The Muskie senior girls’ volleyball team had an impressive showing at a tournament in Thunder Bay last weekend, losing 15-8, 12-15, and 11-15 to the Kenora Broncos in the third-place game Saturday.
The Muskies’ fourth-place finish in the 12-team tourney impressed co-coach Carolyn Spencer as the Muskies prepare for the NorWOSSA playoffs later this month.
"The serving was [a lot better] than in past games," the first-year coach said. "Our hitters were hitting the holes and tipping [the ball] to open spots.
"We also played well defensively," she added.
One Muskie who had a solid weekend was Karen Harris, whom Spencer said was "phenomenal." In fact, she was named to the tournament all-star team.
Spencer also praised the play of Hannah Carter and Caylee Brow.
Meanwhile, Spencer is hoping last weekend’s strong finish will give her players a boost as they wind up the NorWOSSA schedule.
"I hope we use it to lift our confidence. Even when we were down 13-2 in one game, we fought back and we pulled to within 15-10," said Spencer.
"It was like the girls said ‘enough’s enough with losing.’ They felt like they could win despite what the scoreboard said," she added.
The Muskies opened play by splitting games with Whitefish Bay (3-15/5-8), Port Arthur (15-9/9-15), and St. Ignatius (8-15/15-8) before losing 15-12 and 15-13 to St. Patrick’s.
But the black-and-gold rebounded with wins over Churchill (15-5/15-9) and then Hammarskjold (15-13/15-8) to gain a berth in the semi-finals against Hillcrest.
Unfortunately, that’s where the Muskies’ winning streak came to an abrupt end, falling 15-10 and 15-8 to drop to the consolation final against Kenora.
"We were basically tired. We could barely scrape our feet off the floor," said Spencer, who added just 10 players made the trip and several were forced to play through an assortment of nagging injuries.
Hillcrest went on to win the tournament with a 15-12/16-14 win over Dryden, who advanced to the final after beating Kenora in the semi-finals.