Western women best Lakehead
in straight sets
By Josh Logan
GO AHEAD AND BUMP — WE’LL JUST WATCH. A Western
women’s volleyball player bumps the ball as her team
looks on during Saturday night’s match against Lakehead.
The Mustangs blanked the Thunderwolves in three straight
sets and stand atop the OUA west division.
Lecherous teenagers with too much time on their hands aren't the
only ones with sore wrists anymore.
Paul Mensick is probably still icing his hand from last Saturday
night, when the Western Mustangs took on the Lakehead Thunderwolves
in women's volleyball action at Alumni Hall. Mensick, the official
scorer for the match, needed to keep his pencil within close reach
as Mustangs' head coach Dean Lowrie used every single player listed
on the Mustangs' roster.
The Mustangs, who have had a very successful campaign so far this
season with a 4-1 record, headed into Saturday's match atop the
Ontario University Athletics West Division. With a record of 0-3,
the winless Thunderwolves came into the match-up looking to steal
one from them and revive their team's hope of getting back into
However, it was the Mustangs who struck early and often as they
jumped out to a 20-11 lead in the first set. The advantage came
as a result of second-year setter Lauren Cosentino running a well-balanced
attack on the outside and through the middle. Lakehead closed the
gap to 22-17, but on the ensuing play, rookie sensation Melissa
Mann sealed it for the Mustangs on a crushing cross-court shot to
cap the first set victory by a score of 25-18.
The next two sets were a true testament to the depth of Lowrie's
team as he substituted numerous players into the game at all positions.
Rookie April Gilanders helped contribute to the Mustangs' success
with seven kills on eight attempts and sophomore Sarah Alger chipped
in with five kills from the left side. The team cruised to 25-15
and 25-12 victories in sets two and three for a three-set skunking
of the Thunderwolves, sending the young and inexperienced Lakehead
"We went into today's match knowing very little about Lakehead,
but we went in with the goal of focusing on our side of the net,"
Lowrie said, following the convincing win. "We used a lot of
substitutions and we're blessed that we can compete with each other
in practice everyday." Middle player Kyla Simpson of the Mustangs
was used to dressing in the turquoise and yellow Thunderwolves uniform
when she played for Lakehead three years ago. Simpson decided to
transfer to Western and after last year's success and Saturday's
victory with the Mustangs, she was all smiles after the game.
"Today really enabled us to give everyone a chance to play
and work hard on the court," said the former Thunderwolves
player. "Each person on the score sheet played and that really
gives us the confidence that we have a lot of depth, either in the
playoffs or if we ever run into injury problems," Simpson added.
The Mustangs don't play again until Nov. 26, when they square off
against the Windsor Lancers. In the meantime, they'll be back to
basics in the practice gym with hopes of continuing to improve as
one of the youngest and most exciting teams in the league.