Mental focus key for senior spikers

Jamie Mountain

Getting better each and every time they take to the court still is the goal for the Muskie senior boys’ volleyball team.
The Muskies saw some mixed results last week, including a hard-fought, five-set comeback win against the visiting Dryden Eagles last Tuesday afternoon (Oct. 16) before losing in four sets to the Broncos in Kenora on Thursday.
Muskie head coach John Gibson believes a committed mental focus is key for his squad to finish off the NorWOSSA regular season strong.
“It’s back to basics this week,” he remarked. “If we can pass and serve well, then we can run our offence.
“Our mental focus will be key during the last two [matches],” Gibson stressed.
“I’d like to see the boys play strong to finish and carry that momentum into the playoffs.”
The black-and-gold were slated to face the Eagles in Dryden tomorrow before concluding the regular season here next Tuesday (Oct. 30) against the Broncos.
Last week, the Muskies (2-4) showed great resilience in battling back from a 2-0 deficit to snatch a 3-2 victory from the grips of the Eagles (2-3).
After dropping the first two sets by scores of 25-27 and 13-25, the Muskies rallied to take the third set by a narrow 25-23 score.
Fort High then found its rhythm in the third set, cruising to a 25-14 win.
Then in the fifth-and-deciding set, the black-and-gold finished things off by topping the Eagles 15-12.
“We knew we could beat Dryden if we played clean, and our defence stepped up by blocking better and picking up tips,” Gibson noted.
“We didn’t play as well as we did last weekend . . . but we did keep a positive attitude when we struggled,” he added.
The squad then capped its week with a four-set loss to the host Broncos (4-1).
After the black-and-gold had taken the first set 25-22, Kenora stormed back to win the next three by scores of 25-19, 25-16, and 25-15.
“Our first set was solid but then we started slipping in the second and we couldn’t get our momentum back,” Gibson conceded.
“We needed to keep our focus and not get discouraged.”
As for the players who stood out to him in last week’s matches, Gibson noted “Ben [Larson] and Kobi [Ward] stood out for me this week, both offensively and defensively.”
Once the regular season wraps up, Fort High will host the NorWOSSA playoffs on Tuesday, Nov. 6.