Spikers lose final to Whitefish Bay

Despite playing a schedule made up of ‘A’ teams this season, the Muskies are finding out these schools can still play some very good volleyball.
In fact, while the boys’ senior team, considered an “AA” squad, finished the round-robin portion of a two-day tournament here with an impressive 3-1 record, it was Whitefish Bay who went on to win the tourney title with a 15-6, 15-7 win over the Muskies in the best-of-three final Saturday afternoon.
The Muskies’ only loss in the round-robin also came at the hands of Whitefish Bay, who used their quickness and athleticism to upset the much taller Fort High squad.
While the Muskies played well at times during the tournament, just their second action of the young season, they also looked rusty on several plays.
“We did pretty good,” said Muskie head coach Toby Munro. “At times we weren’t as good as we would have liked but our goal was to get better after the tournament.”
And Whitefish Bay took full advantage of the Fort’s inconsistent play, using a series of quick hits in the middle to keep the defence off balance.
In fact, Munro said his team will have to make a few changes to their defensive system for the next time they meet Whitefish Bay.
“They are a lot quicker and faster than we are,” he observed. “They used a lot of [quick hits], and we use a traditional blocking system where we have our guys to the outside but I think we’re going to have to move our guys in a little closer.
“We need more guys in the middle to stop that,” he stressed.
Moving their players in tighter will take the inside sets away from Whitefish Bay but it also means the Muskie defence will have to read the play better and become quicker if the opposition moves the ball to the outside.
Although the Muskies have much more height than Whitefish Bay, they are going to have to get quicker in order to take advantage of that.
Still, the Muskies looked particularly well at the power position led by veterans Jason Jones, making the transition this year from the setter position, and Chad Avis.
“It worked pretty good for us,” said Munro of switching Jones to the power position. “Mike [Anderson] is coming along and [our offence] worked well at times.”
Munro said his team used a “good mix” of distributing the ball to all areas of the court rather than feeding the power side each time. He also said they are using this week to get even better on offence as they prepare for a weekend tournament in Selkirk, Man.
Meanwhile, in junior action, the Muskies finished the round-robin with a 2-1 record. The black-and-gold picked up victories against Thomas Aquinas (16-14, 15-7) and Rainy River (15-13, 7-15, and 17-16) but lost in two straight games to Whitefish Bay (no scores were available).
Whitefish Bay also won the junior title in two straight games over Rainy River.