Volume 96, Issue 79
Wednesday, February 19, 2003

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Guelph too much to handle

The Western Mustangs men's volleyball team overcame an up-and-down season and looked poised to throw a monkey wrench into the Ontario University Athletics playoffs, but they just couldn't get over the Guelph hump.

The Mustangs had defeated McMaster University to secure a playoff spot and stunned Queen's University when they defeated the Golden Gaels in the first round of the playoffs. But unfortunately, the Guelph Gryphons quickly halted the Western joyride when they clinched their best-of-three series 2-0, with a 3-1 (21-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-20) victory on Friday night in Guelph.

"We came out and played OK in the first set," said Western head coach Jim Sage. "But in game two, we came out flat and in sets three and four, we just couldn't finish."

The Gryphons triumvirate of left side Jordan Reynolds, setter Paul Cheeseman and rookie right side Chris Simek, were too much to handle. The three combined for 45 kills.

However, Sage said he truly enjoyed this season for many reasons – in particular, the victory over McMaster and former Western coach Dave Preston, which he called "an emotional win for us."

Sage said the future looks bright, considering the strong and young nucleus coming back next season, one being right side Jeff Mattingly, who led the Mustangs with 23 kills in the Guelph match.

– Jordan Bell

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2002 THE GAZETTE