Women remain perfect at home

'Stangs sweep visiting Golden Gaels, improve to 14-1

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Women's volleyball

Joyce Wang

MORE BUMPS THAN A B2K ALBUM. Western was bumped to the top of the Ontario University Athletics West division standings this weekend, pulling two points ahead of McMaster with a win over Queen’s.

Western fans didn’t go home hungry Saturday afternoon, as the Mustangs women’s volleyball team served up a big win against the Queen’s Golden Gaels at Alumni Hall.

Queen’s (4-12) didn’t pose a threat to Western (14-1), who breezed to a straight-sets victory.

The win kept the ’Stangs in first place in Ontario University Athletics and undefeated at home with five games remaining in the regular season.

Western dominated from the first whistle with several kills that set the pace for the entire match. Julia Hall, Jacqueline Robinson and Stephanie Ruste each contributed seven important kills to give the Mustangs a powerhouse offensive front.

Ruste was surprised by the lack of competition, but complimented the team’s efforts in the victory.

“I think [we] expected [Queen’s] to bring a little bit more to the match,” she said. “We were expecting it to be a little bit tougher, but we played really clean and limited our mistakes to take the match.”

Rookie setter Jenna Thompson notched an impressive 20 assists, showing her skill in running the offence. She was thrilled at the opportunity to start the match off.

“It was awesome,” she said. “It’s always really fun.”

The first set ended with Queen’s sending the ball outside the line to give Western a 25-11 win.

The second set followed suit, with Western governing play and defeating Queen’s 25-11. The last point came on a huge kill by Julia Hall.

Western clinched the match in a tighter third set. Queen’s began battling back and seemed within reach, but strong defence from libero Andrea Ruste, who had 20 digs, thwarted Queen’s attempts to recover. The ’Stangs took the final set 25-20.

Western head coach Dean Lowrie was quite content with the result.

“We game-planned and prepared all week,” he said. “The girls came out, and they were very strong and I’m pretty happy.”

Queen’s head coach Chris Galbraith agreed the teams weren’t on equal footing coming into the contest.

“We were pretty outmatched,” he said. “We knew going in it was going to be a stretch for us to be really competitive.”

The playoffs loom and the Mustangs are top contenders for the OUA championship. With this win behind them, they can only hope to continue their streak into the postseason.

Western right-side Erin Miller was excited to discuss her playoff goals.

“[We want to] win OUAs,” she said. “That has been our goal all year and that’s where we want to be.”

Lowrie also anticipates a good late-season push and hopes his team can maintain focus.

“We want to make sure that we are ready to go when playoffs hit,” he said. “[We need] to make sure we are rested and focused and those are the key things.”

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