A loss to Grace Christian School in the first round placed the Lady Mariners in the loser’s bracket at regions. A second loss to Houston killed Homer’s hopes for state, but Head Coach Beth Trowbridge is pleased with the team’s performance.
“This is one of the strongest teams we’ve had come through. They were strong athletes. They gelled really well together. They got along and played well together. These things are huge in developing skills in younger players. These were pretty exceptional girls that way,” said Trowbridge.
Five of the Homer players made all-conference teams last weekend. Zoia Basargin made the First All-Conference Team for the second time. Larsen Fellows, Tayla Cabana and Maggie Koplin made honorable mention of the All-Conference Team and Jane Rohr made the Good Sport Team.
Though she thought the team had a chance at post-season play, Coach Trowbridge was never let down by her team at regions.
“It could have gone either way. We suffered from poor service. We gave away a lot of points,” she said.
Trowbridge said she was very proud of the way her team had improved over the season.
“They won the peninsula challenge. They played a lot of five-game matches. It’s important to play those, and against high level teams,” said Trowbridge.
The coach expects the players will continue their hard work in the off-season. The returning players are all-around athletes and some play multiple sports throughout the school year. Trowbridge encourages them to play and keep active and in the summer attend volleyball camps, if possible.
Being active in a few sports a year helps, as well as hurts Homer’s Mariners. They maintain and develop as all-around athletes, but it hurts them by not developing skills specific to volleyball.
“Many of the elite teams play club volleyball in the off-season. We just don’t have the numbers for that,” said Trowbridge.
Still, the Mariners make things work for them.
“Even though we are graduating a lot of seniors, there is a very solid core. C-team and JV have had a lot of success. I think we’re moving into a very strong program again,” said Trowbridge.
For the region in which Homer participates, Grace Christian, Skyview and Anchorage Christian Schools will move on to state.
Katir Britton is a freelance writer who lives in Homer.