Senior spikers nab silver at ‘Spike-Off’ tourney

Jamie Mountain

The Muskie senior girls’ volleyball team battled hard and came away with a well-deserved silver medal at the annual Westgate Tigers’ “Spike-Off” tournament held Friday and Saturday.
Fort High compiled a 3-0 record in Orange Division play to head into the playoff rounds as the second-ranked team.
“We were in Thunder Bay this weekend and hoped to build as a team and determine where we need to improve our game,” noted Muskie coach Duane Roen.
The Muskies defeated each of the each of the host Tigers (25-7, 25-19, and 8-15), Marathon Falcons (25-13, 25-19, and 16-14), and Hammarskjold Vikings (25-13, 25-8), and 15-5) to finish atop the Orange Division and as the second-place team overall after pool play.
“There was one less team in our pool, so we played all three sets,” Roen noted.
The Muskies then battled the Wetsgate Tigers’ junior girls’ team in the championship side quarterfinals, which was a best-of-three format, where they prevailed by set scores of 25-19 and 25-10.
That put the black-and-gold into the semis, where they dumped the Dryden Eagles by a 25-15 and 25-14 count.
Fort High then faced the Atikokan Voyageurs in the championship match but fell short to settle for silver. The set scores were 25-18, 23-25, and 11-15.
The Muskies had gone into the tourney fresh off a 2-0 win over the host Kenora Broncos in the NorWOSSA regular-season opener for both teams last Tuesday.
The set scores were 25-14 and 25-23. Fort High also won the third exhibition set by a 25-15 margin.
“We had a solid showing on Tuesday, everyone was able to find time on the court and still be successful,” Roen lauded.
“Our serving success in set 1 was 90 percent and 50 percent of those were aces. Second set was 85 percent and [the] final set was 87 percent.
“We also played well offensively but still need to work on our defensive movement and transition,” he conceded.
Roen felt that his squad came out strong in the first set against the Broncos, even though it was just their first set of the season. The second set he felt his players struggled at times and had to fight for the win.
“We settled into the third set and were able to run some of our dedicated plays which, of course, makes the game much more exciting” he reasoned.
“Individually everyone played well but we need more time on the court to develop as a team. As circumstances changed, we were often slow to react, which affected our choices offensively.”
The Muskies were able to work on that development yesterday afternoon against the host Sioux Lookout Warriors, with the outcome not known as of press time.
Then they’ll host the Eagles on Thursday afternoon in their home-opener at Fort High for their final league game before the holiday break.