Volume 93, Issue 83

Wednesday, March 8, 2000


V-ball train makes final stop

Second and fourth at track finals

B-ballers fall in finals

Indoor hockey team forges for fourth place

V-ball train makes final stop

©Tom Baumgartner/Gazette
DO YOU SUPPOSE IT'S GOING TO COME BACK DOWN? The women's volleyball team tried to defy gravity on the weekend at the national championships on their way to a sixth place finish.

By Sean Maraj
Gazette Staff

So close, yet so far.

That was the story for the Western women's volleyball team who finished sixth at the Canadian Interuniversity Athletics Union championships last weekend in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The Mustangs, who finished their regular season without a loss and captured the Ontario University Athletics crown, went to Winnipeg hoping to return with a medal against the country's best teams.

Unfortunately, a strong University of British Columbia team overpowered Western in the first round of the tournament, relegating the Mustangs to the consolation round.

Although the team triumphed over the University of Regina, they would eventually fall in the consolation final against the Université de Laval to finish sixth in the tournament.

"We did all right, we went off with some high expectations," said Western head coach Dean Lowrie. "It was all in the luck of the draw. Going tired didn't help either."

Overall, Lowrie said his team played well but their level of fatigue hampered their play over the weekend. "It was a huge factor," he said. "We played well but you need to do something special and we really didn't."

Team captain Marnie Simpson said she was happy with her team's performance, but thought they were unlucky to meet UBC in the first round.

"I think we're pleased with how we finished. We were hoping for a bronze, but we ended up with a tough match against UBC," Simpson said. "We didn't have enough confidence in ourselves. All year it was focusing on the OUA championship, but I don't think we really focused on [the national] championship."

The Mustangs had problems handling the big hitters on the other teams, Lowrie said, but added Western wasn't without their own strong players.

"Every team had a national level player and we had some problems with that," Lowrie said. "Marnie was unbelievable – she was awesome through all three matches. She really proved herself as a national calibre player."

Regina head coach Miles Kydd said he was pleased with his team's performance over the weekend, especially considering not many people gave them a chance of even making it to the nationals.

"We played really well. The first day against Alberta was pretty close. We had chances to win and when you're saying that against the six time national winner – that's good," he said. "People were surprised by how well we did."

With the season now over, Simpson has finished her university career. Her time at Western included leading the team to three consecutive undefeated seasons and two trips to the CIAU finals. As for how she thought this season stacked up to one's from the past, she had nothing but praise.

"I loved this season, we had a good team and this was my third undefeated season. I cried at the Laval game because it was my last game in a Western uniform."

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