Mustangs play improving as valleys near

The Princess Margaret Mustangs senior boys volleyball team is seeing improvement in play recently

The Princess Margaret Mustangs finished third in the South/Central Okanagan senior boys volleyball league.

The Mustangs closed out its exhibition league schedule Wednesday by defeating Oliver and Summerland, but lost to Kelowna Christian.

Mustangs coach Rich Corrie said his team has been more consistent with its play the last two weeks winning their league matches and giving the Pen High Lakers a good run in the Cross-City Challenge. Their play has resulted in an honourable mention in the 2A rankings provincially.

Among the highlights for Corrie on Wedneday was their quick attack in the middle with Jacob Winstone and Graedon Freeman contributing to the offence. The Mustangs’ right side players have also been more proficient in blocking allowing their defence to be better. A group of Mustangs key to the success they are co-captain Connor Graham, who has been doing a very good job of ensuring his teammates intensity remains high each set and match. Setter Reece Haberstock has moved the ball around to different hitters keeping the oppositions blockers off balance. Corrie said that is giving them a very balanced attack. Todd Corrie has been serving and passing well with some key digs in important situations, while Hunter Linder is becoming a dominant player from the left side as his hit timing continues to improve.

“The team blocking, defence and passing have shown a lot of improvement which has allowed us to keep more balls in play,” said Corrie. “We are beginning to attack the ball with a more diverse offence. Our serving has become much more of a threat and has helped keep teams off balance.”

This weekend the team is looking forward to an extremely competitive tournament at George Elliot where 13 of the 16 teams ranked.

“For us to qualify for provincials, we have a very difficult road,” he said. “There are three Okanagan berths, we are currently ranked fourth in the Okanagan, but there are a number of teams ranked close to us.”

To accomplish reaching provincials, that requires, as Corrie puts it, upsetting Fulton of Vernon No.2 in province, Seaton of Vernon No. 6 or George Elliot No. 7.

“If we serve and pass well, and control our own errors, we have a very realistic shot of being in the hunt for a provincial berth,” he said.

With the George Elliot tournament, the group has talked about maintaining their intensity as well as mental and physical ebbs and flows of a volleyball match.  Being a smaller team, Corrie said they need to be tenacious on defence.

 

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