Mustangs fall to Marauders — playoffs
By James Hayes
SEES THE BIG PICTURE! Mustangs’ women’s
volleyball player Melissa Mann hits hard, but it just isn’t
enough to defeat McMaster.
There were enough digs and kills to make a mortician salivate
in women’s volleyball action at Alumni Hall last Friday night.
Unfortunately, for the Mustangs, there weren’t enough of
them coming from the home side to garner a victory against the
McMaster Marauders. Western lost three of four sets to the Hamilton
visitors, 25-21, 21-25, 25-18, 25-23.
The entire game consisted of good defense, solid blocking and
a plethora of powerful spikes from both sides. McMaster’s
Arin Bush and Christie Estabrooks provided powerful kills, and
Western’s Kyla Simpson was a force inside and provided good
“Although we all played well, I thought Arin Bush was particularly
steady on the left side,” said McMaster head coach Tim Louks. “Her
solid play definitely helped us to victory.”
Western jumped out to an early lead in both of the first two sets,
with second-year player Ashley Jones providing solid effort and
good dig attempts to save some seemingly inevitable McMaster points.
The sets were tight all the way, but not even team mascot JW’s
gyrations could save Western from the torrid runs Mac went on near
The fourth and deciding set was the closest of all, with the teams
exchanging points and matching stellar play with further solid
play. However, McMaster came out on top again, leaving the visitors
on cloud nine and Western on a cloud, well — considerably
less than nine.
“It’s tough to win here, and this game was a momentum
builder,” Louks said, noting that he was satisfied with his
team’s performance. “We had a game plan which we stuck
to, and I’m happy to see everyone on the team contributing.
Any road win, especially against a tough squad like Western, gives
Despite the hard-fought contest, where both sides looked quite
evenly matched, the home squad was not nearly as happy with the
“We didn’t play well at all,” said Western head
coach Dean Lowrie, clearly frustrated with the outcome. “I
felt every skill was lacking out there. [McMaster] are a good team,
but we have to show up and execute what we’re capable of
doing. That didn’t happen tonight.”
The loss was particularly stinging for Western as a win would
have secured them a share of the Ontario University Athletics’ West
Division title with the division-leading Guelph Gryphons. Both
McMaster and Western are playoff-bound and may meet again.
Prior to the game, Western’s sole graduating player, fourth-year
science student Kyla Simpson, was honoured for her impressive volleyball
career at Western.
“It was nice to be recognized,” she noted. “But
it wasn’t the focus of the game. McMaster came in here and
capitalized on their opportunities; they competed and came in to
When asked where her team fell short, Simpson pointed to a lack
of dynamism. “We didn’t make the necessary adjustments
we needed,” she said. “I still think our chances are
good in the playoffs — there is a really tight field this
year and anyone could take it.”
Playoffs will begin for both teams this coming weekend.