Muskie girls’ volleyball squads looking to continue strong start

Jamie Mountain

What a way to kick off the season.
The Muskie junior and senior girls’ volleyball teams came away with impressive wins in their NorWOSSA regular-season openers last Tuesday against the host Kenora Broncos.
The juniors swept the Broncos in straight sets by scores of 25-10, 25-17, and 28-26.
“Our serving was very good, according to the girls,” said head coach Bob Kowal, who was unable to make the trip to Kenora.
“They immediately put the Broncos in a defensive position with good, aggressive serving.
“We’re still learning to attack the ball consistently,” he added.
“I don’t see it being a problem but I do know girls are getting frustrated when their attacking isn’t working out for them.
“Sometimes I think they are overthinking,” Kowal noted. “I believe more practice and tournament games will help.”
The juniors were slated to host the Dryden Eagles yesterday at Fort High, with the outcome not known as of press time, before welcoming the Broncos tomorrow at the “Fish Tank.”
Then they’ll cap the week with an exhibition tournament in Dryden on Friday and Saturday.
Kowal stressed the importance of his squad being consistent in all areas of the game in order to have success moving forward.
“I am not always seeing it in practice,” he conceded.
“This team has some excellent skills. They need to take advantage of their passing and defence to take teams out of the match,” he stressed.
“Sometimes they play sloppy and it erodes at their personal confidence for some, and games become more of a challenge then they should be,” Kowal conceded.
“We’ll be fine,” he said. “But the kids need to learn how to play during practice.”
The senior Muskies, meanwhile, were in action over the weekend at a tournament in Dryden.
The black-and-gold finished round-robin play with wins against the Sioux Lookout Warriors, La Verendrye Vipers, Kenora Broncos, and the host Eagles.
The Muskies only loss was to the Westgate Tigers (Thunder Bay), leaving them in second place after round-robin play.
“We were eliminated in two straight sets by St. Ignatius in the playoffs, and we also played without Grace Petsnick on Saturday as she was unavailable,” head coach Duane Roen noted.
“We did not fare as well as I expected,” he admitted. “Missing one-and-a-half weeks of practice showed.
“Other teams were able to get a run of points on us, which was the difference against Westgate and St. Ignatius.”
The Muskies went into the tournament fresh off their straight-sets win over the Broncos in their NorWOSSA season-opener there last Tuesday.
The set scores were 25-15, 25-15, and 25-22 in that one.
“We had a solid serve receive, strong offence, and a real effort to minimize unforced errors that helped immensely against Kenora,” Roen enthused.
The seniors also hosted the Eagles yesterday, with the outcome not known as of press time, before welcoming the Broncos tomorrow.
Then they’ll cap the week by playing in an exhibition tournament in Thunder Bay on Friday and Saturday.
“[We need to] go over our serve receive strategy and defensive transition as minimizing unforced errors will be key against Dryden,” Roen stressed.
“Dryden has a strong left-side/middle hitter, good serving, and recycle the ball well,” he noted.
“They also limit unforced errors, which will make them a formidable opponent this season.
“Kenora has a strong left-side presence, they pass well, so we need to make them move and keep them out of system as much as possible,” Roen added.

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