Spikers ready for Winnipeg tourney

Lucas Punkari

Although the main focus is to improve before the NorWOSSA playoffs Nov. 10 in Dryden, the Muskie senior and junior boys’ volleyball teams are looking forward to tournaments in Winnipeg this coming weekend.
“It should be a lot of fun,” enthused Grade 12 left-sided power hitter Gavin Moorhouse.
“The Winnipeg teams are great at volleyball and they are in a fantastic league, so it should be a great learning experience,” he noted.
“When we played in that tournament last year, our guys played very well and were able to knock off one of the top seeds,” recalled junior coach John Gibson.
“We expect to [see] a very high level of games while we are there, and hopefully we will see the kids elevate their own game this weekend,” he added.
The junior spikers were in Dryden for a tournament this past weekend, where they finished 3-5 in round-robin play before losing in three sets (24-26, 25-21, and 11-15) to Kenora in the playoffs.
That loss came a few days after a four-set victory (25-19, 21-25, 25-20, and 25-21) over the host Broncos in NorWOSSA action last Wednesday, which improved the black-and-gold’s record to 2-3.
“Our games was still a little slow at times in Kenora, but it was better and it was good to see the guys get the win,” Gibson remarked.
“However, when we got to the tournament in Dryden, we slowed back down again and we didn’t fare as well [because] we weren’t as aggressive out on the floor as consistently as I would have liked.
“For the most part, though, the games were a lot slower and the guys made a lot more mistakes than where I thought they would be right now,” Gibson admitted.
The senior boys, meanwhile, saw their league record fall to 2-3 as they were swept by Kenora (19-25, 14-25, and 23-25) last Wednesday.
“We just took it too easy against Kenora,” Moorhouse stressed.
“We went into that game too cocky, and as a result we got shut down by them.”
After welcoming Dryden to town yesterday, both Muskie volleyball teams will have two more games left on their NorWOSSA schedule prior to the playoffs.
They return to Kenora tomorrow afternoon before concluding the eight-game regular season here next Tuesday (Nov. 1) against Dryden.
While the juniors are focusing on improving their own play, Moorhouse feels the seniors know what they will have to do in order to be successful against their league rivals.
“We know how to beat Kenora, but we just need to make sure that we are focused on them and not going in over-confident,” he warned.
“With Dryden, they have a big hitter who has been able to shut us down so far, so we will need to play on our toes and make sure that our rotation works well against them,” Moorhouse added.