Panthers finish fifth

Katie Brickman
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Inconsistent play hurts host Panthers at Sask Cup

Stephen Holzer of the Element Panthers sets up for a kill as Darcy French from Swift Current tries to block the ball during the Sask Cup Under 16 volleyball at Peacock on Sunday afternoon. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman

As in any short tournament, being on top of the game is important. Inconsistent play always hurts a team looking to win.

The Under-16 Element Panthers team hosted the U16 Sask Cup at Peacock Collegiate over the weekend and their inconsistency on the court didn’t help them in games. The Panthers finished fifth in a seven-team tournament.  

“This is the first tournament of the year, so the goal was to get everyone on the court and get used to playing together,” said Panthers coach Paul Thoroughgood. “There was lots of learning this weekend and that was really the goal for the first tournament of the year.”

The team is made up of three different schools — Caronport, Mossbank and Peacock so Thoroughgood was trying to find ways of building chemistry with other players as well as finding momentum during the games.

“There was lots of inconsistent play…we played well for awhile and then really poorly for awhile. Part of it is that players are playing in different positions and our setters have never set from the middle before,” he explained. “I think we played our best match early in the tournament and then we were up and down from there.  It is what it is early in the year, but it is a chance for the kids to learn since we don’t play provincials until the end of April.”

The key to the tournament was allowing the athletes to get a feel for their teammates on the court in a game situation instead of just in practice. With the season not ending until April, the team will have more time to develop and grow during practice and other games.

“I think we could have done better, but the inconsistency really hurt us,” said Thoroughgood. “The pieces are there…we saw some good things when we played well, but maintaining that for 25 points wasn’t there yet. I think there is some potential there, that’s for sure.”

Thoroughgood believes that club volleyball helps the athletes not only improve their skills in the sport, but also a way for them to stay active.

“I think club is a great opportunity for kids that want to improve at volleyball. There is lots of learning opportunities and they get to play other school sports like basketball, but they also get to play volleyball once a week and a tournament once a month,” he said. “It is just a good opportunity for them just to grow their skills.”

There were no scoring results for the tournament available at press time.

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