Volume 95, Issue 28

Tuesday, October 23, 2001
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Western steps into high gear

Layin' the spike down


Western sinks Lakehead's hopes

Weekend rundown

Layin' the spike down

By Karl Keating
Gazette Writer

High expectations are a good thing. Fulfilling them is even better.

Coming off a season-opening victory at Waterloo, the Mustang men's volleyball team was ranked fourth nationally, the highest in school history.

This past Saturday, at Alumni Hall, those same Mustangs played host to the Laurier Golden Hawks in what turned out to be a successful home opener.

In the first game of the match, the Mustangs jumped out to an early 5-0 lead, a spread they would nearly maintain throughout the three-game sweep.

Despite Laurier playing some much improved volleyball, they never seriously threatened the veteran Mustang squad as Western outlasted their opponents 25-20, 25-19, 25-22.

The start of Saturday's match saw both teams searching for some consistency, but as the case would be all afternoon, the Mustangs only had to look to fourth-year power-hitter Luke Schram when they needed a big point.

It would also be Schram's back-to-back aces midway through the first game that Laurier coach Todd Dougherty would point to as an early turning point. "It's not a disappointing result for us," Dougherty said. "We are still inconsistent in covering the floor at times."

Nevertheless, it was the Mustangs who consistently managed to pull out the key dig or block, whenever Laurier drew near.

Case in point, with Western up 21-19 in the third game, a tremendous rally saw Western setter Peter Testa make an exceptional pancake dig followed by a delicate, back-breaking tip shot over two Laurier blockers.

After the match, Testa was quick to point out the season is still young. "Right now, we're just concentrating on our side of the court." Testa said.

Matt Prince/Gazette
IF A DOG COULD DO IT... A Western men's volleyball player - inspired by the popular motion picture Air Bud - tried some canine antics of his own in Saturday's victorious game against Waterloo.

While the early nature of the volleyball season has everybody acting modest, there is at least one member of the team being vocal about his goals.

First-year left side hitter Adam Dumond has jumped right into the starting six and now has his eyes on something more.

"I want to get Ontario University Athletics' rookie of the year [award]," Dumond said. "Also, with the guys we have on this team, there is no reason we can't go all the way."

Coach Dave Preston points to Dumond's emerging confidence since becoming the squad's second power hitter as an early bright spot.

Preston echoed his setter Testa's comments, "Right now, all our numbers are about what we do and not what [the other team does] to us".

Yet, as coaches are prone to doing, his attention is on working out the bugs. "We still have a lot of work to do because, right now, we are giving the opponent too many points," Preston said.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001