• Homer’s Zoia Basargin named to first team All-Conference
By Sean Pearson
The Lady Mariner Volleyball team closed out its 2013 season last weekend with two losses at the Region III Tournament in Seward.
The Lady M’s opened play against eventual Regional Champion Grace Christian on Friday in the first round of regional play.
“We played really well against Grace,” said Homer Head Coach Beth Trowbridge. “We came out hesitant with some initial nervousness and lost game one 8-25. But then, we regrouped, ‘got our game on’ and really rallied to push the game to overtime, but lost 24-26.”
Trowbridge said the third game was much the same for the M’s, as they pushed throughout with a strong offense and relentless defense, and “took the game to the bitter end, losing 23-25.”
The loss moved Homer into the losers’ bracket, where they faced Houston on Saturday morning.
“We have played Houston tough in the past, beating them easily in three games when we met them in conference play earlier in October,” Trowbridge said. “But they really pushed us. We fought a hard five-game battle against them, but they eventually won.”
According to Trowbridge, the team mounted a great offense and covered the court well on defense, but struggled with serving throughout the match and missed serves at key times.
“We played pretty flawlessly and fought back to easily take game four,” she said. “We went into game five confident, but lost our confidence when we were unable to fully recover from a costly string of errors.”
Trowbridge said the disappointment was huge, but she was proud of how well the girls played, and all they accomplished over the course of the season.
“Overall, we had some stellar performances over the weekend, as well as great teamwork,” she explained. “That has been our strength throughout the season. This is a team that works well together, supports each other and communicates well. When they are all playing together, it is amazing to watch.”
Homer senior Tayla Cabana had a team-high 21 kills and 11 service aces, followed by Larsen Fellows with 13 kills, eight service aces, 88 percent serving and 44 assists.
“Larsen was strong over the weekend, and I was proud she maintained her confidence and jump-served throughout the entire tournament,” Trowbridge said.
Zoia Basargin had a consistent and steady weekend, providing even play throughout with 17 kills, one ace, 29 digs and 80 percent serve receive. Maggie Koplin, who Trowbridge called a “digging machine,” added six aces and had the team-high of 35 digs with an 85 percent serve receive.
McKi Needham added four aces and had an impressive 48 assists for the weekend, while Kyla Pitzman had two solo blocks and one block assist.
“All these players had some of the team highs for stats, but it was the strength of all the players together that made this a successful season,” Trowbridge said.
Players like Megan Garoutte, Maryhana Bowe, Lindsay Brown, Hailey Hughes, Brenna Evarts and Jane Rohr round out the team, and Trowbridge said all have contributed at key times both on and off the court.
“The beauty of this season has been the well-roundedness of the team and the comradery and support each team member has given,” Trowbridge said.
And, while the team will lose six strong seniors this year, Trowbridge said she still has five players who have seen solid playing time this year.
“Our JV and C teams have seen a lot of success this season, as well, so the future looks very bright for Mariner Volleyball,” she said. “This year was a great confidence-building year, and everyone should be very proud of their accomplishments. “
Lady Mariner Zoia Basargin was named first-team All-Conference, with honorable mentions going to Larsen Fellows, Maggie Koplin and Tayla Cabana. Jane Rohr was named to the “Good Sport” team.
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