Volume 93, Issue 21
Tuesday, October 5, 1999
Mustangs out 'polo' Perdue
© Graphic by Colin Butler
By Sean Maraj
Perdue travelled all the way to London for a waterpolo tournament and after the drubbing handed to them by the Mustang team, they may have been better off staying home.
Western's waterpolo team faced off against the American university over the weekend in their first tournament before their season begins today. The Mustangs came away victorious in both games, pounding Perdue on Friday 22-4 and continuing their winning ways with an 18-7 victory Sunday morning.
"For the first tournament they played very well. It's a long off-season for waterpolo and there's still a bit of rust," Western head coach Kyle Seeback said after the Mustangs' victory Sunday.
The waterpolo season lasts only a few months, ending in November. This year's Mustang team has had an influx of new players and hails members from all over Canada.
"Right now we have a lot of new players and last year most of the players played together and were from London. We have more people this year from all over Canada," said Western captain Scott Chrissley.
On Sunday, the Mustangs scored easily against their American opposition. Perdue head coach John Allen was quick to defend his team and said he was still fairly happy with the tournament.
"It's kind of tough because we didn't get to bring over our whole team," Allen said. "But we did do better [Sunday] than [Saturday]. We learned from the experience."
Seeback, although happy with his team's weekend victories, said he still sees room for improvement. Although his team played well on an individual basis, he said the Mustangs have to start improving their team work.
"We've got to start playing better as a team. We have a lot of good individual talent, it's just a matter of gelling as a team," he said.
The Western victory over Perdue also showed Canadian schools could compete against teams which play in the National College Athletics Association, a misconception which seems to be prevalent in the minds of most Canadian athletes.
"It's nice to know we can compete with a NCAA 1 school and beat them. It shows the strength of Canadian university sports," Seeback said of his team's success.
Allen was also quick to compliment the Western waterpolo program. He too acknowledged Western as a team he felt could easily compete against some of the NCAA's best.
"These guys are equal to one of our big 10," Allen said. "It's nice for us to come up and play a game against a team the equivalent of Michigan State."
With Perdue behind them, the Mustangs must now prepare for the season ahead of them. Western opens their regular season today against the McMaster Marauders a game more difficult than the easily won Perdue tournament. The game will see new members of the Mustang team face their first true test.
"We're getting ready for McMaster [today]," Chrissley said. "We've lost two starters and we have to bring up our intensity. McMaster is a stronger team and we have newer players who will have to pick up the slack."
Copyright © The Gazette 1999