Volume 95, Issue 41

Wednesday, November 14, 2001
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The winning streak continues...

Mustangs bring home "rastlin" silver

Western hitting hard

Medals show soccer mettle

The winning streak continues...

By Melissa Wall
Gazette Writer

Beth Kerim/Gazette
GRIP IT AND RIP IT. Janis Kawamoto prepares to unleash on a poor birdie in part of the total domination by both the men's and women's badminton teams last weekend.

The birdie continues to fly over the net with ease for the Western Mustangs badminton team.

In their third tournament of the season, the Western men's and women's squads defeated both York and Queens 10-1 this past weekend. The wins allowed the Mustangs, three-year winning streak and number one ranking in the Ontario University Athletics standings to remain intact.

"York is currently third in the league – we expected the match to be a challenge. They didn't have all of their best players, nor did we," said Mustangs head coach Bill Mason.

The team is yet again at the top of their game, he said. Many players who have been OUA all-stars are still to return. Although, Mason added, the men's and women's teams have become even stronger than in past years.

"The team is strong this year, with many players that can play more than one event. It is hard to centre out one. Everyone makes a strong team together," Mason said.

"We have a great team this year. There are no weaknesses," Kevin Eng, co-captain and OUA all-star last year said.

"We're performing as expected and hoped to. We are meeting our goals of playing strong games," Mustang Lauren Winter said.

The strength and depth of Western was seen by opposing teams as well. "The league is weaker this year – the strong teams have moved on, but Western has stayed strong. They not only have balance, but they have more depth than anyone else," York head coach Fred Fletcher said.

With the season half over, Western is always looking ahead and have only two more tournaments after Christmas to finish regular season play. One of their toughest tournaments comes in February, when they will play five universities in two days.

"Our toughest weekend is our second tournament in February. The players will have to be at the top of their game to play that many matches," Mason said.

All players will have to step up and play their best in order to continue the winning streak, but with a lot of talent, it should not be difficult, Mason added.

"This year there is huge depth on the team in terms of talent. Everyone is really good, we have a lot to draw on," Winter said.

"I hope to see improvement in the younger players and for them to take over and play more," Eng said.

The Mustangs hope their abundance will help in their final tournament at the OUA Championships, held at Western in February.

"We hope to continue our winning streak and make OUAs in a good standing. Everyone has to come watch us in February," Winter said.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001