Junior spikers win silver

The Muskie junior girls’ volleyball team shook off some early-season woes in a big way over the weekend en route to a silver-medal showing at a tournament in Dryden.
They finished second in the round-robin portion, earning 14 out of a possible 20 points in 10 matches, but later succumbed to a strong Dryden “Gold” team 25-15, 25-18 in the best-of-three championship final.
Perhaps their strongest match of the season was against the Hammarskjold Vikings in the semi-finals, roaring back from a 25-11 setback in the opening game to take the next two 25-23 and 15-13.
Dryden “Gold,” which finished first overall after the round-robin, advanced to the final by beating the host Kenora Broncos.
“We weren’t at our best Saturday but the girls came together against Hammarskjold,” assistant coach Duane Roen said, obviously pleased with his team’s effort.
“Dryden is just a good team. They are very good defensively, not really that good on offence, but they dig everything up,” he noted.
The black-and-gold’s strong showing was even more impressive given the problems they’ve had in the early going of the NorWOSSA campaign. And Roen predicted last weekend’s performance could help put them on the right track for the rest of the season.
“I was really proud of the team and the way they brought up their play,” said Roen, noting their strength was down the middle. “The girls were so pumped up, again, I was really proud of them.
“They were so happy after they beat Hammarskjold and knew they had won a medal,” he added.
Roen said first-year power hitter Melanie Jones and middle hitter Tricia Smith were the highlights for the team, along with veteran Linda Zimmerman.
Roen said Zimmerman was dominating at times during the tournament.
“[She] was spectacular,” he praised. “Right now, she’s the best hitter in the league.”