Quest for West begins
Mustangs give it away
Pezzolo controls the post
Losing streak gets put on ice
By Anthony Thomas
The Western badminton team swatted their way to a silver medal this past weekend at the Ontario University Athletics championships held in Ottawa.
After battling it out with the second seeded Toronto squad in the semifinals, the 'Stangs were stopped in their tracks by the heavily favoured York Yeomen in the finals.
Western coach Bill Mason was pleased with the silver medal and stated how it was the team's goal going into the tournament because of the York team's strength.
"York has a very strong team with three national level players and one player who has played in the Commonwealth Games," Mason said.
York proved they were the stronger team on Sunday, defeating Western 11-0. York coach Fred Fletcher said he felt the Western team was very well balanced and well rounded. "York's top three or four players were just a notch better," Fletcher said.
The Yeomen were really in a league of their own going undefeated on the season. Mason said he felt Queen's, Toronto and Western were more evenly matched. This proved to be true on the weekend as the semi final went down to the wire with Western coming out narrowly on top 6-5.
Fletcher felt it was a great accomplishment for Western to knock off the higher seeded Toronto Varsity Blues. "It required a really good effort. They should take a lot of pride in beating Toronto," Fletcher said. "Western put all of their effort into the semifinals."
Western also produced some individual medalists on the weekend. Mike Twiner and Leo Chiu won the gold in men's doubles, while Lindsay Holtz and Kevin Eng took home the silver in the mixed doubles.
Eng said he not only enjoys co-ed doubles but also the co-ed team aspect of badminton. "It's a lot of fun because you get to have more of a team atmosphere." Badminton is one of few varsity sports where both men and women compete together.
Eng feels the closeness of the team contributed to their success. "We all supported each other," Eng said. "Our team had the most spirit."
Western featured a balanced team and according to Mason, this was the key to their success not relying solely on the women or the men.
Western will only lose a couple players next year as they embark on another quest for gold.