Volume 94, Issue 64

Wednesday, January 17, 2001


The purple rampage continues

Mustangs triumph over Marauders

Sports Briefs

The purple rampage continues

By Jessica Leeder
Gazette Staff

Tonight in Mustang volleyball country, the rampage will continue.

This weekend the men's volleyball team enhanced their positioning for the top spot in the Ontario University Athletics West division when they matched up against the McMaster Marauders in search of yet another win. And victory was delivered.

The Mustangs have not lost a game since they were able to tighten the reigns in the early weeks of their season on what started out as an out-of-control, unorganized on-court effort. Their 3-0 win against McMaster was just another notch on their belts, further proving that the scary start they got off to in 2000 has been left in the past.

"I think we're in stride, but I don't think we are where we want to be," said Mustang head coach Dave Preston. The comment comes as somewhat of a surprise in lieu of the team's recent statistics – they uprooted the Marauders by respective set scores of 25-23, 25-21 and 25-20, demonstrating a steady increase in their quality of play throughout the game.

"I think we're a lot closer to where we are headed than at Christmas, and certainly a lot closer from the beginning of the year. I would say that we're on pace to where we want to be," Preston said.

Fourth-year left side and lebaro defenseman Chris Gruhn said he too noticed a difference in the team's play since the break.

"We're always trying to implement different plays. We started out slow this season which has given us some areas to work on and improve in.

"Blocking and serving is what won the game for us, but because of the pressure we've been under as a team, we're always working on improving our defense," Gruhn said.

"We served outstanding," Preston said, continuing Gruhn's sentiment. "We really didn't allow the McMaster offence to unfold. It's nice to have that for a while, but our serving pressure lasted all game. That also allowed us to demonstrate our best skill, which is blocking."

Preston said his team will be working on different aspects of their defensive play in order to try and maintain their quasi-undefeated season.

"The first thing we have to work on is our backcourt defence. That is what really gets our transition game going and it gives us the ability to hit out of defence."

Tonight the Mustangs match up against the Guelph Gryphons, whom Preston predicts will come out with a strong effort led by right side Chris Geddes.

"This guy is a legitimate horse. In sports when you have an athlete with a 'Jordanesque' quality, he has the ability to make those around him play better and that is what this guy seems to be doing so we've really got our hands full."

Gryphons head coach Doug Dodd said he is expecting a tough match this evening.

"It appears their squad is playing better and better. Western is big, experienced and successful, and their core has been together for a long time. It's important that we find a way to disrupt their defence."

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