Volleyball team down
to nitty gritty
By Kasia Sarnecki
COULD BE BAD! This U of T volleyballer obviously saw something that
shook him - probably the score, considering they whooped Western 3-0
A small, but loud
and loyal, group of fans showed up on Sunday afternoon at Alumni Hall
to support the Western Mustangs men's volleyball team. Unfortunately for
the Mustangs, their fan support did not translate into a win, as they
lost to the Toronto Varsity Blues in three straight sets (17-25, 20-25,
The Mustangs were coming off two losses before the Christmas break and
one Saturday afternoon against the Ryerson Rams.
Western suffered from a slow start against the Rams on Saturday, with
the Mustangs playing outstanding in sets two and three. Sets four and
five were close, but they couldn't pull off the win they desperately needed.
Mustangs starting middle Josh Logan said Western had high hopes heading
into the match.
"We practiced hard and [we were] optimistic [about] gaining a playoff
spot," he said, however, the loss dimmed those post-season aspirations.
The Mustangs are currently in a logjam with Ryerson, McMaster and Waterloo
for the fifth and sixth playoff positions. In the Ontario University Athletics
division, six teams advance to the coveted playoff round.
"Ryerson hurt us emotionally Saturday afternoon. We were so close
and in control but we [had] a problem finishing," said Western head
coach Jim Sage.
The Mustangs were less optimistic coming into Sunday's game against the
University of Toronto Varsity Blues.
"We again had a problem finishing. That was the biggest problem on
Saturday we need to focus on our side and improve each game,"
Toronto is ranked first in Ontario and fifth in Canada, making them the
most difficult team in Ontario to play.
"The concern now lies in finishing. It's a difficult thing to practice,
but the team has a lot of desire and talent and I know it's possible,"
Toronto has been on a winning streak for most of the season and continued
that streak on Sunday afternoon.
"We have a really strong team again this year. Coming into today's
game, we anticipated that Western would go to the outside and we made
sure we were there," said Varsity Blues head coach Orset Stanko.
Sunday's game had the Mustangs all over the court and a few questionable
calls had them annoyed. "The calls were mostly discrepancy calls
we just put them behind us and kept playing," Logan said.
Western put up a great fight, with left side Peter Sidler and right side
Jeff Mattingley creating problems for the Blues. "Mattingley and
Sidler had a great game we just had to make sure that we minimized
unforced errors," Stanko said.
The key to the Mustangs' next few games is going to be to focus on finishing.
Their next game is against the Windsor Lancers on Wednesday night in Windsor.
The Mustangs are back home on Friday against the Waterloo Warriors.