• Lady Mariners finish regular-season play at Nikiski on Tuesday
By Sean Pearson
With post-season play staring them in the face, the Homer volleyball team looked determined in their final home game at Alice Witte Gymnasium on Saturday.
After losing to Anchorage Christian School in three games on Friday, 15-25, 20-25 and 20-25, Homer regrouped for Saturday’s match against the Grace Christian Lady Grizzlies. ACS and Grace currently field two of the top teams in the region.
The Lady M’s opened strong against Grace, communicating and moving well on the court. Homer Head Coach Beth Trowbridge said the team played aggressively and with confidence for the majority of the matches.
“Our confidence failed us in game three against Grace, when we had the lead, and then let Grace begin to chip away at it,” Trowbridge explained. “We let some self-doubt and tentativeness creep in, which caused us to make unforced errors, and eventually allowed Grace to take the game.”
The Lady M’s fell to Grace in three games, 20-25, 12-25 and 22-25.
“I think we are communicating now better than ever,” Trowbridge said. “Communication on the court is so important in volleyball, and we are becoming better communicators.”
Trowbridge said better teams talk to each other the whole time the ball is in play, and then come together after each play.
“This weekend, the girls increased their communication about what was happening on the other side of the court,” she said. “That is a great improvement as well.”
Trowbridge said she was pleased with how aggressive the Lady M’s came out against ACS and Grace.
“I was most surprised when we lost confidence in game 3 against Grace,” she said. “We have been working through these things so well lately, and have been able to pull ourselves together as a team.”
Trowbridge said Grace’s strength and excellent serving was too much of a challenge for her team.
“They were in a very strong rotation and I think we just allowed ourselves to doubt our ability,” she said. “We’ll continue to work on playing with confidence and finishing games during the next two weeks of practice.”
Lady Mariner Zoia Basargin led Homer with 23 kills and a 29-percent kill efficiency. Tayla Cabana had 11 kills and two service aces, while Larsen Fellows added four kills, 23 assists and served at 94 percent.
Senior Maggie Koplin led the team in digs with 27. She also served at 87 percent and picked up two points in service aces.
Kyla Pitzman led the Lady M’s in blocking, picking up eight solo blocks and six block assists. She also added three kills. Hailey Hughes served at 100 percent, with one service ace and three solo blocks. McKi Needham picked up 15 assists and 15 digs, and served at 94 percent with two aces
Brenna Evarts added seven digs and solid serve receive, while Megan Garoutte had two block assists and two digs. Lyndsay Brown added six digs for her defensive efforts.
Trowbridge said she was very proud of how her team stayed focused on their goals and were not afraid to push themselves to play their best.
The Lady Mariners play their last conference match at Nikiski on Tuesday.
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