Volume 93, Issue 44
Wednesday, November 17, 1999
Mustangs avoid volleyball scare
Gazette file photo
YOU MISSED, SO WE COULD WIN - HIGH FIVE! Western had to use all of their cunning tactics to pull off a close victory over Laurier on Friday.
By Wes Brown
Friday night's match went the distance and when it came to a close, it was the Mustang women who were victorious over the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks, three games to two (25-27, 25-10, 21-25, 25-22, 15-7).
Western head coach Dean Lowrie talked about the close match after the game and said his team should be beating squads like Laurier more decisively.
"Historically, we have been the perennial team in the West. Over the last four years I think we're something like 50-1," Lowrie said about the number one ranked Western team. "Sometimes we approach [these games] as if it were just another day at the office, but these other teams come in here with nothing to lose, loose and ready to play."
The Mustangs played well when under pressure and Lowrie said this was particularly apparent in games four and five. "The team showed real composure near the end. Jill Gottschalk, a right side player, was very consistent throughout the entire five games. She made good choices and had a big kill efficiency in all the matches," he said.
Gottschalk credited the amount of kills she tallied throughout the evening to the lone Laurier blocker she had opposing her. She added every team in the league wants to beat the Mustangs and seem to always play their best when they meet the team.
"It was a little scary, it was almost like reality finally hit us, saying, 'Look, Laurier isn't just going to give it to us,'" Gottschalk said, referring to starting the fourth game down 2-1. "Laurier played really hard. They just kept coming back at us all through the game."
Laurier head coach Russ Woloshyn said when Western needed to turn up the intensity they did and as a result his team just couldn't put them away. "A measure of a good team is who can win the close points. We couldn't finish that's why they're number one and we're near the bottom," he said.
At one point in the fourth game, Laurier was up on Western 16-14 and Woloshyn said Lowrie must have got the word through to his team that it was crunch time.
"We're a pretty decent team, but I think it was more a fact that [Western was] on their heels for the first part. When the pressure's on, that's when they perform best," he said. "Their defence takes them a long way, they are always going to dig the ball up and recycle it. You have to make good plays against Western to beat them."
Gottschalk added when opposing teams raise the bar against the Mustangs, it acts as a good team motivator. "Other teams playing their best against us make us play our best. It's good for our league when everyone is playing at the top of their game."
Western plays at home tonight against the Guelph Gryphons at 6 p.m..
Copyright © The Gazette 1999