Volume 94, Issue 51

Wednesday, November 29, 2000


Men notch first win - Swimmers split at Laurier meet

Lady hoopsters fold - again

Yeomen yank away waterpolo win

Western badminton team flying

Western badminton team flying

By Ryan Dixon
Gazette Staff

The Western badminton team tortured the competition in crossover play this weekend, running their undefeated streak to 28 meetings.

The University of Ottawa and Queen's University were the victims of the Mustang wrath, as the Western men and women walloped the Golden Gaels 10-1 and shut out the U of O, 11-0.

Badminton is a unique sport in the Ontario University Athletics because it combines the men's and women's results to determine the final result. A head-to-head match with another university features five men's matches, five women's matches and one mixed doubles tilt.

Western head coach, Bill Mason, said this format plays right into the hands of the Mustangs. "What sets Western apart is that we have a great balance between the men and the women. We have been getting wins from both sides, especially this year when the women have been very strong," he said.

Mason also said that while the scores might not indicate it, the competition was very tough. Ottawa and Queen's are two of the top teams in Ontario and the final tallies, especially of the Ottawa match, might seem misleading.

"One element that played a part in the result was that some of the stronger players from Ottawa didn't play. They were missing one of their top four male players and their two top women," he said.

Women's co-captain and first-year player, Janis Kawamoto, said she thought the team was on top of its game. "We were really strong and we were going for the shutout. Over all the weekend went really well. I think we are peaking at the right time."

Kawamoto was certainly peaking personally. The rookie went undefeated in her matches. She said Western made a statement with their strong play. "I think it sends a message that we are ready to take on anyone."

Men's club member, Kevin Eng, said with the youth of this team, the big winning weekend will serve as a springboard for upcoming matches. "It gives us a lot of confidence heading into our next tournament and playoffs, especially with the number of rookies we have."

Eng also said he was a little surprised with Western's results, considering the stiff competition. "I was [surprised], but we really have a talented team this year. We worked hard heading in and were just ready to play."

Mason said the team's current undefeated streak is the result of a lot of dedication. "We practice hard and work on tactical things. We work a lot on fitness, because badminton is a sport that requires great stamina and conditioning. All of our players are very committed."

To Contact The Sports Department:

Copyright The Gazette 2000