Homer volleyball looks for fresh start at NLC tourney

• Lady M’s say goodbye to 12 seniors on Saturday
By Sean Pearson
Homer Tribune

Photo by Alia Fimon - Lady Mariner volleyball players finished their regular season with a senior night at home on Saturday. Homer will take on Grace Christian in the first round of postseason play.

Photo by Alia Fimon - Lady Mariner volleyball players finished their regular season with a senior night at home on Saturday. Homer will take on Grace Christian in the first round of postseason play.

The Lady Mariners’ final home games of the 2012 volleyball season didn’t go exactly as planned. Everyone knows senior night is supposed to come with a guaranteed victory for the home team.
Apparently the Skyview Lady Panthers had other plans, handing Homer a final regular-season loss in three games.
“We honored 12 seniors at our match on Saturday, including 10 players and two managers,” said Homer Coach Beth Trowbridge. “It was an impressive lineup on the court, stretching all the way from the net to the wall.”
Trowbridge said this season’s team has been “awesome.”
“They are tight-knit and very supportive of each other,” she explained. “And they are certainly one of the nicest group of young women I have had the pleasure to coach and be around.”
Senior Cayenna Anderson picked up nine kills, two aces and 11 digs in the Lady Mariners’ losing effort against Seward on Friday. Homer lost in three close games, 29-31, 19-25 and 21-25. Haley Oliver and Tayla Cabana each logged seven kills, with Cabana also picking up two solo blocks, while Kayla Hutt added six kills.
Kristie Mastre turned in a strong performance as well, picking up three kills, four aces and 11 digs on defense.
Following their Friday nail-biter, the Lady M’s racked up less-impressive stats against the Skyview Panthers, falling again in three games, 9-25, 20-25 and 15-25.
Zoia Basargin led the way in the kill department, picking up five for the game. Hutt added four, and Oliver and Mastre each picked up three. Mastre also added another four services aces to bring her weekend total up to eight, while Caroline Decreeft logged 16 sets and 24 assists for the weekend.
Defensively, Hope Hudson and Maggie Koplin combined for 14 digs.
With regular-season play under their belts, the Lady M’s look to face off against Grace Christian in the first round of the Regional Tournament action on Friday. 
“I am excited to play them again,” Trowbridge said, noting that her Lady M’s have played the Lady Grizzlies really well the last few times they competed. “We split with them in round robin play at their tournament and lost to them in the bracket play after a very close match.”
Trowbridge added that this was with many of her starters missing.
“Kayla and Cayenna were on vacation, and Haley, Miranda, and Alicia were gone taking the SAT,” she said. “So we are psyched!”
According to Trowbridge, the conference is so evenly matched, she thinks the tournament is going to be exciting and full of surprises. 
“It really will come down to who is playing their best on Friday and Saturday,” she said. “Even though we have not won many conference matches, our scores have been very close and many matches could have gone either way.”
Trowbridge said she feels her team has refined many of the things that plagued them early on, and are playing much more consistently and aggressively than earlier in the season. 
“We have the perfect opportunity to put it all together,” she said. “In these past two matches, we served at 97 percent as a team and our team hitting efficiency was in the teens – so we have improved by making fewer errors.”
Homer blockers are finally getting their hands on the balls, and Trowbridge said the team will be working hard this week to get the back row defense working a little more efficiently and team transitions happening a little more quickly. 
“Playing back row defense is so hard because so much of it comes down to reading the hitters and seeing what’s happening on the other side of the net,” Trowbridge explained. “We are just beginning to feel confident enough in our skills to start doing that, so I am expecting very hard-fought matches this weekend.”
The Northern Lights Conference Tournament will take place this weekend in Kodiak.

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Posted by on Oct 31st, 2012 and filed under Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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