Volume 94, Issue 81

Thursday, February 15, 2001


Semotiuk leaves 18 year legacy

Ugly - but good enough

Ugly - but good enough

By Pat Kane
Gazette Staff

It was an ugly match in men's volleyball semi-final action, but the Western Mustangs managed to advance to the Ontario University Athletics West division finals with a win over McMaster on Tuesday night.

The match saw Western walk away with three of the five sets, 25-19, 25-13 and 15-10. Although the team came out with the end result they wanted, the Mustangs were less than enthused with how they chalked up the victory.

"We're happy with the result and we're not happy with the performance, but we're still alive" said Western head coach Dave Preston.

"We did not play well defensively, but some of our guys stepped up their game and began to produce offensively. We had some key blocks that really helped us in the last few sets" he said.

McMaster, who ended up in fourth place in the OUA West regular season standings, made it very tough on the first place Mustangs. The sudden death playoff format for the semi-finals goes to show just how important each game is in the post-season. The rankings for the regular season become irrelevant.

"McMaster played exactly the way we thought they would play," Preston said. "They're coming in here in fourth place, losing the last two games of the season, and they really have nothing to lose. In a match like this where one game decides you're fate, anything can happen."

McMaster head coach, Dana Cooke said he was disappointed with the loss, but added he was pleased with her team's effort against a top ranked squad like Western.

"I was pleased and happy with my teams performance tonight. Western has always got a strong program. [Preston's] been here doing good work for a few years now, so they're always a tough team to come and play."

Cooke agreed with Preston's assessment of the game and said that it was not a pretty win for Western.

"I don't think Western was quite on their game tonight," she said. "I've seen them play better but they have a lot of character and know how to win when the game is tight" she said.

The Mustangs may not have had the best game against a feisty McMaster club, but some bright spots in the match showed that Western can certainly build on their strengths going into the final series for the West division title. Western outside hitter, Luke Schram, was not ecstatic about the win but satisfied that his club earned a berth in the division final.

"We were a little up and down for the most part of the match, but we got the right results so that's all that really matters right now" he said

"Mike Wilson had a good game for us. He pulled it out when we needed him to and he was definitely our best player tonight. McMaster came out sharp today because they had nothing to lose and put a lot of pressure on us."

Schram said he expects a successful outcome if his team works out some rough edges, he said.

"Our consistency wasn't there at all tonight, but if we work on our consistency and concentrate on our side of the net, we'll be fine [in the next round]," he said.

Western is hoping to repeat as OUA West champions as they face-off with division rivals Waterloo in the best of three finale tonight.

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