The Muskies senior boys’ volleyball did their most recent “Jekyll & Hyde” impression last Wednesday in a NorWOSSA showdown against visiting Kenora.
Only this time, the good side of the Muskies finished the best-of-five match to earn a 3-2 come-from-behind victory and even their NorWOSSA record at 2-2.
After dropping an uninspired 25-19 decision in the first game, the Muskies fought back to win the next one by that same score. Kenora then won the third game 25-22 but the black-and-gold staved off defeat by taking the fourth 25-19.
In the deciding game, the Muskies prevailed 15-10 (the score only goes to 15 in the fifth game).
Muskie head coach Adrian Chapman said his team did a good job coming back to steal the victory. “All the games were close. We finally decided to get together and get hyped,” he noted.
Still, Chapman felt his team played “mediocre” by their standards. “They weren’t pumped up, really, until the third game and that’s when they got going and they hit everything.”
Hit everything they did.
John Sivonen got it going in the second game when he lambasted a hit down the right side line. While it gave the Muskies just the one point, it also gave them some life.
After that, the team put it together and played much better volleyball.
“We came out too slow in the first [game] but probably in the second or third game, we picked it up,” said Evan Woodland. “It’s weird. We sometimes come out slow and then we pick it up and start yelling and talking and we start hitting good.”
Woodland said last week’s win may give the team the boost they’ll need to make a run for top spot in the second half of the eight-game season.
“It should give us a bit of momentum, and the win should help us a lot in gaining confidence,” he remarked.
The whole lineup contributed to the win. But Benj DeGroot, a grade 11 student, in particular came to the forefront with some strong play.
Chapman said he doesn’t feel the lack of depth hurts his team all that much. In fact, they could even be better with their strong nucleus of a starting lineup on the floor for nearly the whole match.
“I can’t lie. It would be great to have a bench but our starting line is really strong,” said Chapman.
Meanwhile, it’s a different story for the junior boys’ volleyball team, which dropped a tough 3-1 loss to Kenora here last Wednesday by scores of 25-20, 25-19, 15-25, and 25-17.
Kenora won the first two games rather easily but then several unforced errors—and some poor serving—allowed the Muskies to take the third one.
The Broncos quickly got back on track in the fourth game, however, cruising to a relatively easy 25-17 win.
Junior head coach Duane Roen said he was disappointed with the team’s performance.
“The team definitely did not play as well as they should,” he admitted. “They lacked motivation and spirit.”
Roen said the problem—besides a lack of motivation on the court—was the team’s inability to hit from the power side, a problem of late for the juniors.
But while the black-and-gold have had trouble setting up hits across court, they have displayed a strong presence in the middle in Josh McMahon and Nick Botsford.
Roen said the team will be working on hitting and conditioning during the next week or so to prepare for their next NorWOSSA match Oct. 19 in Dryden.