men's volleyball

Mustangs setter, Matt Hooker, volleys the ball during a game against the York Lions on Jan. 28.

The Western Mustangs men's volleyball team won their ninth straight match on Saturday with a 3–0 victory over the Trent Excalibur in Peterborough, Ont.

With their recent surge of dominance, the Mustangs sit at 11–2 on the season and in the heat of a race for the top spot in Ontario University Athletics.

The Mustangs have already matched their win total from last season and look very much like a team capable of winning the program's first OUA title since 1979.

The Mustangs handled a resilient Excalibur squad that was looking for its first win of the season. Trent gave Western all it could handle in the first set as the Mustangs grinded out a 25–21 win.

The second set saw the Mustangs take control of the match as they dominated en route to a comfortable 25–11 win. The third set saw more of the same as the Mustangs took the match with a 25–16 victory.

Three-set wins have been a habit for the Mustangs since the Christmas break. In their last six games, the team has only given up a single set. It's been a stretch of dominance that has allowed the Mustangs to rise up the OUA West standings with the playoffs fast approaching.

The Mustangs have seen considerable production from a number of the players during their nine-match win streak. Left side Nathan Phelps sits in the top five in the OUA with 2.04 digs per set. Middle Evan Hammond is fourth in the OUA with 1.0 blocks per set. Setter Matt Hooker is second in the province in assists per set with 10.04.

The Mustangs have four games remaining until the post-season starts. The team will travel to Windsor next weekend to take on the Lancers, who currently sit four points behind the Mustangs in the OUA West standings. Then, on Feb. 17, the Mustangs face their biggest test of the season when they travel to Hamilton to take on the 12–1 McMaster Marauders. That game will feature the two best teams in Ontario and could very well be a preview of the OUA Championship match.

The Mustangs program has had great success over the last three decades, but they're still looking to win that ever elusive OUA title and end the 39-year championship drought.

This year's team is capable of ending that drought. With the final stretch of the regular season on the horizon, they'll get their shot at glory soon enough.


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