Spikers struggle in Kenora

Will the real Muskie senior boys’ volleyball team please stand up?
Is it the talented squad that can beat you with an array of powerful hits from the power or middle positions, or the one that folds like a cheap tent?
Head coach Adrian Chapman, desperately searching for answers with this year’s team, is hoping it’s the former.
The Muskies struggled in a disappointing 3-2 loss in their best-of-five showdown against the Kenora Broncos up there last Thursday–just two days after crushing the Dryden Eagles here 3-1.
To their credit, the Muskies did battle right to the end in Kenora. After looking listless in a 25-14 pounding in the first game, the black-and-gold rebounded to win the second one 25-21.
Then after dropping a tough 25-22 loss in the third game, they staved off defeat with a solid 25-15 win to set the stage for the fifth and deciding game.
That one also was close but the Muskies wound up on the short end of a thrilling 15-13 score (the fifth game only goes up to 15).
“It was a close one but we didn’t play well at all,” Chapman admitted. “Everyone was flat and we just couldn’t get it going.”
Chapman said their biggest problem is consistency–and that’s the biggest question mark hanging over the team. After playing well in one set, the team has the tendency to completely flop in the next.
Does that concern Chapman?
“Of course it does, and that’s what’s been happening,” he agreed. “We start to get flat when we’re getting beat–this can be a horrible team or an excellent team.”
Chapman stressed the team will have to get more consistent by the time the playoffs roll around Nov. 12.
Still, Chapman isn’t at all concerned about catching Kenora for first place. In fact, he feels it may even be a blessing if they finish second and face Dryden in the semi-finals.
“The only problem I could foresee is if we play five games against Dryden [in the semi-finals] and we get tired,” he remarked.
Meanwhile, things aren’t going much better for the Muskie junior boys’ volleyball team, who dropped their sixth match in six tries against host Kenora last Thursday.
But four of those losses have come in matches that went the distance.
Kenora roared out to a 25-12 victory in the first game. Then the Muskies took the second one 25-19, lost the third 25-18, and fought back to win the fourth 25-21 to force the rubber game.
That one was tied 9-9 until Kenora reeled off the final six points to seal the match.
Given so many of their matches have gone to the fifth and deciding game, Muskie head coach Duane Roen said he’s optimistic his team is on the verge of winning.
“We were pretty much consistent everywhere. The guys were motivated and they played well,” said Roen. “They were much better with team spirit and motivation.
“We just had a little trouble serving.”
Still, Roen said he’s pleased with his team’s improved play and felt the Muskies final two games were “crucial” for gaining momentum into the playoffs next month.
Both teams return to action tomorrow when they face the Dryden Eagles.