December 3 , 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 53  

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Rookies step up in v-ball win
Western lifts regular season record to 6-2

By Gillian Bankas
Gazette Writer

Dave Picard/Gazette
LIVING ON THE EDGE OF HER TOES. A player on the Mustangs’ women’s volleyball team prepares for a hit against Laurier on Saturday. The women are ranked first in the Western Division with a 6-2 record.

After 21 days off and a loss Wednesday to Windsor, Western’s women’s volleyball team came back in full force to dominate their game against the Laurier Golden Hawks on Saturday at Alumni Hall, winning three sets to one.

“We knew we could do it if we played together, and we did,” said middle Jameela Lencucha. “We’ve let them beat us in our own gym too many times, so we had to beat them.”

Laurier served and scored first, but Mustangs’ outside hitter Jill Pardy served quickly for a point and the team continued to lead the game, winning the first set 25-13.

Laurier took the second set 25-19, before Western took the third and fourth sets 25-23 and 25-16. Laurier head coach Dave McIntyre thought his team could have played better across the board, but said they weren’t far from beating the best team in the Ontario University Athletics.

Before Saturday’s game, both teams were tied at the top of the OUA West division with 10 points, sharing top spot with the Guelph Gryphons as well. Western, now 6-2, will not play another game until they face the Brock Badgers in January.

“We have a lot of rookies that aren’t used to the longer season,” said Western head coach Dean Lowrie. “The team will focus on lots of physical training and studying,” he added regarding the extended period of time until their next game.

“We have a very young team and I’m excited about the future of the team. I really like the chemistry of the team.”

“The rookies, when they are on the court, step up to the plate and fit in like they’re not first years,” Lencucha said.

The number of rookies on each team might have had an effect on the team’s play Saturday, as Laurier had seven rookies, one second-year player, five third-year players and one fourth-year player. Laurier’s lone fourth-year player, Cathy Ingalls, was ranked second last year in scoring for women’s CIS volleyball.

Last year, the Mustangs lost their No. 1 ranked scorer for women’s CIS volleyball, Lyn Christensen, when she graduated. “Now we rely on more people to do more things on offense, and more people are stepping up,” Lowrie said.



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