The pressure to uphold a tradition of excellence is difficult for most teams to handle. This is not the case for the men’s and women’s volleyball teams. Their goal for the 2002-2003 season is simple: they both want to repeat as OUA champions. But with many teams in the OUA improving their roster in the off-season, U of T has its work cut out.

The women’s volleyball team opened its 2002-2003 campaign versus the University of Windsor last Friday at the Athletic Centre. Windsor was no match for the Blues, who easily disposed of them three sets to none. The scores in the games were 29-27, 25-16 and 25-22.

Windsor seemed to have trouble handling the Blues’ power, versatility and depth. U of T got an outstanding effort from middle Sadie Stewart, along with setter Katie Bickerton and left-side Rebecca Moskowitz.

After easily disposing of their opponents, the team faces a stronger challenge when they travel to Lakehead University next week. This will be the Blues’ first real test, but the squad seems ready for the challenge.

In game two of Friday’s doubleheader, the Blues men’s volleyball team took on Windsor. The Lancers were greatly overmatched, as the Blues dispelled any rumours that their CIS number-three ranking was unwarranted.

U of T played a very disciplined game, easily crushing Windsor three sets to none.

The Blues got strong play from hitters Marc Arseneau and Josh Binstock, both preseason candidates for the All-Canadian team. The Canadian national team has also identified them as prospects.

With many changes to the Blues’ roster, Arseneau and Binstock will be looked to for leadership. The team lost six starting players from last year’s OUA championship-winning line-up, and now need the two veterans to step up the level of intensity.

The Blues men face a tougher test on October 30 when they face their Toronto rivals the York Yeomen.

Photograph by Kara Dillon

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