© Katie Brickman
Marissa Wilson from Central jumps to make a kill over Stacey Light (5) and Abbi Flanagan (8) of Vanier during senior girls volleyball action on Tuesday evening. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman
The Central Cyclones found out what confidence in themselves can do for their game.
“I thought we really came out and thought we played the way we are capable of playing,” said Central co-coach Joe Gunnis. “Everything started to come together for us.”
The Cyclones defeated the Vanier Spirits 3-1 (25-10, 25-21, 23-25, 25-18) in senior girls volleyball action on Tuesday evening.
“I think we started dead. Central came out to play and we were just flat,” said Meagan Smith, co-coach for the Vanier. “We started to pick it up and played our ball. Central played really well, they kept coming back at us, but we can’t have a slow start against a good team. We fought back, but it is tough going down 2-0.”
Despite being dominated in their first set, the Spirits kept fighting back and pushed the Cyclones to a fourth set.
“Take nothing away from Vanier, I don’t think they are team that is going to be dominated, they are a good volleyball team that came out to play,” said Gunnis.
The Sprits looked they were going to come back from a 2-0 set deficit early in that fourth set as they went up 6-0 early, but the Cyclones found confidence at the service line.
Their serves have caused this team some ups and downs this season, but strong serves from Allegra Nelson, Paige Newans and Diana Lumbala got Central back in the game and helped them take the lead.
“We’ve put in a lot of time and effort into our serving. It is really starting to pay off for us now,” said Gunnis. “I think that is one of the differences, but I really think the team communicated well with each other. Certainly our serving was good and we passed well too and that allows our hitters to get into the game and we have some hitters that are good at what they do.”
With two games left for the Spirits, they are still looking to find that consistent effort each and every set, not just on occasion.
“We did show fight in the second half so if we could just start that way, I think it would have been a better outcome for us. We have to learn how to play a full volleyball game. We can’t just play a couple sets when we choose,” said Smith. “Every team is fantastic and it is a really tight league. We need to play our A-game every game to compete.”
The Spirits have two games left on their regular schedule before playoffs begin in the last week of October. They will be looking to bring a consistent effort to both their matches and a refined confidence in their skills as well.
“For us, it is just a mental game. We really need to make that decision as a team about what we are going to do. We have the skill, now we have to decide what we want to do with that skill. Do we want to be at SIAST at the end or do we want to think that we should have, could have, would have? I really think it is up to the girls to make that decision. They are good enough, they just have to make the decision about how they are going to play,” stated Smith.
The Cyclones only have one game left and like Vanier, they will be looking for a consistent effort that they brought on Tuesday to the rest of their matches.
“I think consistency is still the focus. We came out and everyone can see what we can do and the team is seeing that we are clicking,” said Gunnis. “I believe that everyone has that confidence and saw that the dedication and effort paid off.”
In other senior girls action, Peacock defeated Rouleau 3-0 (25-22, 25-17 and 25-22). In senior boys action, Central defeated Vanier 3-0 (25-11, 25-21, 27-25) and Peacock beat Avonlea 3-1 (25-18, 25-15, 20-25 and 25-15).
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