Defensive troubles cost the Muskie senior boys’ volleyball team a 3-1 loss in their best-of-five showdown against the host Kenora Broncos yesterday.
After losing the first game 25-19, the Muskies rebounded to win the next one by that same score.
But they couldn’t nail down another win the rest of the way, dropping a 25-17 decision in the third game and then being edged 25-21 in the fourth and final one.
Coach Duane Roen, filling in for head coach Adrian Chapman for the road match, said the team simply did not play up to its potential. In fact, the Muskies—now 0-2 in league play—barely resembled the team that lost in the final of their own tournament here last weekend.
“They weren’t bad games, we were in them, but our serve-receive and our passing was bad,” Roen said after the game. “Kenora was a very fast team and a lot of times we were stuffed at the net.
“But I still think we should have beaten them. We were better talent-wise,” he noted.
Roen said the seniors had trouble staying focused during many stretches of the match. And with the new international scoring system now being used in NorWOSSA, he stressed teams can ill-afford to take many points off.
For instance, the Muskies were guilty of hitting serves into the net and losing points—a big no-no at the senior level.
“We just weren’t in the game today,” Roen admitted. “It was hard to get a good set when we had trouble with the first pass.”
Meanwhile, the junior Muskies also lost their best-of-five match yesterday in Kenora but they nearly came back from being down 2-0. After being crushed 25-12 in the first game and then dumped 25-17 in the second, the Muskies fought back with a pair of 25-22 wins.
But the storybook ending fizzled in the fifth game when the Broncos jumped out to a commanding 9-1 lead en route to a decisive 15-3 victory, leaving the juniors 0-2 in NorWOSSA play so far this season.
Roen said that kind of deficit is very difficult to overcome, especially in the fifth game of a match.
“I just think we were tired in that last game,” he observed, noting he played his bench quite a bit in the first two games.
The juniors also seemed to have trouble with Kenora’s “bump game,” said Roen, which routinely sent the ball deep in the Muskie back court. From there, the black-and-gold were less than spectacular passing the ball to their setters.
“Against a slow team, like we were today, that can give a team trouble,” Roen noted. “Some of our hitters were not getting any hits.”
Roen said they’ll definitely have to work on their serve-receive game, making better passes to the setter, who then can set up their array of big hitters.
Both boys’ volleyball teams return to action next Tuesday when they travel to Dryden to meet the Eagles.