• Homer varsity and jv teams both finish third in respective tourneys
By Sean Pearson
Despite travel complications and a couple of cancellations, the Lady Mariner volleyball team turned in an impressive performance at the eight-team Cordova Tournament over the weekend.
After round-robin play on Friday, teams were seeded for a double-elimination tournament on Saturday. Homer’s varsity record of nine wins and five losses made them the third seed in the Blue Bracket competition.
The Lady M’s faced Seward first on Saturday, and took them to three sets before losing in a close 15-17 battle. Next up was Kenai, who lost to Homer in three sets, 22-25, 25-13 and 15-7. The Mariners’ win sent them to the semifinal match, where they faced Seward once again. Losing in two sets, 18-25 and 15-25, the Lady Mariners finished third overall in the tourney.
Homer Head Coach Beth Trowbridge said she was, “impressed” by the level of play the girls achieved over the weekend.
“Zoia Basargin had an excellent tournament and was the team leader in many areas,” Trowbridge explained. “She was our main offensive weapon, with 47 kills and very few errors.”
Basargin was second in team service aces with 15, and picked up four solo blocks and two block assists. On defense, she logged 23 digs. “Larsen Fellows was steady as a setter, dishing up 60 assists for the weekend and contributing seven kills in the front row,” Trowbridge said. “She was the team leader in service aces with 17 and served with 96 precent consistency.”
Fellows also added two solo blocks and two block assists, as well as 10 digs.
Also contributing to the offensive force, Tayla Cabana made 38 kills and nine service aces. Kyla Pitzman played middle hitter and blocker, and had 24 kills, four solo blocks and three block assists. Jane Rohr added 12 kills, followed by Hailey Hughes with six and Lyndsay Brown with five. Trowbridge said Brown also contributed 10 service aces — many of which came at critical times in a match.
On the defensive side, senior Maggie Koplin, playing libero for the team, led with 33 digs and served at 87 percent.
“Overall, this tournament was an excellent way for the team to begin to gel and show glimpses of their potential,” Trowbridge explained. “They gained a lot of skills, as well as confidence, throughout the busy playing schedule.”
Trowbridge said the team was aggressive and began to show their ability to “play to win.”
“There were many individual and team goals that were met, and we saw very clearly how playing aggressively and consistently pays off and how breakdowns in communication and mental toughness cost us,” she said. “These are all things we will continue to work on.”
Fellows was selected to the All-Tournament Team, and Basargin was chosen as co-MVP for the tournament.
At the junior varsity level, Shyana Parr and Kelly Leibers were selected to the JV All-Tournament Team. The JV squad played a straight double-elimination tournament and finished in third place.
“The team showed their potential and gained respect from the other teams,” Trowbridge said. “Homer can expect some exciting volleyball this season.”
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