Turn­ing up the tempo

Head coach look­ing for harder serves on Day 2 of Canada Games play

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - Ja­son Mal­loy

Team P.E.I.’s men’s vol­ley­ball team has to be more ag­gres­sive with its serves in order to be suc­cess­ful, head coach Stephen Boyd said Mon­day.

Boyd said his team’s serves were too easy in drop­ping its open­ing match at the Canada Games 3-0 (25-14, 25-8, 25-17) to Que­bec.

“It al­lowed them to run a very fast of­fence against us,” he said. “We need to make our serves more of an ag­gres­sive at­tack in­stead of the sim­ple men­tal­ity of try­ing to get the ball in play. These teams are too good for that.”

P.E.I. also ran into prob­lems by serv­ing the ball into the net or long, giv­ing free points to Que­bec. Boyd said you can ac­cept a few scor­ing er­rors when serv­ing ag­gres­sively.

“But when you’re serv­ing very timid and you’re get­ting er­rors that’s a dou­ble whammy and I think that re­ally hurt us,” he said.

Que­bec has a strong vol­ley­ball pro­gram and Team P.E.I. knew they would be in tough in the open­ing game. Add in the fact the game was tele­vised live on TSN and a young Is­land squad could have been ner­vous.

“Some­times you have to get the jit­ters out,” Boyd said.

The team’s starters in­clude one player who just grad­u­ated from in­ter­me­di­ate school and three en­ter­ing Grade 12. One of its two set­ters, Keith John­ston, sus­tained an an­kle in­jury in the team’s sec­ond-to-last prac­tice be­fore trav­el­ling to Man­i­toba. Boyd is hope­ful he can re­turn to the lineup be­fore the tour­na­ment is over.

The team also has three play­ers who were in Win­nipeg for the first week of the Games,

leav­ing Boyd know­ing he has to be cog­nizant of us­ing them too much.

The coach’s mes­sage to his play­ers was to con­trol what they can con­trol on their side of the court and quickly move on af­ter points are scored.

“If we’re go­ing to meet our goals for this event, we’re go­ing to have to knock off teams of this cal­i­bre,” Boyd said. “The guys un­der­stand in order to do that we’re go­ing to have to play their very best.”

They play Nova Sco­tia and

Saskatchewan to­day at 11 a.m. and 10 p.m. At­lantic, re­spec­tively.

Soft­ball

Saskatchewan scored two runs in the bot­tom of the fifth to take a 6-4 lead en route to a 9-5 vic­tory over Team P.E.I. Mon­day in Head­in­g­ley, Man.

The Is­land squad dropped its sec­ond con­test on Open­ing Day with a 7-0 loss in five in­nings to the host Man­i­toba squad.

Kai­ley Koughan was 3-for-4 with three sin­gles, an RBI and a run scored to pace the Is­land hit­ters in the opener.

Katie Rayner had a two-run sin­gle while Emily Cairns and Clara Wood each sin­gled and Kae­lyn White scored twice.

Emily Brothers was tagged with the loss. She al­lowed seven runs on 13 hits, walked one and struck one out.

Alyssa Flem­ing gave up two runs on two hits in an in­ning of re­lief.

Wood dou­bled while Madi­son Clarke and Rayner sin­gled for Team P.E.I.’s lone hits against Man­i­toba.

The host squad did all of its dam­age with a seven-run third in­ning when 12 hit­ters went to the dish.

Flem­ing took the loss, al­low­ing seven runs, in­clud­ing five un­earned, on three hits and five walks in 2 2/3 in­nings. Syd­ney Hal­li­well gave up three hits in 1 1/3 in­nings of re­lief.

P.E.I. (0-2) plays Que­bec to­day at 2 p.m., and New­found­land and Labrador at 7 p.m. Both times are At­lantic.

JA­SON MAL­LOY/THE GUARDIAN

Team P.E.I.’s Lo­gan Mac­Dougall, right, goes for the block dur­ing the in­door vol­ley­ball team’s first match of the Canada Games Mon­day in Win­nipeg.

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