Junior, senior spikers bury Broncos

Sandi Elliott could have been promoted to head of the “service” department after turning the Kenora Broncos’ hope of an upset on its ear.
Elliott erased a 20-14 deficit in the fourth set with nine-straight points from behind the service line, including a pair of aces, to clinch a 25-22 win and a 3-1 victory for the Muskie junior girls’ volleyball team in NorWOSSA action here last Thursday.
“We started working as a team more later in the fourth,” said Elliott, in her first year with the Muskies. “We began improving our passing and getting our serves in.
“We were really mad because we weren’t doing so good up until then. But the team got really pumped when we got on that run,” she added.
The Muskies (3-0) won the first two sets 25-21 and 25-23 before switching to a line-up that featured mainly first-year players. The Broncos jumped out to an 18-6 lead in the third, but the newcomers didn’t back down, inciting a rally that fell just short as Kenora won the set 25-19.
In the fourth set, Muskie head coach Duane Roen called two separate time-outs to calm his team down.
After the second one, Elliott’s efforts—combined with the frontcourt play of Janelle Williamson—carried the Muskies the rest of the way, with Williamson ending the best-of-five affair on a leaping kill that found a gap in the Broncos’ defence.
The juniors earned the victory despite the absence of first-year players Michelle Cournoyer and Shauna Jones, who both suffered ankle injuries in practice during the holiday break.  Roen was uncertain how long the pair would be out of action.
< *c>Bronco busting
Meanwhile, the Muskie senior girls also had Kenora’s number here last Thursday, registering a 3-1 win to improve their regular-season mark to 2-1.
Fort High won the first set handily by a 25-14 score, then put their own collection of first-year players into the fire for the second one. While they had their moments, the group couldn’t quite get the job done as Kenora eked out a 25-23 win.
“The new girls are still feeling their way around at the senior level,” said Muskie head coach Char Bliss. “It’s a matter of them finding a comfort level. They’re coming along, though.”
The third and fourth sets saw the return of the Muskie veterans, who quickly disposed of the Broncos 25-17 and 25-12, respectively, to take the best-of-five match.
“We took everything we’ve been working on and put it together,” said Bliss. “Some of the girls we depend on, like Trish [Smith] and Kate [Elliott], were very consistent today with some strong hitting.”
First-year player Rachel Kabatay returned to action after suffering a back injury at a tournament last month.
The senior Muskies next tried their luck at the Lakehead University Thunderwolves tournament last weekend in Thunder Bay, finishing third in the round-robin but then losing in the quarter-finals to Dryden by a 3-1 margin.
Game scores were unavailable by press time.
Both volleyball teams resume NorWOSSA action here tomorrow against the Eagles. The matches originally were slated to be held in Dryden, but a leak in the gym ceiling at Dryden High School worked its way underneath the floorboards, causing the floor to swell.
Repairs will take about three weeks to complete.
Then it’s off to Thunder Bay for the junior Muskies this weekend as they compete in a tournament of their own there.