Huskies downed but still not out

[attach]1300[/attach]What was being touted as one of the best seasons Edgar Kirss has had with the senior girls volleyball team at Humberside was cut short Feb. 17.

Losing 3-0 (25-16, 25-22 and 25-13) to Lawrence Park Panthers in the best-of-five South Region finals, team co-captain Melissa Humana-Paredes said a major play by their opponents stole the rest of the team’s confidence.

“I think we just gave out at some critical point, and we couldn’t get it back for a while,” she said. “They’d go on a run and we wouldn’t get out of the rut.”

One tough battle for the Huskies was at the net where Panthers middles, Christine Wolf and Maddie Stephen, timed every Huskies attack perfectly.

Lawrence Park coach Jessica Fernandes lauded her defenders.

“Both (Wolf) and (Stephen) played awesome at the net,” Fernandes said. “They were on their game.”

Play from setters Lily MacLeod and Brooklyn Glover was also worth mentioning.

“They were both playing really, really hard,” said Fernandes.

They key to the Panthers success was attacking right from the get-go.

“The most important was to win those first few points to get out on top and that’s what they did,” Fernandes said. “We talked about that a lot.

“Those first few were the crucial points and to makes sure that they were louder as a team.”

The win catapults the Panthers into the quarter-final OFSAA qualifying game for the citys Feb. 19. The Panthers savaged the Silverthorn Spartans 2-0 (25-16, 25-12).

Despite the three straight sets lost the team kept digging together, Humana-Paredes acknowledged.

“I think what helped us is that we played positive, more than we would usually,” she said.

The loss handed to Humberside doesn’t mean they are eliminated from OFSAA contention.

They also qualified for the citys as well, facing Martingrove Feb. 19.

Winning a close one, the Huskies overcame Martingrove Bears 2-1 (25-19, 20-25, 15-13).

Head coach Edgar Kirss was positive his young troupe could pull off an upset, but only if they regain their confidence.

“I think some of them have taken a step back from last year today, and they don’t believe in themselves and they doubt themselves,” he said. “They just have to react.

“Once you start thinking then you’re doubting volleyball most of the time.”