Muskie spikers block their way to win

In winning their second-straight match to open the NorWOSSA season, the Muskie senior girls’ volleyball team made head coach Rick Wiedenhoeft smile a bit more heading into the Christmas break.
Playing Kenora here last Thursday afternoon, the black-and-gold passed better than they did in their win over Dryden up there two days earlier.
Their setting also looked good. The team’s intensity was high and their defence once again was strong, led by the middle blocking tandem of Karen Harris and Siobhan Devlin.
It all added up to the Muskies winning two of three games against the visiting Broncos, taking the first two by scores of 15-8 and 15-12 before dropping the final one 15-10.
“Siobhan had another great game blocking, which forced Kenora to start tipping the ball, and when you force a senior team to tip, you take away their power game,” Wiedenhoeft enthused after the win, which left the Muskies alone in first place with four points (out of a possible six).
The biggest difference between the two wins, he noted, was the team’s intensity on the floor and their ability to set up an offensive attack. Both qualities were lacking in Dryden.
“I think we served very well [and] passed much better than Tuesday, which was good, because it meant we could hit with more power,” Wiedenhoeft explained.
“The level of intensity was much better, and the girls talked better and came through. It sounded like they really wanted [the win],” he added.
Playing their first match of the season, Kenora was sluggish–and the Muskies took advantage as they had ample time to move their blocks in front of the Bronco hits throughout the match.
Still, Wiedenhoeft admitted he would still like to see the Muskies improve their blocking–especially when they start to play much tougher opponents.
Last Thursday also marked the second-straight match the Muskies have gone out and won the first two games with relative ease, only to lose the third one. But Wiedenhoeft said he’s not too concerned about sweeping teams, as indicative of his decision to send out more bench players in the final game both times.
Rather, he wants to be able to give all of his players as much court time as possible.
“Once we win the first two games, that’s what matters because I’m not all too concerned if we finish [the season] in first place,” he noted. “I think in volleyball, it’s to your advantage to play in the semi-final to get the blood going.”
In junior action against Kenora last Thursday, the Muskie girls completely dominated the Broncos in sweeping the visitors 15-8, 15-3, and 15-8.
The juniors, who also swept Dryden last Tuesday, took advantage of strong setting by Sarah Noonan and the power hitting of Chrissie Noonan to earn the lopsided victory.
The squad has a commanding hold on first place with six points (out of a possible six).
Both volleyball teams are now off for the Christmas holidays and don’t resume NorWOSSA action until Jan. 7 when they host the Dryden Eagles.