Improved volleyball teams set sights
By Ian Denomme
JORDAN’S TONGUE WAG TRANSCENDS SPORTS. A
Western Mustangs women’s volleyball player directs
the sphere over the net in the Mustangs win over Waterloo
The women's and men's volleyball seasons started off Wednesday
night at Alumni Hall with mixed results, but each team has
The women's team defeated the Waterloo Warriors in three straight
sets, while the men's team lost a very close match to the Warriors
3-1 (20-25, 25-23, 22-25, 13-25).
The women started off strong, opening with an 8-1 run. They
padded their lead before the Warriors came roaring back, but
the Mustangs ultimately took the set 25-19. The final two sets
were also close, but Western would go on to take the sets 25-21
Western had a balanced attack led by the hitting of Jill Pardy
and rookie Melissa Mann, who was London's high school player
of the year last year.
Despite the sweep, head coach Dean Lowrie saw a lot of room
"That was not good Mustang volleyball," he said. "We
won, which is important, but we struggled to relax. They did
some wacky things and we didn't react very well." "We
didn't have the energy we usually do," Mann added. "We
can communicate better and when we have that energy we can
really pull together and be a good team." Western is ranked
ninth in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport preseason poll,
but Lowrie said the team tries not to pay too much attention
"It's nice," Lowrie said. "It's good to be
recognized, but that doesn't help us win." Overall, the
outlook for the team is very good. Despite losing some good
players, Lowrie feels this year's team has the talent and experience
"Everybody is better this year. Last year we were playing
a lot of rookies, this year they are all back and are better.
Our goal is to win the [Ontario University Athletics]. We haven't
been to Nationals in three years and we want to get back," Lowrie
On the men's side, the Mustangs have a strong group of returning
players who should form a competitive team.
They are led by OUA all-star Peter Sidler, who led the team
with 14 kills in the game against Waterloo. Western also has
returning starters in Rob Arntfield and Jeff Mattingley.
Head coach Jim Sage was disappointed with the opening loss,
but is still optimistic about the season.
"We have more potential this year," Sage said. "We're
never satisfied with a loss, but if we focus on the positives
and learn from our mistakes we can go far." Sage also
said the team's goal is to make the playoffs. He added they
take things one day at a time and never look too far ahead
because the OUA is so competitive.
"We want to be as competitive as last year," added
assistant coach Stu Pow. "Our new additions are having
an impact immediately and if they can gel with the guys from
last year, we should be successful."