Rough week at the net

A rough week, the Husky volleyball team lost a pair of games last week and was eliminated in the first game of bracket play in a tournament on Saturday.

“We did okay,” Coach Heide Nichol said. “We improved significantly from Tuesday to Thursday, then we had a tournament and didn’t do so good.”

The Huskies opened last week’s play at home Tuesday against Newport.

They played evenly early in the first game before Newport broke away to dominate the match. Newport won the first match 25-14 then two more 25-5 and 25-16.

Setter Nicki Emmert had only nine assists for kills on the night, Coach Nichol said. Elissa McCartin, Chelsea Gagner and Kari McGuyre each had three kills. Ashlee Flanagan led the team with four.

Emmert led the team in digs with 11.

“Our serving was better than it has been,” Coach Nichol said. “We didn’t miss serve after serve, but we were paralyzed. We didn’t move to play the ball.”

After sticking with Newport through about 14 points, “we just quit playing,” Coach Nichol said. “I don’t know if we thought, okay, gosh, we could lose this.”

Newport had some servers who were good and might have intimidated the Huskies some, but it was a team the Huskies can compete against.

The junior varsity won its first game 25-19 then lost games 25-20 and 15-6.

The freshmen won their first game 30-28 and lost the next two 25-14 and 15-5.

Banks was a tougher team, Coach Nichol said, but the Huskies player much better Thursday night at Banks and won the first two games 25-18.

The Huskies switched personnel around and narrowly lost their third game 25-21. Banks had the momentum going into the fourth and fifth games and finished with two more wins, 25-16 and 15-8.

“We were a far different ball team than Tuesday night,” even if the Huskies weren’t at their best all five games, Coach Nichol said. They played three games well and were much more relaxed.

McCartin had two aces serving. Gagner went 21-25 in serve receives.

Hitting, Emmert and McCartin led the team with five kills each.

Gagner had 18 digs; McCartin, 19; and Michelle Cliver, 22.

Emmert had 19 assists on the night along with some blocking.

Cait Thireault and Gagner had three blocks each.

The team improved, but “we’re not going to be the kind of team that puts the ball away on people,” Coach Nichol said, so the team must play hard defense while looking for scoring opportunities.

The junior varsity won its first game 25-14 then lost 25-20 and 15-12. The freshmen lost 25-21 and 25-19.

The girls traveled to Sisters for a 16-team tournament over the weekend.

“We didn’t really show up to win those games at that time,” Coach Nichol said. “We competed pretty well. Nobody wiped the floor with us.”

The team won one game in pool play before being eliminated in the first round of bracket play.

On the day, Alisha Basham had 17 digs. Gagner and McCartin had 14 each.

McGuyre had eight kills. McCartin led with 14 kills.

Thireault had eight kills and eight blocks, Coach Nichol said. “She’s really bringing it up a notch.”

Emmert added nine kills. Setting she had about 20 assists.

“She’s putting the ball where she needs to put it,” Coach Nichol said. “We just need to put it away a little better.”

Serving, Cliver had four aces.

The team record is 1-3.

“We’re coming along,” Coach Nichol said. “I guess they’re just saving themselves for league.”

League play starts this week. On Tuesday, the Huskies played Sisters, and on Thursday, they go to Cascade. On Saturday they will compete in a tournament at North Bend then travel to North Marion on Monday.