Inconsistency has plagued the Princess Margaret Mustangs senior boys volleyball team of late.
The Mustangs were in Kelowna over the weekend for the Best of the West tournament and were unable to earn wins against top teams such as Langley Christian, Abby Christian and North Kamloops. Langley Christian is ranked fifth in 2A and Abby Christian is the top ranked A team. They had previously defeated North Kamloops.
The Mustangs then faced a tough team from Edmonton, losing in two, and defeated Carver Christian, ranked No. 8 in A.
“Overall, the team was too inconsistent in their play to get results against such tough opposition,” said Mustangs coach Rich Corrie. “We need to serve and pass more consistently to sustain any kind of pressure on the top teams.”
The Mustangs coach said their results have been mixed the last couple of weeks. They played strong in the Capilano University tournament, but narrowly missed the semifinal round. They have also seen their position in league play slip from No. 2 to 3, behind seventh ranked George Elliot and No.6 Kelowna Christian. Corrie added they have received an honourable mention in 2A rankings for three of four weeks.
“It has been tough mentally on the team. We played at a very high level in Vancouver and it has been hard to regress back to more inconsistent play,” he said. “ We have a fairly inexperienced team with only two players in their fourth year of high school volleyball. I think that inexperience has shown through in the last couple of weeks.”
Senior Mustangs girls learn from Best of the West
The Kelowna Secondary Owls Best of the West senior volleyball tournament was a good learning experience for the Mustangs.
Coach Shawn Lum used it to try new things, including putting players in different positions. His tinkering resulted in wins over Vernon Secondary School, Aberdeen Hall School and Archbishop Oscar Romero School. Their toughest opposition were the Kelowna Secondary Owls, ranked second in 4A, for the second time and had close matches.
The Mustangs were strong with their blocking and aggressive at the net. They had some success trying players at different positions, but more fine tuning is needed. Lum noticed though that the moves made the team stronger at the net. The plan now is to work on the new things they saw during the matches.
“I learned some of the finer things about our team. The tendencies of certain players, some hitting tendencies of our players when they face larger blocks,” said Lum, who feels his team is almost ready for provincials. “Now we are able to fine tune our practices to accommodate our players.”