Sr. spikers finish fourth

Lucas Punkari

With a week off from their NorWOSSA schedule, the Muskie senior boys’ volleyball team made the trip to Dryden this past weekend to participate in a tournament to keep their game in find shape.
After the final smash was delivered Saturday, the black-and-gold came away with a fourth-place finish after falling in three sets to St. Thomas Aquinas (Kenora) in the third-place match.
“There were 10 teams in total in the tournament, and we played about seven [matches] during the course of the two days,” noted head coach Alison Hyatt.
“In the quarter-finals, we beat Kenora [Broncos] in two-straight sets, and then we lost to Dryden in the semis in two sets before we lost to T.A.,” she added.
Overall, Hyatt was pleased with how the team played in their second tournament of the season following a third-place finish at one in Kenora last month.
“A couple of things that I really liked out there was our defence and our service defence, as I think that really helped us to our run our offence towards the end of the tournament,” she explained.
“However, I was not pleased with our serving, as we probably missed about 30 serves over the weekend, which was a lot of points that we gave away,” she reasoned.
Looking ahead, the squad, which currently sports a 2-2 record in NorWOSSA play, is focused on their match with the host Kenora Broncos this afternoon before having to face the long-time league powerhouse from Dryden here next Tuesday (Oct. 25).
“I don’t want us to get too confident as Kenora is a very good team,” Hyatt stressed.
“They have a very strong outside hitter that we have learned to shut down. And that, in turn, starts to shut down their offence, which changes their game a lot,” she added.
Meanwhile, the Muskie junior boys’ spikers, sitting at 1-3 heading into today’s march at Kenora, have been spending the last week working on changing the way they play their game.
“If you saw any of our last game against Kenora [a five-set loss here Oct. 6], you could tell that the game was slow and quiet,” head coach John Gibson explained.
“We’ve been focusing on picking up our intensity, hitting the ball harder and being more aggressive out on the court, and I think that should make the game a lot more exciting starting in Kenora,” he pledged.
Prior to their next league game here Tuesday afternoon (Oct. 25), the black-and-gold will be travelling to Dryden for a 10-team tournament this coming weekend, where they will be grouped with La Verendrye and Westgate (Thunder Bay), Whitefish Bay, and the host Eagles for the round-robin portion.
“Now that we are getting past the basic skills and formation on both offence and defence, we’re looking to get a little more progressive out there as far as the kids go,” Gibson remarked.
“I’m hoping to see better play on both sides of the ball, along with less mistakes and a cleaner game this weekend,” he added.
“And if we can do that, we should do well.”