Volume 93, Issue 33
Thursday, October 28, 1999
Volleyball team ready to impale the competition
Gazette file photo
By Wes Brown, Sean Maraj and Chad Thompson
Western's men's volleyball team is getting their G1 licence this year so they can legally drive spikes into the competition.
Although the team has only played two games so far this season, Western head coach Joffre Ribout said both he and his team have one thing on their minds the Ontario University Athletics championships. "Our goal is to the win the Ontario championships, it hasn't been done [by Western] in 21 years. We've been in the [playoffs] in the past four years but haven't won yet."
Ribout added winning the championships is an issue of confidence. "Every year it's the same team that we lose to, [The University of Toronto] have won the past five years. We beat them in a pre-season tournament this year and have more confidence now when we play them. But we have to worry about winning the division first, than worry about beating U of T."
Western co-captain Peter Testa said the Mustangs are hoping to take things to a national level and travel to the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union championships. "We're hoping to finish fourth in the CIAU, we're presently eighth. We feel we are a top contender in the CIAU. Our first goal is to finish first in the OUA."
Like his coach, Testa said he was well aware of the challenge posed by Toronto. "They have a fantastic program, we've beaten them once already and we expect nothing more than hard fought matches."
Ribout said the team's chemistry will be the key to their success. "We've got four of six returning starters," he said. "It is important because you need three contacts in a play."
Ribout said the teams ability to side out and pass stand out as strengths along with the depth of the team. "We have eight or nine players to get the job done. On any given night someone can win a match for us."
Ribout added he felt confident in his two co-captains Testa and Craig Ridout. "Last year they were only in their second year they're 300 per cent better this year. They are used to their role as leaders and key players on our team."
One of the new rule changes this year increased the amount of points necessary to win from 15 to 25, with a point given to the winner of each rally. Ribout said he felt the change was a benefit to his team. "It helps our team as [last year] we had a tendency to fall asleep during a rally, we can't do that anymore. It allows us to retain the intensity in the match. It also allows us to see the results from our side outs."
Crowd attendance is an important part of the game and Ribout said the new method of scoring was a positive initiative for fans, as it increases the speed of the play. "The games go by faster with a point every rally."
There is also a new position on the floor called a leboro, which Ribout explained is a back court player. "[They] can't serve or spike but they can pass and set."
Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Hawks head coach, Paul Pavan, said Western is one of the teams to beat in the OUA West division. "We're fighting for a playoff spot. Western is probably going to finish on top."
Wetsern's next game is Nov. 3 at the University of Windsor at 8 p.m..
Copyright © The Gazette 1999