The Muskie senior girls’ volleyball team were beaten 2-1 in their best-of-three quarter-final showdown with the Dryden Eagles to get bounced from the St. Pat’s Invitational tournament in Thunder Bay last weekend.
Dryden won the first game 15-6 but the Muskies roared back with a 15-10 victory to send the match to a third and deciding game, which the Eagles won 15-10.
Muskie head coach Rick Wiedenhoeft said the team had an “up and down” weekend, noting they were playing inconsistent volleyball from one set to the other.
Struchan Gilson, who coaches the Muskie junior team but accompanied the seniors to Thunder Bay, added they had a problem returning serves and then setting up their offensive attack.
Still, the Muskies—who used different lineups in each set of every match—managed to finish second in their pool by taking six out of 10 sets.
But they were eliminated from further play with their loss to Dryden in the quarter-finals.
The black-and-gold opened action last Friday with a 6-15, 15-9 split against Kenora, then they swept Hammarsjkold 15-8 and 15-11.
On Saturday, the Muskies were swept 15-13 and 16-14 by the Hillcrest Colts (Thunder Bay), a very strong squad that Wiedenhoeft said could be the best senior girls’ volleyball team in Northwestern Ontario.
“Against Hillcrest, I think we’re going to have to play over our heads to beat them,” admitted Wiedenhoeft, noting Hillcrest isn’t a particularly tall team but “very athletic.”
Next, the Muskies split a match with Pelican Falls, taking the first set easily 15-3 but then dropping the second one 15-13, then closed out the round-robin with a 15-8 and 15-12 sweep over Port Arthur Collegiate.
Wiedenhoeft praised the play of Siobhan Devlin (named to the tournament all-star team), Karen Harris, and backup power hitter Roberta Potson as being the top Muskies on the weekend.
Still, he also said the Muskies definitely will have to improve their team speed and play more consistently with the NorWOSSA playoffs fast approaching.
And he added they will have to try to get more hits from the power position.