Volume 92, Issue 86

Thursday, March 11, 1999


Unsung hero battling in trenches

Janischewski a perfect v-ball fit

Williams wants to prove he's no fluke

Western Rewind

Janischewski a perfect v-ball fit

©Dipesh Mistry/Gazette
IF ONLY THE BALL WAS HERE, I'D SMASH IT. Sonja Janishchewski shows tremendous spiking form, which aided their undefeated regular season.

By Michelle Crespi

Gazette Writer

If Sonja Janischewski wasn't so tall she may have been a world-renowned gymnast. Instead the six-foot member of the Western women's volleyball team decided to use her height to earn Mustang fame.

Forced to quit from her first love of gymnastics, Janischewski started playing at her small town high school in Quesnal, British Columbia and decided to continue at Grande Prairie Regional College in Alberta. Janischewski knew early on she wanted to play volleyball at the university level. Western quickly came into the picture.

Dean Lowrie, Western women's volleyball coach, heard about Janischewski and stopped to see her play when he was in Edmonton for the CIAU championships in 1997. At first sight Lowrie knew he wanted her as a Mustang. Janischewski accepted the invitation the following fall.

After transferring schools, Janischewski was forced to sit on the bench during the 1997/98 campaign. However, according to captain Marnie Simpson, she has become a key to the roster.

"Sonja is a stable part of our team and someone we can depend on," Simpson said. "Her back court play is improving daily and she is consistently strong in the front row."

Janischewski, who plays the middle position, was named to the Ontario University Athletics all-star team this season and finished third in blocks with an average of 1.94 blocks per game.

"Sonja is young, raw, athletic and strong. She also has good speed for her size and she is hard for others to defend," Lowrie said.

Janischewski was a key in Western women's volleyball team's first place finish in the West division this year.

"This season surprised everyone. I knew that we had some good talent on the team, but as everyone had been saying we were young," Janischewski explained. "The playoffs is where our youth caught up to us."

The defending OUA champs lost to the University of Toronto in this year's Ontario finals, an experience Lowrie said his club can use to their benefit next season.

"The team learned a lot and it won't happen again next year because they will be focused," he said.

Janischewski is already looking forward to next season, her last season of eligibility.

"Next year is going to be exciting," she said. "We don't lose anyone so we are used to playing together and we can leave the year of bads and goods behind us."

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