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Rugby has two big matches ahead

By Staff | Oct 2, 2009

At the beginning of the season Rugby coach Brenda Olsen likely circled the Panthers’ home matches against Velva on Oct. 6 and Bottineau on Oct. 8 on the schedule.

Yes, this week’s pair of District 11 matches are big for the Panthers who are pursuing a top two finish in the district standings, something the program has not attained since 1997.

Olsen said Velva and Bottineau are similar as they both are fundamentally sound and have quickness at the net. “They don’t have a lot of height, but they can get up and hit the ball hard at the net,’ she said.

One of the points of emphasis for Rugby is to start strong and avoid having to play from behind “We want to start strong, but also play strong throughout the match,’ she said.

Rugby will also need to limit its unforced errors and show its ability to control serves.

Titans hope for turnaround

Towner-Granville-Upham couldn’t wait for September to end.

The Titans had just one win in their nine matches last month and have been swept in all eight losses.

“It’s been frustrating,’ said T-G-U coach Cassie Felber. “We want to at least try take at one set from an opponent, but we’re not playing well enough to do that right now.”

Passing remains a sore spot for the squad. The inability to make consistently good passes limits kill opportunities at the net, and good teams expose that weakness.

T-G-U has had to contend with a few injuries as well and that’s meant some younger players have been inserted in the lineup.

“We have been doing more subbing of late,’ Felber said. “We’re trying to build better chemistry on the court.”

What the team needs more then anything right now is to get a win and build some confidence. And there will be some opportunities to do that this month against teams that T-G-U should match up well against.

Rolette-Wolford hopes to get on track

Rolette-Wolford coach Jason Heinz says his team has played much better than its 2-8 record, but unfortunately moral victories don’t count in the standings.

Three of the Comets’ losses have gone five sets, and there has been a few more matches where the team had stretches of good play.

“We are still trying to figure out how to win,’ Heinz said. “We need to be able to play well enough to win three sets.”

Heinz believes he has enough talent to be competitive against the top teams in the district, but the challenge is getting everyone playing at their peak performance. “We can’t have one or two players try and carry us,’ he said.

Despite the dismal start, the team is still very much in the hunt for a middle-of-the-pack finish in the District 8 standings, but the time is now for the Comets to find the win column. R-W hosts Minnewaukan-Leeds in a must-win match this Thursday, Oct. 8.

Notes: Adams-E, which lost 17 straight District 8 regular season matches has two wins in its first three district matches this season…Rugby’s four-match winning streak last month was the first under coach Brenda Olsen.

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