Volume 94, Issue 28

Thursday, October 19, 2000


Harding a real team leader

Volleyballers kick off promising season

New York civil war on the horizon

Volleyballers kick off promising season

By Jessica Leeder
Gazette Staff

Last weekend the women's volleyball team kicked off what is shaping up to be a promising 2000 season, winning their first Ontario University Athletics game of the year against Brock, 3-0 in three straight sets.

Mustang left side Jill Gottschalk, who plays on the left side, said she thought the win was not entirely indicative of what the Mustangs are going to be capable of this season.

"I don't think that we played our best. We can play a lot better," she said. There were a lot of players out of position and we have a lot of injuries right now. Once everyone gets healthy, things are going to go a lot better." The Mustangs won 25-20, 25-15 and 25-21.

Brock head coach, Jennifer Currie, said she expected a strong showing from the Western squad and commended the team for both their talent and effort.

"I think my team could have played better, but I don't want to take anything away from Western – they are obviously a very talented team."

Marnie Simpson, 1999 co-captain, is the only player not returning from last year's squad. The loss of her presence on and off the courts has left a noticeable void. For the time being, the returning left side and fourth year student Bridget Campbell stands as team captain with what head coach Dean Lowrie described as a whole bunch of other leaders on the court.

"We have yet to name a second captain to the team because there are just so many returning players who are leaders on the court. Everyone needs to pull up their socks just a little and [Marnie's departure] won't be as big of an effect on the team. Everyone knows their roles now, everyone's starting to calm down and relax."

"This year is different because we don't have just one leader on the floor we have a whole bunch," Gottschalk said.

The team has spent considerable time this fall traveling to exhibition tournaments in the pre-season to both give the team, which boasts college transfers Lyn Turkinton from Victoria and Kelli Toner of Sudbury, a chance to gel and to get an idea of their national standing.

In a tournament at the University of Manitoba at the beginning of the month, the Mustangs finished fifth overall out of 16 top-ranked teams in the country, beating out the University of Alberta (last year's Canadian Intercollegiate Athletics Union champs) in the first round.

"[Manitoba] was a good indicator for us, of what we can do. It tells us that we can beat any of the top teams [in Canada] and we can also lose to them," Lowrie said.

"We're trying to be competitive nationally and hold rankings," he added. "It's nice for confidence and the recruiting aspect of the program. But at the same time you want to make sure everyone is healthy going into the important games, which are our league matches."

The Mustangs are taking a few days off to recoup from various injuries, but will be ready to battle it out against York, Toronto and Guelph at York's tournament this weekend.

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