Even though the scoreboard did not reflect it, Blaine’s young sophomore-loaded team is making great strides in three areas of the game. Our fresh-faced lassies grew up Tuesday, September 18, in their losing game against Nooksack Valley Pioneers in areas of hustle, technical and fundamentals.
“I cannot say enough about our team’s effort,” head coach Sheli Moore said. “We had girls diving on the floor for loose balls, giving their all. Several girls felt ill from exhaustion after the match. Kayla Ubil was running all over the place. She just hustled everywhere to make scores or flying after missed hits.” Heart and desire are there.
When asked about the fundamentals of the game, Moore said they’d been doing a better job of getting continuity and the team is improving. “After we serve, we have been digging, setting and scoring after a returned ball to our side,” she said. “Being young, we go in streaks. We are starting to get a rhythm to keep the scoring going.”
The nearly packed gymnasium watched as sophomore Mikayla Deming raised her level of play. Her positioning has been improving all year, but now she added timing to her game. As Deming was waiting in position for the third Pioneer hit to come over the net at her, she rose up high toward the rafters, and then with an overhand sweep of her arm, she sent the ball slamming back at the Nooksack players. The whole Blaine team erupted, “Kill Spike!”
“I have been waiting for her to do that. I knew she had it in her,” Moore said. “Now I am just waiting for a few other sophomore girls to do it. Once they get a taste of timing and positioning, it will help our offense.”
Other great effort was noted in the play of Kayla Ubil with five assists and Lexie Greguski with nine digs. “On the technical side we need more improvement. We need to set up, strike and block the ball accurately,” Moore said. “The girls have stuck together and that is helping them improve.”
“We are family, we encourage each other, and it is coming together,” junior Malie Laolagi said. “Everything happens fast out on the court, so you have to communicate and have an instinct where your teammates are positioned. That takes time but we will get there because we care about each other.”
The next girls’ volleyball game is 7 p.m. Thursday, September 27 at Ferndale, followed by Tuesday, October 2 against Meridian at Blaine.