Court Teams

The head coach of the Muskie senior girls’ volleyball doesn’t know which is worse—the fact his defending NWOSSAA championship team had started 0-3 or that he predicted it.
“I think I was quite accurate,” Rick Wiedenhoeft said. “I’ve got a very green team. Very few of them have played at this level. It’s going to be a steep learning curve.”
And the team is coming off its best performance of the young season last Thursday, taking the host Kenora Broncos the distance before losing the best-of-five match 3-2.
The Muskies had won the first set 25-17, then dropped the next two 26-24 and 25-18. With their backs to the wall, they bounced back to win the fourth set 25-17 but lost the final one by a narrow 15-13 margin.
Meanwhile, the other Muskie court teams enjoyed a successful day in Kenora last Thursday, including the senior boys’ basketball team who improved to 3-0 in NorWOSSA play with a 51-42 victory.
The junior hoopsters won 36-33 in overtime to improve to 2-1 while the junior girls’ volleyball team swept the Broncos 25-23, 25-11, and 25-11 to also sit at 2-1.
Wiedenhoeft was happy with the effort his seniors gave in the loss.
“We played better than Kenora. We scored more points than them,” he said. “It was just jitters more than anything in that last set.
“I’m very pleased with the way they played,” he added.
On the down side, starting OAC student Linda Zimmerman sprained her ankle during a practice before the Muskies’ match against Kenora and is likely to be sidelined until February, Wieden-hoeft said.
But he noted first-year senior Lisa Shumaker stepped into that spot and played well in that position.
“Certainly we’ll miss Linda, but the girls on the court fit together,” he remarked. “They’re starting to understand. They can only get better.”
Last season, the seniors—a veteran team—won their first three NorWOSSA matches, losing only one set in that stretch. But Wiedenhoeft said any comparisons would be unfair as the eight-game season is only a build-up to the playoffs in February.
“To be honest, I wouldn’t mind entering the playoffs 0-8,” he said. “I feel this team is good enough to beat either [Kenora and Dryden]. The talent is there, it’s just a matter of working together.”
The seniors will start a busy week after the new year when they, along with the other court teams, host Dryden on Jan. 8 before heading to Kenora for an invitational tournament Jan. 11-12.