to it."
Simpson also stated the importance of focusing on McMaster.
"We are not looking too far ahead," she said. "The playoffs are in the back of our minds but we are able to put that aside and focus at the task at hand."
Guelph's regular season is done and will take the next two weeks to prepare for the post-season.
Since their team is filled with first and second-year players, Lowrie felt Western is gelling nicely at the perfect time.
"The girls are playing really well," Lowrie said. "They are relaxed and are really able to handle the pressure. February is a pressure-filled month. Each match counts and the girls are dealing with it really well."
Copyright © The Gazette 1999