Volume 94, Issue 60

Wednesday, January 10, 2001


UW trackster breaks record - Western hosts annual Don Wright meet

Volleyball team breaks the badgers

Early goals spark Mustang victory

Volleyball team breaks the badgers

By Matthew Hills
Gazette Staff

The Western women's volleyball team came out with more spikes than an Iron Maiden this past weekend. An intense opening effort led to a well rounded 3-0 domination of the third place Brock Badgers.

Despite the distraction of exams and a two week Christmas layoff, the volleyball team looked as good as they have all year against Brock Saturday.

The Mustangs overwhelmed the Badgers right from the first serve-receive. Fluid passing, good transition defence and inspired play all contributed to a 25-8 first game victory. The second game saw Brock regain their composure and make the outcome a respectable 25-18. Although at no point did the Badgers take the lead.

The third and final game was the closest of the match. The lineup put on the court was less experienced and made some serving errors. As a result, the second technical time-out of the third game saw Western down 16-15. The team managed to overcome some of their late mental errors and a better Brock team effort to rally to a 25-22 win.

Western was happy to finally be playing at home. Twenty-seven of their first 30 games in the fall were played on the road. This contributed to team fatigue and stress which climaxed in December. Coach Dean Lowry said he worried about the combination of this exhaustion with a two-week layoff contributing to a flat opening effort.

After only four team practices, the last of which was Friday, the coach said he felt fairly confident in a strong effort.

"I was a bit worried at the beginning," Lowry said. "But after our final practice Friday, I was pretty sure we'd come out with a solid performance."

When asked about his final impression of the game, Lowry could not have been more clear.

"I was really, really happy. Everything came together really well." The coach also said the team was doing well at handling the stress and commitment required to succeed.

Brock coach Jennifer Currie said she was frustrated by and impressed with Western's performance. Currie also pointed to the break as a bit of distraction for her team.

At 8-1 on the season Western would seem securely in first.

"We laid out specific goals before the game and we managed to meet all of them" said Western outside hitter Bridget Campbell. "Our [defence] was really good and our middle offence came through," she said.

"It's so much harder on the road and it means a lot to play with the support of your friends and the fans," Campbell added, when asked about the weight that home court carries.

The team now looks forward to a second semester of home games with only one road game on the schedule.

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