Senior spikers strike gold

The Muskies senior girls’ volleyball team certainly didn’t expect to face St. Ignatius for the NWOSSAA crown–and a trip to the all-Ontario showdown March 8-9 in Ottawa.
But the Falcons will be coming to town Friday after they upset the Hillcrest Colts for the Thunder Bay title.
“Honestly, I wanted to play Hillcrest again because I wanted to beat them again. I thought we matched up okay,” Muskie head coach Rick Wiedenhoeft said Monday afternoon.
Still, the Muskies also should match up pretty well against St. Ignatius, having split their match with the Falcons at the St. Pat’s tournament in Thunder Bay earlier this season.
“They’re tall and they have a good power hitter and a very good setter,” Wiedenhoeft of the Falcons’ lineup. “[But] when we played them, we weren’t playing as well as we are now.”
The Muskies also are playing with more intensity these days, which certainly showed in their sweep of Kenora in the NorWOSSA final here last Friday, winning 25-18, 25-17, and 25-22.
They seemed to feed off the home crowd, and had more jump in their step each time they won a point.
And they’re hoping home court advantage will bolster their chances against St. Ignatius.
The first best-of-five match of the best-of-three NWOSSAA series is set for Friday at 2 p.m., followed by the second one Saturday at 9:30 a.m.
The third match, if necessary, will be played Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Against Kenora, the Muskies could sense a victory right from the opening serve–jumping out to a quick 8-1 lead in the first game en route to the easy win.
It was the same story in the second game, with the Muskies grabbing an 8-2 lead early and never looking back.
The third game was a see-saw battle that saw the teams tied at 18-18 when Siobhan Devlin–after a nice block by Kelly Crawford and then a quick set from Laureen Cousineau–unloaded a big spike that smacked the floor before the Broncos even moved.
That hit gave the Muskies momentum to win the game and ice the match.
And Devlin very well may be the black-and-gold’s key in blocking St. Ignatius’ big hitters this weekend. Wiedenhoeft admitted he’s tinkered with the idea of matching her up with the Falcons’ height.
In fact, he may keep her out of the starting lineup and then insert her in after the opening serve.
“She’ll be a key for us,” Wiedenhoeft agreed.