February 11, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 73  

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Seniors shine in V-ball loss, perhaps their last game

By Kyle Hampson
Gazette Writer

Leah Crane/Gazette
I BELIEVE I CAN FLY. Western’s Adam Dumond soares for a kill in Sunday’s 3-0 loss to the York Lions.

Playing in what could have been their last game for Western, Pete Sidler and Jeff Mattingly decimated York University with kills. In the last game of the Western men’s volleyball season, two veteran Mustang players stood out in a losing cause.

On Sunday afternoon at Alumni Hall, the York Lions defeated the Western Mustangs in three straight sets, 25-22, 25-22, 25-21. Although this game seemed one sided, Western kept up throughout the entire match.

The game was filled with long rallies and outstanding plays by both teams. Sharp spikes and athletic digs were abundant in the match, but York prevailed in the end.

Emotions heightened during the game as both teams wanted the win for different reasons. With a victory over the ’Stangs, York could secure first or second place in the Ontario University Athletics standings, thus giving them a first round bye. Western on the other hand, wanted this game as a proper send off to their veteran players.

York’s middle players shut down Western’s attack all afternoon.

“I believe that we have the best two middles in the OUA, possibly the [Canadian Interuniveristy Sport],” said York head coach Wally Dyba. “They’re big — both 6’7” or 6’8”, and young. Anyone who wants to come inside on us is going to have problems.”

Thanks to powerful serves by Mattingly and devastating outside kills from both Sidler and Mattingly, Western clawed back into the second set after trailing York early.

Mattingly spiked a kill from the off side that drilled a York player in the face. It was clear both these veteran players did not want to leave without a fight. As a tribute by teammates, Mattingly was being set again and again for heavy spikes.

“I am extremely proud of their performance. This could have been both of their last games here at Western,” said Western head coach Jim Sage. “This was only Jeff’s second year playing for us, and at the end of the third set he was demanding the ball.”

Both Sidler and Mattingly have a chance to play for Western next year. Sidler is applying to Althouse College. He still has one more year of eligibility under OUA rules.

“I would love to come back next year,” Sidler said. “I think another year here would really help my game.”

Sage echoed Sidler’s comments. “I would love to have Pete back, the chances of our team greatly improve with him in the lineup.”

Mattingly, on the other hand, has decided this year would be his final year for the Western volleyball team.

If Mattingly and Sidler both fail to return next year, Sage is looking at first-year player Josh Chisholm to step up.

“Josh is young and inexperienced with a lot of raw talent. With his physical attributes and mindset, he could turn into a big player in the future.”

When asked about what would help the Mustang team next year, Sage outlined one major aspect.

“We could use a real setter. The guys this year filled in admirably, but they were inexperienced. A more experienced setter would be able to distribute the ball better and instill confidence in our hitters.”

Dyba, a Western graduate himself, also had words on what would improve the volleyball program at Western.

“I have mixed feelings about returning to Western. I mean they have a playoff calibre team here, and yet their program could be a lot stronger with better funding. Western has focused on the three bigger sports of hockey, football and basketball. With their recruiting power, they could attract anyone they want.”



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