With a disappointing loss in the NorWOSSA final last year firmly behind them now, the Muskie senior boys' volleyball team has been hard at work preparing for a new season that brings with it some new hopes.
The roster for this year's edition of the Muskies is looking solid, as it has seen some talented players moving up from the junior ranks as well as some veterans back in the fold.
Ashton Cousineau, Declan Webb, Peyton Avis, Jaxon Gartzke, and Josh McGinnis make up the Grade 11 contingent this year and all were instrumental pieces in helping the junior squad claim NorWOSSA gold last year.
“We have a solid group of students moving up from junior this year,” enthused Muskie head coach John Gibson.
Returning to the team are both Mike Vanderaa and Jesse Jourdain, with Gibson noting that two other students may also come back to round out the veteran leadership.
The seniors will be an athletic group this year, with really good fundamental volleyball skills.
“We should be able to cover the court well and play solid defence,” said Gibson.
The Muskies were slated to open the NorWOSSA season yesterday in Kenora against the Broncos, with the set scores unavailable as of press time.
Gibson was expecting the black-and-gold to have a competitive first match of the year and he's hopeful his team can make a return trip to the NorWOSSA final this season.
“I expect them to have a competitive match against Kenora and it will give us a good look at what we will be up against in our league this year,” he noted.
“It's hard to tell where we sit until the first tournament in Kenora,” he conceded, with that tourney slated for Sept. 27.
“But—based on the players' abilities—we should be playing in the [NorWOSSA] finals again this year.”