Toilers beat Vikings in straight sets
© Katie Brickman
Eric Forbes of the Peacock Toilers smashes a ball just past the outstretched hands of Zak Konopaki of the Vanier Vikings during senior boys volleyball on Thursday evening at Peacock. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman
Game action is a lot of different than practices.
Both the Peacock Toilers and the Vanier Vikings grasped that concept clearly on Thursday evening in the opening night of the senior boys volleyball league.
“It was kind of organized chaos for part of it…guys getting used to playing and just knock the rust off and getting used to playing volleyball again,” stated Paul Thoroughgood, Peacock head coach.
The Toilers won in three sets — 25-19, 25-16 and 25-23 over the Vikings.
“I think all the practices leading up to this have just been conditioning, skill and very little game style play. So, you could see rusty transitions at the start and a little bit of tentative nature when it came to positional play,” explained Vikings’ head coach, Levi Broda. “That definitely hurt us, but once we got comfortable with it and turned those things into habits, we had a little bit more success. It is about finding that finishing mentality that we lacked. That was one of the habits we lacked last year…we couldn’t close out matches and hopefully that doesn’t start to rise this year. Hopefully we can stomp it out early.”
The Toilers were able to see some of the areas they had worked on in practice being executed in game speed, especially in the later sets.
“Game 1 not so much, but Game 2 and 3, we started to come together and execute some of the blocking schemes we talked about and some of the defensive schemes,” said Thoroughgood. “You can go through stuff in practice, but once you do it at game speed, it always looks so much different. The guys did a good job of getting their stuff together after we got into that second game, especially.”
The final set almost saw the Vikings push the Toilers to a fourth set, but just fell short. However, that battling was a positive sign for this team.
“After the second set, we talked about all the systems we had in place and we just reminded them of those. They were definitely aware of what they weren’t doing in the first two sets. They corrected it,” said Broda. “The best thing for me as a coach is that they corrected it and the saw what could happen when they do correct our defensive alignments.”
The Vikings will look to this game and see the areas in which they still need to improve upon, including pushing other teams and earning points.
“We are looking to compete a lot better than we did today. We are looking to press games into five setters whenever possible. I just don’t like giving away points,” said Broda. “We want to be to the point where we are taking points away from them and earning every point that we get.”
In other boys volleyball action, Central defeated Caronport in three sets (25-17, 25-14, 26-24).
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