Mustangs keep netting wins
Wrestlers peaking at right time
'Stangs squash everyone
'Stangs squash everyone
By Ian Ross
The Western squash team arrived at the Ryerson-hosted Ontario University Athletics individual championships this weekend in Toronto with guns a blazin'.
Leah Bishop and Leanne Devos rifled their way to silver and bronze respectively while head coach Tiffany Foster and Wendy Oliver took fifth and sixth place for the women's team.
"Everyone played to their potential," Foster said. "There were a lot of tough players we had to face."
The team's performance is a drastic improvement from last season when the team's top finish came from Devos who finished in fifth place. Even more remarkable is the fact team captain Emma Wardle was unable to attend the championship as she spent the weekend in Chicago filling a requirement for her medical degree.
Nicole Carroll from McMaster was the lone sharpshooter to survive the Western attack and grabbed the gold medal. Geoff Sheppard, the head coach from Mac, was happy with Carroll's performance but admitted depth had a lot to do with Western's high number of top finishes.
"They are able to train together at the same level and improve while we have only one top player with no one to play with."
Not to be out-gunned, the men also shot down some of the best talent in Ontario. Richard Yendall took care of top ranked Chris Dommasch of Brock in the semi finals before falling to Waterloo's Luke Fraser in the finals and settling for silver. His teammates were not far behind with fifth, sixth and seventh place honours going to Jonathan Dale, Jamie Nicholls and Erik Zaremba respectively.
Zaremba pointed to the depth of the team as the reason for the high number of top individual finishes.
"Our top four guys are very close in talent and the number 5 and 6 men are not far behind," he said. "We have a very strong team."
The performances of both teams will be used as spring boards heading into next weekend's OUA team championship in Hamilton at McMaster. Both teams are ranked No. 1 and are the heavy favourites to take the provincial title.
Carroll, who is hosting the event, predicted Western should walk away with both championships.
For the men, a team victory would represent the 16th straight title victory. Zaremba described the individual championships as a great method to tune-up for the team finals. "You really get to feel how the other players are playing," he said. "It was a good warm-up."