Volume 93, Issue 64

Tuesday, January 25, 2000


Windsor sticks loss to Mustangs

6-0 spank in first of two

Western secures first place ranking

The judges say third

Once again for Wendel

Western secures first place ranking

By Chad Thompson
Gazette Staff

Western's badminton team had yet another successful shuttle launch over the weekend, as they ended their season with a perfect record, beating Queen's, Ottawa, Toronto, York and Ryerson universities in the final tournament of the regular season.

Western will now enter the Ontario University Athletics championships tournament ranked number one and face U of T in the semifinals. Because the OUA finals do not feature individual championships, the Western's men's doubles team of Mike Twiner and Leo Chiu and mixed doubles team of Kendra Coulter and Marcus Wong were awarded the OUA individual championships on account of their strong play during the season.

Western head coach Bill Mason said the team of Chiu and Twiner is a mixture of power and finesse. "Mike is a tall powerful player and Leo is a short agile precise player. Their styles work well together."

Twiner agreed with his coach's assessment. "We are kind of opposites, we compliment each other well. When we get in the groove, it is just phenomenal."

Chiu said it took time in order for he and Twiner to feel comfortable with each other's playing styles. "It took a lot of work, we give each other a lot of free reign. One guy takes a chance, the other is there to back him up. It allows us to be creative. He saves my ass a lot."

As for the mixed doubles team, Wong said he and Coulter were a good mix. "We play really well together. She covers the front and I take the back. We have practiced a lot together." Coulter had nothing but praise for her doubles partner. "Marcus is very experienced. He's an incredible player who has a good mental game."

The fact the team went through the season undefeated was a compliment to his players, Mason said. "[Being undefeated] is a real fine accomplishment for our team. We have a number of veterans, so it's nice to see everything come together. Being undefeated reflects our strength."

Western women's captain Carolyn Smith said it felt good to be number one going into the OUA finals and said the team would spend the next few weeks preparing. "We will look over the whole season and look at our lineup and see what we have."

Western's only concern for last weekend's tournament was whether or not they would beat Queen's. A slim 6-5 victory secured Western their number one ranking and tournament win.

Mason said the win against Queen's gave him a chance to use different combinations of players. "We could experiment and also rest people who need to be rested. The only thing left was to decide individual championships."

Queen's head coach Seva Golosky said although the tournament went well, he would have liked to beat Western so as to make the tournament dramatic. "We're solidly in second. If we had [won the match versus Western] it would have had more meaning. It took away from the excitement."

With the badminton dust now settled, Western looks towards U of T in the semifinals at the OUA championships, Feb. 13 at York University.

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