Muskie spikers split in Kenora

The Muskie girls’ volleyball program currently features two teams heading in opposite directions.
The junior squad won their second-straight match with a victory yesterday afternoon over the host Kenora Broncos to improve to 3-2 in NorWOSSA action.
The seniors, though, fell to 1-4 on the season after suffering their fourth-straight loss.
The latter team struggled from the outset en route to a four-set defeat to the Broncos by scores of 17-25, 25-19, 23-25, and 18-25.
“We just didn’t play well all day,” head coach Duane Roen remarked. “There were lots of missed serves, hits going into the net and out of the court.
“It just wasn’t our day.”
Roen said some of the team’s struggles can be traced back to the implementation of a new system that’s not producing the results he had anticipated when he installed it.
“We tried a slightly different system and it didn’t give me the results that I wanted, so we may have to re-evaluate that system and see if we can’t come up with something a bit different,” he conceded.
Adding to their woes are a number of mental lapses that have plagued the squad all season—the most recent example coming in the third set yesterday against the Broncos when the Muskies led by eight points only to falter down the stretch and lose.
“At times we played OK but it was nothing really exciting,” Roen said. “Our heads just aren’t in the game and as soon as we get behind a bit, we give up.
“We certainly have work to do in that respect.”
In sharp contrast to the senior team’s struggles, the junior Muskies continued their dominance over the winless Broncos, downing the host squad in four sets by scores of 25-14, 25-20, 14-25, and 25-14.
With the victory, the juniors improved to 3-0 against the Broncos this season.
“I am impressed,” junior head coach Jeff Rajala said afterwards. “Overall the play was great for most of the day.
“The serving was good for most of the day, as well, and we’re getting to see some really good hitting,” he added.
“We’re getting to work some new things into the system.”
But while he took a generally favourable impression away from the match, Rajala was irked by the team’s loss in the third set.
“The third set was a bit of a disappointment and we’re going to have a bit of a discussion about that because the only thing that stopped us from winning that third set were mental errors,” he said.
“They started playing down and they were playing poorly because of it.”
Both squads return to NorWOSSA action next Tuesday (Feb. 6) when they host these same Broncos at Fort High.