Caronport wins final three matches for five-set victory
A dash of confidence and a swing of momentum can go a long way for a young volleyball team.
© Katie Brickman
Charisa Kienle of the Caronport Cougars jumps up to defend a tip from Emma Maelde of the Peacock Toilers during senior girls volleyball action on Tuesday evening in Caronport. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman
The Caronport Cougars handed the Peacock Toilers their first loss of the season on Tuesday evening in senior girls volleyball action.
“I am so proud. I am shaking with pride,” said Cougars’ coach, Brittany McNevin. “They did so well.”
It was a close and tight battle throughout, but the Cougars began playing stronger as the match went on and they won 3-2 over the Toilers.
The Toilers had a two set lead after beating the Cougars 25-16 and 26-17, but then the momentum switched and Caronport won the next three sets (25-23, 25-21 and 17-15).
“We made a decision with some people off the bench and I think we lost some momentum, but everyone has to play,” stated co-coach from Peacock, Lorne Polupski. “My motto has always been is it all practice until the playoffs. Right now, we are putting people in pressure positions at certain times. We have to present that pressure so that when we go into those playoff situations, everyone is ready to go.”
It seemed that as the air of momentum from Peacock faded away, the Cougars got stronger and more confident in their ability to powerfully attack the net and defend the ball on their court.
“I basically told them that they could play better. They could handle this team and that I couldn’t do anything from the side. I knew their abilities. They just had to believe it in,” stated McNevin. “In the group huddle, they started talking and they starting working as a team.”
The Toilers continue to experiment early in the season with their players in different roles and the systems they want to run in a game. In the first and second set, the Toilers did have much better success over the Cougars. That changed in the later sets though.
“Our first month is just working on skills because we have a lot of technique to change in our hitters and things on defence. But, the first two (sets) looked nice. We had lots of rhythm and flow and that’s what we like to see,” said Polupski. “We got to a point where we were afraid to win and we were tight. We can’t be like that.”
There were some nerves early on for the Cougars, as they didn’t realize they could hold off and beat the Toilers.
“I think they knew that we were playing probably the top team and they were thinking they didn’t have a lot of experience, but they saw what they are capable of,” said McNevin.
Although the Toilers lost, they are still taking a positive approach, as the season is still early.
“This is great because these are the lessons you learn. This is how you get better. We use this as an example now going into the next match,” said Polupski. “I hope all our matches go to five. It will only make us better.”
In other senior volleyball action, Vanier beat Rouleau 3-1 (17-25; 25-23; 25-15; 25-15).
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