Volume 95, Issue 67

Friday, February 1, 2002

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New England ready to be Rammed

Birthday boy celebrates with a bang

Praying to the puck gods

The World of Mustang

Birthday boy celebrates with a bang

Mustangs make short work of Warriors

By Jordan Bell
Gazette Staff

One would assume Western Mustangs men's volleyball middle Jeremy Jonckheere, who was celebrating his 24th birthday, would have other things on his mind when the Mustangs entertained the Waterloo Warriors Wednesday night at Alumni Hall.

Fortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. Jonckheere was an integral pillar in what could best be described as the "Great Wall of Mustang."

Right side Jeffrey Ranson, setter Peter Testa, left side Shaun Furneaux and middle Scott Millington, combined with Jonckheere to establish the foundation of the wall, leading the Mustangs to an easy three sets to one victory (25-14, 25-17, 22-25, 25-17).

Even when the Warriors miraculously penetrated the wall, libero Mark Morrison was there to corral the ricochet.

"We came out fired up," Jonckheere said. "They're back in our gym next Saturday, so we knew we had to come out and send a little message and I think we accomplished that."

The match initially appeared like it would be a walk-in-the-park for the Mustangs. The Warriors committed an inordinate amount of errors and combined with Western baller Jefferey Ranson's fully-loaded gun of an arm (which should be licensed by the way) spelled the Warriors early demise.

But, the Warriors were able to ebb the tide in the third set and muster up some semblance of order.

With the Mustangs leading 13-9 in the third, the Warriors reeled off nine straight points and took the set 25-22. Western head coach Dave Preston said sometimes the ease with which the Mustangs operate can lead to complacency.

"I think when we're playing it looks so easy sometimes, that we start to think it's easy," Preston said. "We play tricks with our mind that way and start to take things for granted."

Eventually the stars realigned and the Mustang wall blocked themselves to a late fourth set rally and eventual victory.

The highlight of the game was Testa's stirring imitation of Michael Jackson's moonwalk after he made a massive block in the third set. Obviously late night DJ gigs at local clubs have added a confident swagger and rhythm to the veteran setter.

According to Warrior head coach Doug Hanes, the game may not have been indicative of the two teams' full arsenals. "They were missing guys and we were missing guys. We basically played with three starters," he said.

Absent from the Mustang lineup was the squads multi-faceted left side Luke Schram, a local Oakridge Secondary School alum.

The Mustangs look like the team to beat in the Ontario University Athletics West division, but Hanes believes the championship is still up for grabs. "[The Mustangs'] record indicates they're the team to beat, however, if we put our best squad on the court, you never know."

As for Jonckheere, the candles are blown out, the hangover has subsided and it's time to get down to business.

Nicole D'Cruz/Gazette
SYNCHRONIZED JUMPING - THE NEWEST OLYMPIC SPORT? The Western men's volleyball team put up a wall against the Waterloo Warrior's Wednesday night, defeating them in four sets.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001