March 24, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 91  

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SPORTS

The Western Mustangs’ Winter Sports Review

Women’s volleyball

The Western women’s volleyball team had no problem making the Ontario University Athletics playoffs — what was a challenge was the positioning of seeds two, three and four.

Western, McMaster University and Wilfrid Laurier University had identical 12-6 records for the regular season. The tie-breaker came down to point differentials, with McMaster finishing on top followed by Laurier and Western.

After falling to the fourth seed, Western earned a date with the eventual finalist Guelph Gryphons. Western’s women proved to be no match for Guelph, who took Western in three straight sets.

The team seems poised for a strong season next year. This season, Western fielded a young squad — the team featured only three players in third or fourth year. Next year, coach Dean Lowrie will have at least 10 of 15 players in third or fourth year. This group of veterans will only get better next year, making them ready for a run at the OUA title.

Success-O-Meter Score: 6/10
—Kyle Hampson

Men’s volleyball

It was a rough season for the men’s volleyball team. Struggling to a 5-13 finish, Western lost the chance to participate in the playoffs, despite finishing first in the Ontario University Athletics two years ago and making the semi-finals last season.

Veteran left side Peter Sidler was named as an OUA second team All-Star for the second consecutive year. Sidler and fellow veteran Jeff Mattingly were Western’s dominant players this year; however both may not be back next season.

Sidler will finish his four-year degree in Kinesiology this April, but has applied to Althouse College for September in the hopes of playing for Western again next year. Mattingly, however, has decided this year will be his last.

Western will be in tough next season. Coach Jim Sage will be looking for new returning players to step-up and provide the team with a new offense.

Success-O-Meter Score: 5/10
—Kyle Hampson

Figure skating

The Western figure skating team had a season with strong individual performances and near triumphs. In the final standings, Western placed second in Ontario University Athletics with 90 points. Unfortunately, Queen’s University edged Western by one point to nab top spot with 91.

There were numerous OUA All-Stars on the Western squad, however, with Julie South taking home the award for Gold Solo Dance, and the Pairs Four group of Leanne Moir, Diana Hyde, Rachel Smith and Jennifer Strickland. Western also brought home silver medals at the Queen’s and University of Toronto invitational tournaments.

Success-O-Meter Score: 8/10
—James Hayes

Men’s basketball

The men’s basketball team finished their season with a record of 5-17, tied with Lakehead University for eighth in the West Division of Ontario University Athletics with 10 points.

The team was racked with injuries and somewhat lacked senior leadership, but competed hard in every contest. Senior guard Adam Peaker was the leading scorer on the team, with solid enough play to garner him an Ontario University Athletics first-team All-Star position.

Peaker also finished second in OUA West scoring. Solid play by Sagar Desai and Daron Leonard also highlighted the Mustangs’ season. More health, good fortune and player continuity should result in improved success for the squad next season.

Success-O-Meter Score: 5/10
—James Hayes

Women’s basketball

The Mustangs’ women’s basketball team claimed the Ontario University Athletics West Division title this season, with a regular season record of 16-6. This record resulted from a strong final victory over the Lakehead University Thunderwolves. As a result of the win, Western hosted the West Division semi-finals.

Unfortunately, the winning streak did not carry on, as the Mustangs lost against the Laurier Golden Hawks 70-62 in the OUA West division finals. The loss eliminated the Mustangs from the OUA and Canadian Interuniversity Sport championships.

Coach Mike Milne was awarded the West Division’s Coach of the Year for the 2003/04 season. Key Western players Rebecca McColl and Julie Lamparski were both awarded West Division All-Star team status.

Success-O-Meter Score: 7/10
—Alison Stolz

Fencing

Both the men’s and women’s fencing teams had mixed results this year, but had some strong performances from their teams.

The men’s epee team of Phil Mullin, Ryan Mitchell, Nathan Naval and Brian Chow finished with a silver medal in the Ontario University Athletics championships, losing a close final to Queen’s University. Mullin led the team by finishing third overall at the event.

The women’s epee team of Laura McGrath, Jen Gavin and Kemi Adebajo finished fifth in the OUA, while the men’s sabre, women’s sabre and men’s foil all finished sixth in the OUA.

Success-O-Meter Score: 7/10
—Ian Denomme

Men’s and women’s squash

For the 21st year in a row, the men’s squash team took the Ontario University Athletics championship title. The team has not been defeated at OUA’s since the 1982/83 season by the University of Toronto.

A number of Western men’s players were awarded first team All-Star selections, including Vinay Lodha, Rob Nigro and Andrew Jones.

The women’s squad did well for themselves also, winning the bronze medal after a victory over Queen’s University in the finals.

Fourth-year player and coach Vanessa Steinwell and Kim Farah were named OUA All-Stars.

Success-O-Meter Score: 9/10
—Alison Stolz

Curling

The men’s and women’s curling teams — coached by Bruce and Ann McAnich — each finished regular tournament play with records of 3-4 this season.

For the men’s team, their record was only good enough for a fifth place finish overall, and they were subsequently eliminated from playoff contention. The women’s team finished fourth in the overall standings, which gave them a chance to try for their third straight Ontario University Athletics title.

Their third try proved to be a disappointing one, however, as they were forced to settle for the bronze medal, losing an 8-7 nail-biter in the semi-finals to the eventual champion Brock Badgers.

Success-O-Meter Score: 6/10
—Aron Yeomanson

Men’s hockey

The men’s hockey team had another strong regular season before bowing out early in the playoffs for the second straight year.

The team finished the regular season with a 21-3-0 record, then lost to Lakehead University in quadruple overtime in game three of their division final. Less than a week later, their season ended with a 5-4 loss to the University of Toronto at the Queen’s Cup.

The team had a high-powered offense led by Ontario University Athletics scoring leaders Justin Davis and Mike Stathopoulos. Jeff Martin was among the league leaders in goals. Defensively, the team was led by All-Star Abe Herbst and Mike D’Alessandro in goal.

Nine players will be lost to graduation, and although the team was not happy with their playoff results, there were a lot of significant accomplishments, including Davis becoming the all-time scoring leader at Western.

Success-O-Meter Score: 7/10
—Ian Denomme

Women’s hockey

The women’s hockey team was able to secure their best record in four seasons this year, but their record of 6-14-1-1 still left them six points shy of a playoff spot.

Averaging just 1.32 goals per game, the team was hurt by their inability to put the puck in the net. Sara Bush led the team in points with 10, while Jillian Cochrane led the team with five goals.
However, they were involved in many close games against good teams — while their roster contained 15 players who were playing in either their first or second years of eligibility. With experience, this team will only get better.

Success-O-Meter Score: 5/10
—Aron Yeomanson

Men’s and women’s swimming

The 2004 swimming season ended strongly for the Mustangs, as the men placed fifth overall in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport championships, and the women came 17th.

The Mustangs did well in the Ontario University Athletics championships as well — the men finished second in Ontario and the women placed third.

Rookie Brad VanderKam will be someone to watch the next few years, as he already set two new OUA records in 2004 in the men’s 50 metre butterfly and the 100m butterfly.

He won a gold medal in the 100m butterfly and a bronze in the 50m butterfly, as well as a bronze in the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay team, comprised of VanderKam, Matt Wood, Aaron Maszko and Ben Hedley.

Success-O-Meter Score: 8/10
—Alison Stolz

Men’s and women’s wrestling

The Mustangs’ wrestling team experienced much success over their season, with the women finishing slighty higher than the men.

Western hosted the 10th Annual Ontario University Athletics’ championship, where the women placed four points behind Brock University for second place. It was Brock’s fourth title in a row. The men’s team placed fifth in the OUA.

At Western’s Open Tournament, the women finished first, while the men placed second behind Lakehead University. In the Canadian Interuniversity Sport championship, Terri McNutt finished second. In the team results, the women’s team finished fifth in the CIS and the men placed 12th. The Mustangs’ team was ranked 10th collectively in the CIS.

Success-O-Meter Score: 6/10
—James Hayes

Track

The 2004 season for the Mustangs’ track and field team was full of personal and collective success. There were high points in all the major track meets of the season, including the Ontario University Athletics meet and the Canadian Interuniversity Sport meet in Windsor.

The men’s relay team of Bob Westman, Christian Heffernan, Randy McAuley and Gavin McTavish set personal bests and CIS records, and Alanna Boudreau excelled in high jump and triple jump. Rookie Mitch Vermue also performed well in the high jump. The women’s team won the OUA championship, and the men placed second.

Success-O-Meter Score: 9/10
—James Hayes

 

 

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