Volume 94, Issue 79
Tuesday, February 13, 2001
Friday night was the last home game of the regular season for the Western men's volleyball team, and the last game before what the Mustangs are hoping will be a long post-season run.
The Mustangs beat the Golden Hawks by taking the first two sets beat the 25-16 and 25-22, and a thrilling third set 25-23. Western will now face McMaster on Tuesday in the Ontario University Athletic West division semi-final at 7 p.m..
Seniors Andrew Rajtek and captain Mike Wilson were both honoured for their hard work and years on the volleyball squad. Despite this added pressure, a weather-delay that made Laurier's bus late, and the possibility of taking their opponents lightly, the team turned in an excellent effort.
The first set saw the Mustangs dominate a weaker Laurier squad while the second set was a much closer affair. In the third Laurier hit their way to a 20-15 lead, until Western pulled together and rallied to win. Denying the Golden Hawks the satisfaction of stealing a set from the division leading Western men.
Despite the added emotion of the game, Western head coach Dave Preston said he was wary before the game of a poor showing. Considering it was the last game of the regular season, against a basement dwelling opponent, he thought the team might focus past the game and towards the impending playoffs.
"I was concerned about a flat effort," Preston said. "I told them not to take the game lightly, I told them they were a mature enough team to stay away from a let-up by continuing the offensive rhythm we'd started in the last couple of games."
In their swan song, both Wilson and Rajtek had outstanding nights. Rajtek managed nine blocks to maintain Western's strong defensive play. Wes Vurma also surfaced with some key digs late in the game.
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