December 3 , 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 53  

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Massive blocks are key to men's volleyball win over Laurier

By James Gibson
Gazette Staff

Dave Picard/Gazette
YOU CAN DO IT, PUT YOUR BACK IN TO IT. Peter Sidler of the Mustangs’ men’s volleyball team winds up during their game against the Laurier Golden Hawks. The men won three sets to zero.

The Western’s men’s volleyball team swept their way to victory Saturday night, crushing the visiting Laurier Golden Hawks in three consecutive sets at Alumni Hall. Western served the Hawks their ninth loss this season, punishing them 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-20).

Some would say defeating a team that holds an 0-8 record may not seem like much of a feat. On the other hand, a winless team always has that little extra incentive to snag their first win.

In all three sets the Mustangs took immediate control of their opponent, gaining the first point. Laurier failed to hold a lead at any time, but did mount a few late rallies in the second and third sets — however, they were quickly extinguished by the Mustangs’ massive blocks.

The Mustangs completely dominated the Hawks in all three sets. The team was in sync; everyone was working hard and chipping in that little bit of extra effort. Laurier didn’t help their cause by committing many unforced errors and failed blocks.

Mustangs’ right side Jeff Mattingly (a London native) posted 12 of those blocks on Saturday night, adding an impressive nine kills.

“He usually shit-stands (blocks) at least 20 players [a game] — he’s got those monstrous arms,” said middle Brian Cram, about Mattingly’s play.

Mattingly is already showing leadership and dominance on the court. Western head coach Jim Sage said he has a great deal of confidence in him. “Jeff’s one of the hardest hitters in league. If he’s on we will try and hit him as much as we can.”

Mustang captain and fourth-year veteran left side Peter Sidler also had a solid game, posting nine kills and 12 blocks. The win on Saturday leaves the team at an even 5-5 record, giving them 10 points in the Ontario University Athletics standings.

Western is currently in a three-way tie for fourth with Guelph and Waterloo, trailing York, Windsor and Toronto, who each have 14 points.

Saturday’s win against Laurier was a good boost to the Mustangs’ confidence after they dropped a close road game last Wednesday to the Windsor Lancers (3-2).

Laurier head coach Shayne White was given a yellow card at the beginning of the second set after he and one of the officials exchanged words following a Western point. The controversial point came off a spike that seemed to paint the back-court line. While White may not have had many nice words to say about the official, he did not question Western’s play. “I think [Western] played very well. I’m surprised that they are not doing better in the standings.”



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