Senior Girls Muskie volleyball update

By Allan Bradbury
Staff writer
abradbury@fortfrances.com

Record: 4-1; Second place at Westgate Tigers “Spike-off’ tournament in Thunder Bay and Third place at Winter Blast tournament in Kenora.

Second place NORWOSSA standings

Q: How has the season gone so far?

A: We have been doing well so far this season. In league play we are in second place with 4 wins and one loss. My returning players are much more skilled and relaxed on the court this year. We have moved Brooke Marchuk over to left-side and Serena Cousineau is our main setter this season. We traveled to Thunder Bay in December and won the silver medal at the Westgate Tigers “Spike-off’ tournament. In early January we won the consolation finals at the Winter Blast tournament in Kenora.

Q: Are there any players whose performance has stood out to you this season so far?

A: Each player has made a positive impact in some way this season. Serena Cousineau is continually improving in her setting to make the best decision based on ever-changing circumstances. Brooke Marchuk’s jump float serves are challenging our opponents in every match. She is getting stronger every time she steps onto the court in her ability to attack aggressively and place the ball to score points. Gracie Smith is new to the team this year but brings a wealth of volleyball experiences. She is a skilled and dependable player both offensively and defensively. Monika Ruppenstein and Tatum Ronmark have been controlling our defense and adding rocket hard serves which keeps our opponents on their toes. Paige Happy has been steadily improving her blocking and hit placement. She also keeps the team upbeat with her positive cheering and outlook especially when the game is not going in our favour. Leah Seguin is new this season and is becoming more comfortable in her role as middle blocker. She has a lethal combination of “hops” and strength when the timing is good and I hope to see more positive plays from her as the season winds down. Georgia Oltsher forces the opponent out of system often with her soft serves which often just drop over the net. Emma Bodnarchuk, Jayna Walter and Keirsten DuCharme are improving daily and challenging our senior players in practice creating a stronger, better team.

Q: How has it been to travel and get more play this year outside of the regular NORWOSSA schedule?

A: It has been extremely difficult to get more play this year. We are only allowed two tournaments where in the past we usually went to four (two in Thunder Bay, one in Kenora and one in Dryden). We really need to have a junior/senior girls tournament in Fort Frances to allow more playing time at minimal cost. We have one exhibition game against Rainy River in February.

Q: What are some of the challenges the team has faced this year?

Probably the biggest challenge has been staying healthy. We have been dealing with missed practices/games due to illness which is making it difficult to stay competitive. The other biggest challenge is time. Several players are new to the game this year and it takes time for them to catch up with the rest of the team.

Q: What are your hopes as the team goes into the last part of this year’s NORWOSSA schedule?

A: The final part of the season is to stay healthy and injury-free. We need to finalize the line-up for NORWOSSA. We will be focusing on fixing our game play weaknesses while preparing strategies against our opponents.