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Owls' court teams gearing up for playoffs

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The four Rainy River Owls' court teams saw some mixed results in NorWOSSA 'A' action at RRHS on Monday afternoon.

The senior boys' volleyball squad lost 3-1 to the Atikokan Voyageurs to see their league record fall to 4-3.

After dropping the first set 17-25, the Owls fought back to take the second one 27-25.

But Atikokan found their momentum once again and took the following two sets by scores of 25-23 and 25-19 to pull out the victory.

“The major difference was the little things,” said Owls' head coach Guy Arpin.

"Giving away free points through a shanked pass or a missed serve.

“Our left-side hitters were doing a good job in getting consistent kills in Nick Vogan and Morgan Desserre,” he added.

“Nick was hitting the ball hard, it was awesome.”

The Owls were slated to face the Red Lake Rams in their regular-season finale this afternoon for a match that was postponed back on Oct. 10 due to inclement weather, with the outcome not known as of press time.

Arpin knew what kind of challenges his squad would face today and looking ahead to the NorWOSSA playoffs next week in Kenora.

“Our game against Red Lake will be our last game before playoffs next week, where we will probably meet Atikokan in the semi-final,” he noted.

“We cannot look ahead,” he stressed. We must take care of business and play with intensity.

“Hopefully, we will have our middle blocker back for [today's] game," Arpin added. ”This way, we can try to get things back into rhythm at least one game before [the] playoffs.

“It should be a good game next week between Atikokan and us,” he remarked.

“I feel that we are evenly matched and I am a firm believer that may the best team win.”

In girls' basketball action, the senior Owls used a 10-point performance by Lynelle Westover to beat the Voyageurs 34-26.

The Owls (4-3) led Atikokan 19-12 at halftime, then narrowly outscored them 15-14 in the second half.

Mackenzie Jolicouer netted eight points while Paige Anderson added six to help pace the offence.

“[Our] reasons for success were we were shooting well because we were passing and moving well,” said Owls' head coach Rebecca Tolen.

“The passing led to small advantages which gave us good scoring opportunities,” she noted.

“We also had a much improved transition game.”

The squad also was to host the Red Lake Rams this afternoon, with the outcome not known as of press time.

“Red Lake is a scrappy team that uses a full-court press to tire out their opponents,” Tolen said.

“In our gym, that isn't as big of an advantage as in their gym," she noted. ”Ours is small so that once we get the pass in, it is much easier to break the press.

“Our goal this year was to make playoffs,' Tolen added. ”We need to beat Red Lake, or lose by less than five [points], so it is still up in the air if we will make it.

“But if we play our game, it shouldn't be an issue.”

In junior action, the Owls' boys' spikers were edged 3-2 on Monday by the visiting Voyageurs to see their league record drop to 4-3.

The girls' hoops squad was victorious, however, rolling to a 41-22 romp over the Voyageurs to remain unbeaten at 6-0.

Both squads also will host the Rams today in the regular-season finale, with the outcome not known as of press time.

Corey Smith, the coach for both junior squads, did not respond to a request for comment before the deadline.

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