Homer Alaska - Sports

Story last updated at 6:08 PM on Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ms set up for season with volleyball tourney

By Angelina Skowronski
for the homer news

The Mariners placed fourth in the Gold Division, an all-time best, during the season-starting Homer Volleyball Jamboree last weekend. Soldotna, Kenai, Skyview, Cordova, Seward and Nikiski also played.

The two-day jamboree began with round robin play to determine seeding in a mini single-elimination tournament on Saturday afternoon. Homer varsity finished the round robin with a 4-2 record for third place behind Soldotna (6-0) and Skyview (5-1). The top four teams went into a Gold Division playoff and the bottom three teams (Seward, Kenai, Cordova) went onto the Silver Division playoff.

"The Jamboree is designed as a practice tournament. It is a great way to give players some experience and try different players out in different positions. I was thrilled with how well everyone played and worked together as a team," said Homer Head Coach Beth Trowbridge.

Homer lost both games against Skyview in the first round — 19-25 and 21-25 before facing Nikiski for the third-place game. The Ms lost two of the three matches — 19-25, 32-30, 8-15 — but put up a strong rally in the second match.

"Nikiski is an evenly matched team for us," said senior player Lauren Cashman. "Their points were well-deserved and we didn't give the game away to them, which we've had trouble with in the past."

Fellow senior player Brook DeVaney, feels that there was good communication between the teammates this weekend, but there is room for improvement.

"We need to work on quick offense; shorter and faster sets," DeVaney said. "SoHi and Skyview are two of our main competitors with quick offenses, so we need to pick up our offense to be able to run with them."

Individually, DeVaney led the team with 33 kills, nine service aces, and 41 digs for the weekend. Carly Snyder had 19 kills, six service aces and 15 digs. Kayla Hutt had 16 kills, one service ace and 18 digs. Monica Davis had 15 kills, two aces and 29 digs. Cashman set a 5-1 as the team's sole setter, 35 digs, and 100 percent serving for the weekend.

Katie McNary had a close to 80 percent serve receive passing and 21 digs.

Last season, the team went to Northern Lights Region 3 Tournament seeded third in the south, but lost 15-25, 14-25, 10-25 to Palmer in the first round. With this season just beginning, there are high hopes all around for a strong year.

"This year we're going to be a good team because we are all close together. A lot of other that teams mesh well together, do well together," said Davis, a senior.

Cashman continues the thought, "I was talking to a few of the parents of graduated players and they said we've got the strongest team they've seen in a couple of years, and I agree. We are a well-balanced team."

The Ms hope to take back their bragging rights at the Shayna Pritchard Memorial Tournament in Nikiski this weekend.