Volleyball squads spike the Laurier Golden Hawks
The Dean of Western volleyball
Chrissley clear waterpolo
Chrissley clear waterpolo
By Paul Leeking
One of the original Olympic sports which has stood the test of time is waterpolo. Anyone who has ever actually tried their hand at the game, knows just how gruelling and demanding it is.
Western's waterpolo team is composed of a group of players who understand the hardships of the sport. Leading them is fourth-year visual arts student, centre defenceman and team captain Scott Chrissley. Reflecting on the year, Chrissley said he is pleased with the team's development.
"Early on we really weren't sure of our roles," he said. "But as we progressed through the season, we began to pull together."
Chrissley said the troubles began with this season's large turnover of players which left doubts as to whether or not the team had enough strength to make the playoffs in a highly competitive Ontario division.
The Mustangs have also suffered with the Thames Hall facility they practice in, Chrissley said. He added they are at a big disadvantage against more equipped Toronto area teams.
"Compare it to hockey. When the [National Hockey League] players go to somewhere like Switzerland for international competition, they have to make all kinds of adjustments to allow for the larger ice surface. We have to make that adjustment every single time we play a game. It certainly hasn't been easy."
Even with the deck stacked against them, the Mustangs snuck into the playoffs this season. The team finished fourth and grabbed the last spot available for the four team playoff showdown next week.
Chrissley said team chemistry had a lot to do with their late season surge. The Mustang team features a nice blend of youthful spunk and veteran experience and the players on the team are close friends away from the pool. "I have been playing with some of these guys since grade nine." Chrissley said. "There are not a lot of Waterpolo players around, so we get to know each other pretty well."
Chrissley said getting involved in the sport as a youngster was centreed around the influence of some older waterpolo players who practised alongside his swim teams.
Western waterpolo head coach Kyle Seeback said Chrissley is one of the better defensive players in the league. As a person, Seeback added Chrissley is a great friend. "Scott's a great guy. He's the kind of guy you wouldn't mind dating your sister."
These sentiments were shared by Chrissley's teammate, goalie Jim MacLachlan. "Scotts's a fantastic player. He's probably the most underrated player in the league," MacLachlan said. "He's one of the nicest guys I know and has a great personality."
Catch the waterpolo team's playoff run Nov. 20-21 at the London Aquatic Centre.