While the Muskie junior boys' volleyball team has been able to tread the NorWOSSA waters so far, its coach is hoping that it will start playing with more aggression moving forward.
Through six games in league play, the Muskies have compiled a respectable 3-3 record but they need to assert their style of play more if they are to have success in the second half of the season.
Fort High lost its second straight match with a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the visiting Dryden Eagles last Wednesday afternoon, which Muskie coach Terry McMahon described as being an “up-and-down” contest.
“We play up and then we start playing down. We have to just stick to our game regardless of what is going on on the other side of the net,” he stressed.
"We were aggressive at times, I have been asking to the team to play aggressive and take some chances.
“When we did that, we did very well,” McMahon noted.
After losing the first set by a 25-20 count to the Eagles (3-3), the black-and-gold responded by taking the second set 25-20.
That good fortune didn't last, however, as Dryden claimed the third-and-deciding set by a narrow 25-23 margin.
But despite their second straight loss as team, McMahon was still pleased with the progress that some of his players have experienced of late.
“Brennan Jourdain has come such a long way, he is starting to find [his] swing and is getting some big hits,” McMahon lauded.
"Evan Strain had a great second set. Joe Hardy is playing big at the net and his serving has been awesome.
“Andros Bruyere has only been setting for three games and is doing extremely well in his new position,” he enthused.
The Muskies were slated to resume NorWOSSA action this afternoon against the host Kenora Broncos (0-5), with the result unavailable at press time.
The squad then will head to Dryden for a tournament hosted by the Eagles on Friday and Saturday.
McMahon said that poor serving is still a big issue for the team and that the Muskies would also be working on their serve receive in practices leading up to this week's matches.
“I expect to do well in Dryden. Our biggest weakness is a lack of experience that is needed to learn the game,” he noted.
"We only have two returning players from last year and the rest are rookies.
“As we play more, we learn more, and I am confident the more experience we get the more successful we will be,” he reasoned.
Heading into the second half of the NorWOSSA season, McMahon is hopeful his squad will start to cut itself some slack and not be scared to make mistakes—and learn from them—down the stretch.
“We have to be willing to make mistakes and be OK with it when we make them,” he stressed.
"We need to always be ready on the court. We are getting caught watching the ball too much and trying to react to it when it comes to us.
“The game is too fast to try and react, we have to read the game better,” he urged.
“A little more alertness and mindfulness on the court will go a long way and put us in better positions to play our game.”