Improved attack key to Tide's success

Truro squad chasing provincial championship on home court

Matt Veno
Published on April 23, 2010

TRURO - It's easier to fix something when you know what's broken.

For the Truro Tide under-16 boys volleyball team it's clear.

"We need to improve our attack," said coach Matt Taylor. "We have to make teams work for that point."

The hitting game has been the Achilles heel for the Tide this season. Despite finishing third on the provincial circuit, the Tide hold a record just over .500 after four regular season tournaments.

The Tide are hosting the Volleyball Nova Scotia Provincial Championship, which gets underway today at 11:15 a.m. at Truro Junior High School. They'll be up against the No. 1-ranked Valley Skyhawks, the Valley Waves (2), the Tiger Club (4), Bridgewater Chill (5), Antigonish Storm (6), Sackville Sonics (7) and the No. 8 Skyhawks 2.

The under-14 championship between the Tide and Waves squads will also be contested at the school this weekend.

Taylor said his team will have to attack better in order to achieve its goal of getting to Sunday's 2:15 p.m. final.

"We make a spectacular dig but then end up giving the other team a free ball to drive at us and you can only make so many digs before it catches up to you," Taylor said.

Defence on the other hand, is a different story.

"It's really kept us in games," Taylor said.

Making digs, receiving serves and blocking attacks have been the Tide's bread and butter this season and it'll be crucial again this weekend.

"If we can't make digs then there's no way we can pass balls and start an attack," said power Logan Baillie. "We're going to have to keep it up."

But the Tide are not content in just talking about things they do well. Baillie said it's important for the team to focus on its weaknesses and turn them into strengths.

"We need to focus on the things we don't do so well," he said.

That's just what they have been doing in the last several weeks in practice and on a recent trip to P.E.I. to face some unfamiliar competition. Baillie thinks it's worked.

"We've been practicing a lot and I think it's going to work well for us this weekend," he said.

It is going to need to be for the Tide to chase down the powerhouse Skyhawks, who have run away with the league this season. Following the Skyhawks, the standings have been a logjam between the rest of the teams.

"We haven't played well against (the Skyhawks) at all," Taylor said. "But we have against the other teams and we want to go in and play relaxed and have fun and try to surprise (the Skyhawks)."