Volume 93, Issue 72

Tuesday, February 8, 2000


Inspiration leads Mustangs

An impressive victory

Streak remains after close match

Close but no cigar for Western

Close but no cigar for Western

By Sean Maraj
Gazette Staff

It was a game of inches.

Last Friday the Western men's volleyball team took their game with the Laurier Golden Hawks down to the wire.

In what was a hard fought match for both sides, the Mustangs fell in the tiebreaking set, losing the final game 15-13.

The momentum of the match went back and forth between the two teams, but in the second set, it looked as if the Mustangs were prepared to dominate the rest of the way.

However, Laurier managed to hold on and in front of a vocal home town crowd, the Golden Hawks win in the tiebreaker, which was played down to the last point.

Western captain and setter Peter Testa said his team should have faired better against the Golden Hawks, but gave Laurier credit for being able to take down the Ontario University Athletics' West division leaders.

"We played all right – we didn't play well enough to win and they did. We have to tip our hats to them," Testa said.

Laurier head coach Paul Pavan said he was pleased with his team's performance, but wasn't surprised by the outcome. He added that perhaps Western wasn't playing to their full potential.

"They didn't play beyond my expectations. We've played many matches like that – but our problem has been finishing them," Pavan said. "Today we finished one. Game two is where we lost it, but we hung on in the fourth and fifth and we won. I think Western can play a little better."

Western head coach Joffre Ribout said he was disappointed with his team's performance and thought they needed to work on their consistency.

"I don't think we played well at all, our biggest weakness was our defence," Ribout said. "Throughout the whole night we didn't play hard."

This was only the second loss of the season for the Mustangs. The team's first loss came at the hands of the University of Waterloo, who they will face again today. Testa noted it was important for his team to get over the weekend's loss if they planned to return the favour to Waterloo.

"We have to regroup. [Today] we play Waterloo and we're looking to beat them up with a vengeance," he said.

Ribout said he was also looking forward to the rematch against Waterloo and thought his team had enough motivation to be victorious over the Warriors. "The two losses should be enough motivation to win every point," he said.

The Mustangs are beginning a final four game run before they enter the playoffs. With Western sitting in first place, the pressure is mounting for them to perform.

Testa said he didn't think there was a large amount of extra stress at this point, but realized that when the playoffs begin, every game would become a must-win situation.

"We have a level of expectation that we live through the season, it's just going to continue in the playoffs – we just know we have to win," Testa said.

The rematch with Waterloo gets started tonight at 8 p.m. at Alumni Hall.

To Contact The Sports Department:

Copyright The Gazette 2000