MSS senior girls experience the ups and downs of high school volleyball season

By on September 27, 2012

The Merritt Secondary School senior girls volleyball team, coached by Dwayne Suzuki, savoured the sweetness of victory, then tasted the bitterness of defeat all in the span of just a few days.

On the weekend, at a 10-team tournament in Kamloops, the Panthers didn’t lose a set in their six matches at St. Ann’s School to take the overall championship title. Merritt wins came against the host Crusaders, as well as teams from Clearwater, Nakusp, Sicamous and Barriere.

“We played a lot of volleyball,” stated Fallon Fosbery, a member of the victorious MSS team. “There was like an hour between each match. We’d play and then wait, play and wait. It made for really long days.”

Fosbery, along with setter Kaitlyn Suzuki and middle Claire Burnham, were chosen as tournament all-stars.

“The competition wasn’t that high,” stated coach Suzuki, “but it was early in the season, and our girls got a chance to get comfortable with our new defensive scheme. The girls did what they needed to do when we had the ball. We finished points efficiently instead of getting stuck playing jungle ball.”

Just 72 hours later, on Tuesday of this week, the Panthers were served up a bit of a reality check. At the first play date of the Zone 2 regular season, held at Westsyde Secondary in Kamloops, the MSS squad failed to win a match in three tries. Losses were to the host Whundas, the Sahali Sabres and the Valleyview Vikes.

“We didn’t play well at all,” conceded Suzuki. “The girls lacked energy, and didn’t make good decisions with the ball.

Suzuki went on to add, “Our best match was our last one against Valleyview. It went to three sets. We lost in the third, 15-11.”

With seven grade 11s on his nine-player team, Suzuki realizes that his team will be in tough in the very competitive North Okanagan region. Working in his favour, however, is the fact that seven members of the group have been playing club volleyball as well for the past few years. Burnham, for example, suited up for an elite U-18 team in Kamloops this past spring.

In addition to Burnham, Fosbery and Suzuki, other members of the senior girls’ volleyball squad are Alicia Kandola, Rachael Janzen, Aliyah Rodominski, Jordanne Sulz, Chloe Gabara and Kelsey Kynoch.

Local volleyball enthusiasts will get a chance to see the MSS senior girls in action on Tuesday, Oct. 2 at the CMS gym, beginning at 5 p.m.

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