Volume 95, Issue 36

Tuesday, November 6, 2001
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Mustangs rejoice: "We're the best in da league"

Fairy tale end doesn't come true

A bittersweet ending

Volleyball team pounds Laurier

Volleyball team pounds Laurier

By Anthony Lafratta
Gazette Staff

The Mustang men's volleyball team failed to drop a single set this weekend as they delighted Alumni Hall crowds with sheer perfection on the court in wins against Windsor and Laurier.

Western defeated Windsor 3-0 Friday, by scores of 25-12, 25-21, 25-20, while Saturday, the Mustangs won 25-20, 25-18, 27-25 against Laurier.

Saturday's win against the Golden Hawks marked the second time this season Laurier has fallen victim to the Mustangs – the first being another straight set victory two weeks earlier. This time, Western pounced on Laurier early and maintained a comfortable lead throughout the first two sets.

"We definitely came out of the blocks faster than they did," Western's veteran right side hitter Jeff Ranson said. "We were just more intense [and] focused for the first two sets."

"The last one we kind of slipped up a bit," he added.

In the thrid set, Western took a 17-13 lead, but Laurier battled back to tie the set at 18. From there it was a see-saw battle that saw the Golden Hawks take a 24-23 lead.

Western overcame the late deficit by scoring the next two points and eventually securing the win. "They stepped it up when they needed to," Laurier head coach Todd Dougherty said of the Mustangs after his team dropped its fifth straight game to open the season.

Although Laurier began to make adjustments to their game in the third set, the Mustangs were able to hold them off.

"We finally started to pick things up at the end. We started to make adjustments – if you don't make adjustments, you're going to lose, especially against these guys," Dougherty said.

Western head coach Dave Preston took notice of his team's breakdown towards the end of the game. "It was a let down in intensity – we let our guard down a bit. We thought the game was over because we had a three point lead at 16, we let them back into it but I still thought we were in control," Preston said.

Ranson was confident the Mustangs would maintain their winning ways. "Offensively, we're one of the best teams in the country and, if we can pick it up, I'd like to see if there's anyone who can stop us," he said.

While the Mustangs are currently ranked ninth in Canada, Ranson said his team needs a provincial focus.

"We've got to win [OUA's] this year and that's the real priority. We've got to make sure we're the number one team in Ontario," Ranson said.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001