Volume 94, Issue 52

Thursday, November 30, 2000


Running for your life - Tips on how not to hit the wall

Mustangs try to spike McMaster - Volleyball men prepare for battle tonight

Two upcoming games you can't miss

Sports Briefs

Mustangs try to spike McMaster - Volleyball men prepare for battle tonight

Gazette File Photo
UH OH, I THINK I JUST SPLIT MY PANTIES. Western's men's volleyball team is hoping to increase their winning streak to five games when they host McMaster tonight at Alumni Hall.

By Ryan Dixon and Jessica Leeder
Gazette Staff

The Western men's volleyball team will be hoping to extend their winning ways when they host the McMaster Marauders tonight at Alumni Hall.

The Mustangs, coming off a win at York, have extended their unbeaten streak to four matches. Western head coach Dave Preston, said a big factor in the win against the Yeomen was Western's ability to stop York's attack at the net.

"We really blocked well. We were very prepared and they just couldn't stop us offensively," he said.

York head coach, Wally Dyba, said he also saw the Mustang's blocking as a decisive factor in the game. "It played a very significant role, they out blocked us 30-10."

Dyba went on to say the stature of the Mustangs worked in their favour, not to mention the experience Western boasts. "They are very experienced and they have good size. They are well prepared as well."

Preston said the team is currently playing "decent offence," but if they want their winning streak to stay alive against McMaster they will need to work on their defensive efforts, and improve on their already strong blocking.

"We definitely need more blocks and digs," he said. "These guys are too talented to not let things come together."

McMaster head coach, Dana Cooke, said she expects a good tough fight with the Mustangs. She said her team has a knack of coming up big when they face a tough rival like Western

"When we play stronger teams, we tend to play better. We seem to play to the level of our competition. Everyone likes to play Western, no matter what sport. I think our guys will be really fired up," she said.

Mustang co-captain, Peter Testa, said Western will be depending on their bread and butter to combat the Marauders. "The strongest part of our team is our blocking – we're a big team and we're a good attacking team, which means we are difficult to block."

Part of the job of a co-captain is to keep the team motivated. Testa said he is not worried about any potential mental let-downs as a result of the current unbeaten streak.

"If anything, it is easier to keep at the level we need to be – we've seen what it takes to win and as long as we continue to get that feeling and work that hard it can only get better," he said.

Testa went on to say the team's early season stumbling may have been a blessing in disguise. "After losing those two games we were looking for answers, but now we have had a chance to see what it takes to beat those undefeated teams that we're better than and we've seen what it takes to win."

Previous to playing York, the Mustangs had yet to face any Canadian Intercollegiate Athletics Union ranked teams and because of that they remain unranked themselves. Since they have now defeated the Yeomen, Western can expect to be placed in the top 10 nationally when the rankings are released later this week.

Testa said having a number beside their name is not of great significance for Western, but it has some perks.

"It's something we're not really concerned with but it would be nice. On one hand you crack the top 10, and that's one of the perks that goes along with playing a varsity sport, but you still have to keep winning. As long as our coach is happy with our play that is a good enough ranking."

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