The Mustangs women’s volleyball team was back in action this past Friday night, when they dueled the Windsor Lancers in a rematch of their last game on November 28.
The outcome of that game was a close one—with the Mustangs pulling away with the victory in the fifth and final set. Just as they had done before the break, the Mustangs were looking for a repeat victory against their lower-seeded rivals.
“Well obviously with them lower in the standings, we were expecting a positive outcome. That is our goal every time we go into matches,” Dave Edwards, head coach for the Mustangs, said.
And it was a repeat victory they accomplished—disposing Windsor in just four sets and showing their week of training after the break left them with very little rust in the process.
“Oh, absolutely [there was rust]. The girls left after the Windsor game on the 28th of November with exams. The girls came back January 2nd, so they had that long layoff,” Edwards said. “But we trained hard twice a day when we came back and certainly we were a little rusty, but we had a very, very good training week in preparation for Windsor.”
Although the purple and white handily defeated Windsor, the 9–2 Queen’s Gaels will pose a much larger threat to the surging ‘Stangs when the two face off on Saturday afternoon.
“They play a really similar game to how we play. They’re very quick with quick sets outside and they rely very heavily on their outside hitters,” Edwards said.
However, the Mustangs won’t be thrown off of their game easily and have the skills necessary to defeat the Gaels and extend their three-game winning streak.
“But I think we will certainly be able to minimize [outside kills], because I think we are one of the top blocking teams in the OUA,” Edwards said.” “So I think it will be a very, very good match. There has always been a really good rivalry between the two teams.”
Adding to the intrigue this game will bring is the fact that the Mustangs are gearing up to take on the third-ranked Gaels while missing a key cog to their team—veteran Stephanie Kreuter. Kreuter is ranked 12th in the Ontario University Athletics with 2.84 kills per game. With Kreuter out, Coach Edwards will be looking towards veteran Rebecca Oxland and his team’s talented middles to lead the way.
“Obviously Rebecca Oxland has had an outstanding year offensively for us. Rookie middle, Candace Scott, is probably one of the top middle players in the province. [Also] Danielle Marshall, my other middle. I really rely heavily on our middles and Rebecca,” Edwards said.
With a win on Saturday, the ‘Stangs will improve to 8–4 and inch even closer to their goal for this season.
“Our goal at the beginning of the season was 18–4—[meaning] 18 girls in the final-four. We are moving in the right direction and the chemistry on the team is very positive,” Edwards said.