Volume 95, Issue 48
Tuesday, November 27, 2001
Mustangs sink Lakehead
Volleyballers steal wolves' thunder
By Erich Isopp
The women's volleyball team improved their record to 6-2 Friday night with an impressive four set win over the Lakehead Thunderwolves.
The victory is especially meaningful gievn that Lakehead was coming off some strong performances themselves.
"We're happy that we won. Lakehead had won a few games and had a lot of confidence coming in," Mustang head coach Dean Lowrie said.
In the first set, Lakehead jumped out to an early lead with the Thunderwolves' Barbara Lehenbauer demonstrating why she leads Ontario University Athletics in kills.
Western turned it around halfway through the set, led by Kelli Toner who was effective on both the defensive and offensive ends of the ball. Western then took the lead with an ace by Jessica Powell and never looked back, winning the first set 25-19.
Lakehead dominated the second set, one characterized by unforced Mustang errors. A combination of missed serves and net violations for Western, as well as strong play at the net by Lakehead cost the Mustangs the second set 25-18.
The Mustangs bounced back in the third set, leading from start to finish. The key to the set was Western's defense. The team dominated the net, with their front line blocking the majority of the Thunderwolves' hits.
Every player on the floor showed great hustle, including Mustangs rookie Dina Popovic who came off the bench and put in some key minutes. Western easily won the set 25-15.
The fourth set was by far the most entertaining set of the match. Both teams began by trading points and the back and forth action continued for the entire set with both teams battling hard.
The teams exchanged the lead numerous times through long rallies and neither team took more than a two point lead.
Lyn Turkington, as well as Toner, were exceptional, always managing to come up with a block or kill when the team needed it. In an anti-climatic finish, Lakehead committed a service error to give Western the win, 25-23.
Western Captain Kathleen Havers said she was impressed with her team's results.
"We performed serve and serve receive really well and I think that was the key to the game", she said.
Lakehead coach Lee Anderson said inconsistency was a concern for her team. "We played a good second set, but we practically gave it away in the first and fourth sets," Anderson said.
With the win, Western makes up some ground on the first place Laurier Goldenhawks who are currently 9-0. Dean Lowrie said he likes Western's prospects for the rest of the year.
"We're 6-2 on the season and we're in second place. We have a young team and to finish high in the standings is a good goal, but there are still a lot of games to play and we definitely want to finish strong," Lowrie said.
The Mustangs get an opportunity to flex their muscle tomorrow in Hamilton against McMaster.
Copyright © The Gazette 2001