Volume 93, Issue 60
Tuesday, January 18, 2000
Gruhn's big dig gives Western three set win
Gazette file photo
By Mike Sveinson
The Western men's volleyball team continued to roll over the opposition Thursday night with an impressive three set victory over the visiting McMaster Marauders, 25-10, 26-24 and 25-20.
In a game largely dominated by strong defensive work, McMaster was simply unable to match Western's ability to score.
This was particularly evident in the second game of the match, in which Western took an early lead, fell behind and then clawed their way back to win the set.
The set featured the most exciting action of the match. Early in the game, McMaster's fifth-year hitter Kevin Shonk was single handily tipping the scales in favour of the visitors.
Building a 24-23 lead, the Marauders were in a position to win the game. However, Western's left side, Chris Gruhn, performed some last minute heroics and came up with a crucial dig on the decisive point. The tying score led to Western eventually winning the game.
When asked which part of Western's attack was the difference in the match, McMaster head coach Ed Wolters noted the defensive consistency Western showed throughout the night.
Western head coach Joffre Ribout confirmed the team has been paying attention to defensive improvements. He noted the strong defensive work and key digs as crucial to Western's victory.
Western's emotion and confidence were built around the Gruhn dig in game two. Unfortunately for McMaster, Gruhn was able to dig Shonk's huge spike, allowing Western to salvage the game.
Gruhn credited coach Ribout with keeping the club focused on Shonk during the game. "Joffre told me where to go and who to watch and it worked out just right," he said.
Western's next challenge is this weekend's tournament hosted by Dalhousie University. The Mustangs are scheduled to battle the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union's fifth ranked University of Sherbrooke in the opening game.
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