Volume 95, Issue 52

Tuesday, December 4, 2001
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Unnecessarily rough end to CIS pigskin season

Mustangs mauled by York

Bump, set, talk some smack

Mustangs mauled by York

Western lets a two set lead slip

By Anthony Lafratta
Gazette Staff


Christine Bryant/Gazette
THIS IS WHAT YOU GET FOR YOUR BRUTAL ACTING IN CASTAWAY. The Mustang men's volleyball team acted like champs for two sets before dropping three in a row to York Saturday.

The men's volleyball team chose a poor time to play a bad game.

In the Mustangs' match against York on Saturday afternoon, Western let a 2-0 lead dissolve, as the Yeomen stormed back to win 3-2 in dramatic fashion.

The five-setter was a meeting of Ontario's only nationally ranked teams – the Mustangs entered the weekend ranked sixth, while the Yeomen sat eighth.

After claiming the first two sets, 25-21 and 25-22, it seemed the Mustangs would cruise comfortably to a win. Luke Schram made key plays at the net, both offensively and defensively, while rookie Adam Dumond was strong in his service game.

In the third set, however, the Mustangs began to collapse. York staked themselves a five point lead at 11-6, but the Mustangs showed resiliency, coming back to tie it at 16. Instead of burying their opponent, Western was badly outplayed from that point on and York took the third set 25-22.

Adam Dumond explained what he felt was at the root of the Western collapse.

"I think our mindset was winning the game with one ball, instead of winning the game with 25 balls," he said.

The fourth set was characterized by Western's erratic play and unforced errors. Again, York took an early lead, 8-2, which this time they did not relinquish.

The Yeomen won the set 25-17 and forced a fifth and deciding game.

Western had lost the momentum, explained York head coach Wally Dyba. "If you make an unforced error, then your confidence goes and you play tentatively and the other team picks up on it and when they got tentative, we were very fortunate to take advantage of them," Dyba said.

"I don't think we had any momentum to begin with," Dumond remarked. "We didn't play up to our potential in the first two sets and we played even worse than that in the last three sets."

After two previous uninspiring sets of volleyball, the Mustangs came out strong in the fifth set thanks in part to an energized Peter Sidler off the bench.

However, with a 14-12 lead and a chance to serve for match point, the Mustangs failed to capitalize and the Yeomen pulled out a 16-14 victory.

Western assistant coach Joffre Ribout said the Mustangs should thank their lucky stars they won any games.

"I think we got lucky in the first two games, we played average and managed to get a couple of wins, but then we didn't play well at all in the last three," he said. "After the first two sets, we seemed to have a letdown – especially [in] the fourth. I don't think it was even close."

This was a big win for York and a big loss for Western. "Definitely a big game," Dyba said. "Beating [Western], I think will keep us in the [CIS] rank."

Ribout said the Mustang loss could have big implications come playoff time.

"The winner of these matches hosts when we play each other in the Ontario final. Now, we've lost to Toronto and York, so if we play either of those two teams in the Ontario final, we have to play in their gym," Ribout said.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001