Entering the season, Ron Labrie knew there was going to be a time of adjustment though he probably wasn’t thinking it would take this long.
Labrie, head coach of senior girls volleyball at Ponoka Secondary Campus (PSC), figured his team of nine players with not a lot of experience at this level would struggle early.
The Broncs did just that, losing their first three league matches. However, the club is beginning to make the turnaround. That included a straight sets win on their home court Oct. 16 over Rocky Mountain House.
“We needed a win as we were 0-3 to start, then we got a victory over St. Joseph’s (in Red Deer on Oct. 11) and then this convincing win,” he stated.
“(Rocky) has one very, very strong player and we were trying to keep the ball away from her. We did a good job of that, so good in the first set in fact that we scored 14 points with that player in the back row, which made a huge difference.”
Labrie added the win was primarily due to the team’s strong serves the entire match.
“That was a big part of the game plan. Generally we are very aggressive and strong on the serve and we were tough all through the match,” he said.
“We played well, with a couple of communication problems on second and third contact. We got a couple of excellent defensive (plays) but then did nothing with it. It’s ultra frustrating because we had some good things happening.”
As well, the Broncs were able to score more often than usual on a few uncontested shots and that helped.
“We scored some good points at certain times, but we are not known to be an offensive threat. We get the ball in play sometimes, but our strength is definitely serving and playing a little defence.”
The win brought the Broncs close to the .500 mark on the season, at 2-3, with the goal of evening things up when they played in Stettler Oct. 18 and won three straight sets.
Labrie feels the season is getting better and each game and practice is yet another move in the team’s journey.
“Every week, we are making baby steps. We were very inexperienced in the beginning and now that we are finally getting some games under our hat, things are getting better for us,” he added.
“(Against Rocky) everyone, one through nine, played well. Everyone played a part and, ultimately, that is what I am looking for.”