Despite beating the Dryden Eagles 3-1 in their best-of-five match to open the NorWOSSA season here yesterday afternoon, Muskie senior girls’ head coach Rick Wiedenhoeft was less than impressed with his team’s play.
In fact, he said it probably would have been better for his team if they had lost.
The Muskies won the first two games by scores of 25-19 and 25-15. But after losing the third 25-23, the black-and-gold iced the match with a 25-22 in the fourth one.
The play gave every indication it was the first regular-season match of the year.
“It was ugly volleyball,” Wiedenhoeft said afterwards. “That’s winning ugly. There was no flow, no rhythm. The passing was horrendous and the hitting was erratic.”
But isn’t a win a win regardless how well or poorly you play?
“No, I think this probably has done us harm because we played so poorly,” Wiedenhoeft reasoned. “It’s hard to learn when you play like that when you win.”
So much for making a good first impression.
On the plus side, the squad served with near perfection to score valuable points at key times in the match.
“Our serving percentage was very high, I’d say in the 90 [percent range],” Wiedenhoeft noted. “They served to where I wanted them to serve to and to who I wanted them to serve to—their location was excellent.”
Defensively, the team was suspect although veteran Kelly Crawford had a solid game routinely digging balls off the floor.
The team also did a good job when they got down. They trailed 18-14 in the first game but fought back to score 11 of the next 12 points to win by a comfortable six-point margin.
Wiedenhoeft attributed the team’s poor showing to a “lack of focus,” and said they’ll have to work harder in practice before they resume league action next Tuesday in Kenora.
< *c>Juniors fall
In junior girls’ volleyball action yesterday, the host Muskies lost three straight games to the Eagles after opening their best-of-five match with a comeback win.
Down 14-10, the black-and-gold scored nine straight points for a 19-14 lead. The Eagles tied it at 19, and then again at 21, before the Muskies scored the game’s final four points.
But it was all Dryden after that, reeling off wins by scores of 25-21, 25-15, and 25-9.
“We got progressively worse,” head coach Struchan Gilson lamented. “Our serving was pathetic and our pass receiving was not very good.”
Gilson said his team struggled with 10 of their 17 players being rookies but expected them to get much better as the season wears on. In fact, because all his players saw equal court time in the opener, he felt that will help them come playoff time.
Gilson also was pleased with the play of cousins Jessica Wilson and Hope Wilson—and expects the rest of the team will soon follow suit.
“We have a lot of rookies and they played like rookies,” he noted. “But we’ll work with them and they’ll get better.”