ACS, Grace test Homer’s on-court communication, aggression

Homer Mariners faced and lost to top teams in the region last weekend, but they weren’t easily beaten. In only two out of 10 games played, the final score difference was greater than five points.

“I was very pleased with how
aggressive we came out against ACS and Grace,” said Head Coach Beth Trowbridge, adding that the Mariners played well together as a whole team.

Grace Christian School scored early and kept scoring in the first two rounds, but in the third round Homer came out strong. Holding a lead for most of the game, Homer allowed eight unforced errors and lost. Even though Grace rallied for the win, Trowbridge was pleased with the team’s skills, while recognizing the need for improvement.

“Grace is very strong and they challenged us with an excellent server and they wore in a very strong rotation and I think we just allowed ourselves to doubt our ability,” said Trowbridge. “We will continue to work on playing with confidence and finishing games during these next two weeks of practice.”

Trowbridge also praised the athletes’ communication skills on the court.

“I feel we are communicating better than ever and the team felt good about this as well, this weekend,” said Trowbridge.

“Communication on the court is so important in volleyball and the better teams are talking to each other all the time while the ball is in play and then coming together after each play. We are becoming better communicators and this weekend they increased their communication about what was happening on the other side of the court.”

Team statistics also were pleasing. Team leaders were: Zoia Basargin with 23 kills, Maggie Koplin with 27 digs and Kyla Pitzman with eight solo blocks and six block assists. Hailey Hughes had perfect service with one service ace.

Tayla Cabana had 11 kills, a 14 percent efficiency and two service aces. Larsen Fellows had four kills, 23 assists and served at 94 percent. McKi Needham had 15 assists and 15 digs, a 94 percent serving with 2 service aces. Brenna Evarts added 7 digs and solid serve  receive. Megan Garoutte had 2 block assists and 2 digs and Lyndsay Brown added 6 digs for the defensive efforts.

Katir Britton is a freelance writer who lives in Homer.

Mariners play Regions in Nikiski,
Nov. 7-9; the state tournament is in Anchorage,
Nov. 14-16.