The Muskie senior girls’ volleyball team got its season off to a solid start at the Westgate tournament in Thunder Bay over the weekend.
The black-and-gold won six of 12 sets in preliminary play to finish in the middle of the division—fourth out of the seven teams.
Fort High began the weekend with a split against Superior (25-11 and 6-25) before being swept by eventual champions St. Thomas Aquinas (25-12 and 25-20) and the La Verendrye Vipers (25-21 and 25-12).
But the Muskies rallied later in the weekend, splitting with St. Ignatius (25-15 and 20-25) before sweeping both Atikokan (25-22 and 26-24) and Hammarskjold (25-21 and 25-19).
Then in the playoff round, Fort High blazed past Nipigon’s Nip-Rock Lakers 2-0 (25-19 and 25-14) before being bounced by the runners-up and NorWOSSA rival, Dryden, in straight 25-9 sets.
Head coach Duane Roen noted all his players saw the floor during the tournament as he tried to concoct the right combinations in advance of the NorWOSSA season.
“We certainly were able to detect our strengths and weaknesses over the weekend,” Roen said in an e-mail.
“The girls are now aware of what they need to do to be competitive against the Dryden Eagles,” he added.
Fort High had another crack at the Eagles yesterday as they opened the NorWOSSA regular season at home.
But the outcome was much the same as the Muskies were swept 3-0 by Dryden (set scores weren’t available).
Roen noted many of his players are struggling with consistency at this point in the season, especially in getting passes to setter Taylor Windego.
However, he did see positives in his middle players, who had a height advantage over the Eagles, resulting in some key blocks.
There is room for improvement, though, and Roen will look to boost the middles’ confidence to create a strong defence.
Meanwhile, the junior girls opened their NorWOSSA campaign by dropping a 3-2 decision to the Eagles (25-21, 21-25, 16-25, 25-23 and 15-7).
All four Muskie court teams will play in Kenora tomorrow before breaking for Christmas.