Volume 93, Issue 27

Tuesday, October 19, 1999


Western closes the gate on Bishop's

Ruggers cook up Marauders 34-12

Western spikes their way over the Badgers

Ruggers soon to become pin-ups in 2000 calendar

Western's weekend bird watching

Western spikes their way over the Badgers

By Michael Murphy
Gazette Staff

The women's volleyball team was in top form Saturday afternoon, pounding countless balls to the floor as they nailed the Brock University Badgers.

The smattering of spectators on hand at Alumni Hall witnessed a methodical, convincing victory by the Mustangs, who won all three games, 25-12, 25-12 and 25-19.

Western played strong from the first serve of the match, setting and hitting balls with precision and power. Brock, on the other hand, struggled and had many of their spikes and serves sail harmlessly out of bounds.

The Mustang's took advantage of the Badger's miscues and used their relentless and organized defence to wear Brock down.

"They're a tough team to score on because they dig really well. Their defence is very good. They force you to just hit and hit and hit. It tires you out," said Badgers head coach Jennifer Currie.

Western head coach Dean Lowrie said he was most impressed by his team's defensive performance. "Our defensive movement was very good today," he said. "Brock's at a different stage in their development than we are right now, so they probably weren't hitting balls as hard as we're used to. They hit some awkward balls, which can be hard to read, but I was happy with the way we handled them."

In addition to strong defence, Mustang captain Marnie Simpson stressed team depth as a big reason behind their performance. "The best part of our game was that, no matter what lineup was on the floor, we managed to play strong."

Simpson added a strong bench is a must for any team who hopes to compete at the highest level. "All of the best teams in Canada don't just have a good starting six. They go eight or 10 people deep."

This was Western's second match in a week against the Badgers, whom they defeated 3-0 last Wednesday. Simpson praised Brock for what she saw as improved play. "They've improved immensely, even just this week. Brock's defence and blocking were much better today," she said.

As for areas in which the Mustangs want to improve, Lowrie said teamwork is a must. "I'd like to see us increase our level of communication, although it was very good today."

Simpson noted the team had some trouble maintaining their intensity for the entire contest and cited their less decisive third game win as an indication of this. "Every team has things they can do better. We can learn to stay strong the whole game. We let down a bit in the third game today and let them get back into it. As a team, we have a long way to go before we'll be at our peak performance."

Western has already opened their season with two victories. The team has not lost a regular season game since 1997. Simpson was confident the 1999-00 team can surpass the performance of last year's squad, which had to settle for a disappointing third place finish at the provincial championships.

"The team that we have this year is fundamentally the same as last year. We're a better team than we were last year and we'll be even better at the end of this season," she said.

Although Lowrie acknowledged competition will be extremely tough, he said he has high hopes for the women. "I like our chances as much as anybody else's."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999