Lessons learned for senior spikers

Lucas Punkari

All in all, it was a learning experience for the Muskie senior girls’ volleyball team over the weekend as they opened their season at the Santa Claus Classic tournament in Dryden.
The seniors finished with a 1-4-2 record, with their lone win coming Friday against Dennis Franklin (Thunder Bay) while their draws came against the Dryden Eagles’ junior squad and Sioux Lookout.
The black-and-gold’s four setbacks came at the hands of Winston Churchill (Thunder Bay), St. Thomas Aquinas (Kenora), the Kenora Broncos, and the Dryden Eagles’ senior team.
“We played the way that I expected that we would based upon how we had practised during the week,” noted Muskie head coach Duane Roen.
“We had been struggling with our serving and our passing in practice, and those were evident this weekend as we were still struggling with those things during the games.
“When I took a look at our stats after the weekend, our passing numbers were much lower than I wanted them to be,” Roen added.
“And while our serving numbers [72 percent] weren’t too bad, I would like to be around 85 percent, so we will be working on trying to shoot at that.
“We did have some games where we were up in the 90 percent range, but then we had some others where we were in the 40s, so that is another thing we will be working on,” he stressed.
Still, Roen was able to find some positives in their weekend showing.
“In the games that we played well, I thought we performed really well,” he remarked.
“It’s nice to see that that potential is there with girls, and it’s just a matter of getting the consistency levels better,” he reasoned.
“I wasn’t as concerned with winning the whole tournament as I was with winning the sets, which we did a few times.
“And in the ones that we didn’t win, a lot of them were close sets that ended up being won by two or three points.
“Another thing I was able to do this weekend, that I think helped a lot, was to make sure that everyone got as much playing time as possible,” Roen added.
“Because if we don’t see how they perform, how do we know how good they are?” he reasoned.
Looking ahead, the seniors will be practising hard over the coming week in preparation for their NorWOSSA-opener next Wednesday (Dec. 21) in Dryden, followed by their home-opener a day later against the Kenora Broncos.
“I think that is going to help us out a lot,” Roen said.
“We have been spending a fair bit of time doing work on making sure that everyone is on the same page, skill-wise, and as a result, we haven’t spent a lot of time on rotational movement and defensive positioning, which is what we will be doing this week before our league games,” he noted.
The Muskie junior girls, meanwhile, will get their first taste of competitive action this weekend when they travel to Dryden for a pre-season tournament.