The Mustangs men’s volleyball team lost in straight sets to the Badgers on Saturday night at Alumni Hall 3-0.
Brock University defeated the Mustangs on an emotional senior night — the final game for some veterans of Western University, including Gianfranco Sartor, Nathan Phelps and Evan Cranshaw.
Brock earned a solid lead as Western found themselves trailing 10-4 early in the first set. After a brief timeout period, the Mustangs developed some momentum, tying the game up at 11-11 and even grabbing their first lead of the set, 13-12. However, the Badgers were left unfazed by their first deficit, coming back to win a hotly contested first set, 25-22.
The second set was not as competitive as the first. Brock, once again, took the first lead of the game which lead to another Western timeout as the Badgers were up 7-1. The timeout break was not as fruitful for the Mustangs as it was in the first frame, as the Badgers continued to lead until an eventual 25-17 second set victory.
The third and final set saw a hopeful start for Western. The Mustangs opened up the frame with the first score, and maintained a lead for the better half of the set. Heartbreak started to set in for Western players and fans once the Badgers broke the Mustangs final lead of the night to tie the game at 18-18. Late in the set, Western was not able to capitalize on great kill opportunities as Brock made some crucial plays that continued winning rallies. The final play saw an attack error by Sartor which sealed the 3-0 match victory for the Badgers 25-20.
Mustangs' head coach Jim Sage spoke after the game about the Mustangs performance on Saturday night.
“Pretty weak, overall,” said Sage. “I gave credit to Brock. They played a really good game and we didn’t. We knew if we didn’t show up, we weren’t going to be in it.”
On a more positive note, Sage spoke to the careers of some of those senior players who were honoured this weekend during their final hours in the purple and white.
“[They are] great guys,” said Sage. “[Sartor], an academic, engineering student that works his butt off in school, to graduate with honours and to do that through engineering and to be a team captain. Just a great guy, great family and I’m really proud of him,” added Sage. “[Phelps] is crazy smart. He’s a genius and combines both [school and volleyball]. He gets down on himself a lot, he’s really harsh if he
The four-time Ontario University Athletics' coach of the year wants his players to leave his program with more than just their statistics and records.
“Hopefully, they get something positive out of the whole experience," said Sage. "Those experiences are what I coach. It’s not about the wins and losses, it’s about what these guys are going to do after they graduate."