Volume 92, Issue 62
Tuesday, January 19, 1999
Brunton takes charge in court return
© Dipesh Mistry/Gazette
By Justin Klein
High on incentive but low on talent, the Laurier Golden Hawks volleyball team failed on Saturday in their attempt to bring an end to the Mustang men's undefeated season.
The Hawks, a shorter and smaller team, not only lost to the overpowering Mustangs, but fell three games to none (15-6, 15-3, 15-9).
"We were physically overmatched and we were overmatched in the experience department," said Laurier's head coach Paul Paven. "We were overmatched in every facet of this game against Western. We can't compete with Western."
Although the level of talent was unbalanced between the two teams, injuries also played a major role in the outcome of the game. The Golden Hawks suffered a severe setback to their starting lineup just prior to the match, when middle Robert Chambers was lost to a shoulder injury.
The resulting roster shuffle only further weakened the Hawk attack when Ontario all-star Ryan Brown moved into a less productive role at middle. Brown, who is known for his tremendous power, failed against the Mustang defence, as opposing middles Andrew Coles and Jeremy Jonckheere restricted Brown to six kills on 21 attempts.
"We took control of the game really early," said Mustang left-side player Craig Ridout. "Coles established that he was in control of the middle which made their offence go to the outside. That was our goal at the beginning and it worked out well in the end."
The Mustangs were also forced to alter their winning lineup formula as offensive right-side Jeff Ranson was out with a knee injury. The big hole was filled by Andrew Brunton, a fourth-year veteran, who hadn't seen much action recently due to Ranson's dominating play. Brunton proved to be the most offensive player on the Mustang team with 12 kills to his credit.
"We have a team with versatile players who are able to fill in for missing players," said co-captain Peter Testa. "Brunton is an unbelievable player. He is our team leader and he did an amazing job [Saturday] filling in for Jeff."
With Brunton successfully attacking at the net, Coles took care of the bulk of the defence with four digs and five blocks in addition to nine kills.
The Mustangs will try to defend their perfect 7-0 record this weekend when they face off against the Waterloo Warriors Saturday at 2 p.m. in Alumni Hall.
Copyright © The Gazette 1999