Volume 94, Issue 69

Thursday, January 25, 2001


Captain Testa leads the way for volleyballers

Reaching the vertical limit

Full rides needed now

Captain Testa leads the way for volleyballers

Ilana Valo/Gazette
Mustang volleball ace Peter Testa sets up his teammates with style. The first-palced Mustang men's volleyball team has its sights set on the OUA title.

By Jenni Denniston
Gazette Writer

Determination, enthusiasm, dedication, leadership – these are just a few of the qualities that describe Western's men's volleyball team captain, Peter Testa.

A London native, and graduate of Oakridge High School, Testa is a fourth-year honours sociology student at Western. What's the key to his success in both sport and school? "Time management," he says.

According to Testa, finding a balance is not too hard as long as you organize your time. He has mastered this technique, as coach Dave Preston can attest.

"He is a very good student with great perspective about how volleyball fits in his life," Preston said. "He has outstanding leadership, and it shows in our team." And if anybody knows, it would be Preston – he's been coaching Testa for over six years.

Their coach/player relationship began while Testa was still in high school, when Preston played on the Ontario provincial team during the summer. In fact, Testa's decision to come to Western was heavily based on "liking [Preston's] coaching."

In addition, five of Testa's provincial team mates, including Chris Gruhn, were considering Western. So knowing both the coaching style, as well as the playing styles of a number of potential Mustangs, was very appealing to him.

"There are about four other guys on the team that have been playing with Peter as long as I have," Gruhn said. "He's been captain since about grade 11, with the exception of our first two years here."

Gruhn said Testa has always had a strong voice on the floor, and that he is a fun guy to be around, both on and off the court.

"He's full of energy," Gruhn said. "It comes naturally to him. He's got a great personality."

This season, Testa said while he has high hopes for his team to make the national championships, but is presently concentrating on achieving a good position for the play-offs. Once this is achieved, the team will focus on winning the Ontario University Athletics West division, and if all goes well, the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletics Union championships in March.

According to Preston, Testa has the qualities to lead the team all the way to the gold medal game.

"On the court his composure and awareness allow him to co-ordinate our teams offence with great precision and execution," Preston said. "He works extremely hard and takes great pride in his play."

Gruhn said he agreed. "Even if Peter's not 100 per cent health wise, or busy with school, you can always count on him to bring energy to the court."

As for a pre-game routine or superstitions, Testa said he doesn't really have them, but he is Roman Catholic, and is thankful for all he has accomplished.

When asked about future plans, Testa has his academic sights set on law school. As for volleyball? He currently plays in Europe during the summer, in his father's home country of Malta, and has thought about potentially playing pro-overseas.

Until then, Testa and his teammates will focus on winning the battle for top spot in the OUA, as they are currently tied with Waterloo for first place.

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Copyright The Gazette 2000