Senior Night Winners!

fwhs_LogoWe celebrated Senior night honoring three amazing young women that have greatly contributed to our program!  Megan Huff (4yr Varsity, Starting Outside, Captain), Aliya Ranis (4yr Varsity, starting Libero, Captain) and Marina Dolgova (1yr Varsity, right side).  It was a fun atmosphere!  The girls played great and we ended our season on a win!  The team collected 45 kills, 10 aces, 10 blocks, and 48 digs.  We passed above 2.0 on serve receive and were able to run some great combo plays on our way to a 3-1 victory (25-21,  25-13, 14-25, 25-13) over cross town rival Federal Way.

Special thanks to our Beamer Dance Team for their performance between the 2nd & 3rd sets, special apologies to our very own Atina Elia (JV), we didn’t get to hear her sing our National Anthem – but I’ve heard she is really good!  We had a great crowd out for our last game of the season and we are all proud of our players and team.  Let’s wish our Seniors the best – I know I’m going to miss them!

 

Bethel Burns Beamer!

bethelNot much to say about this match except that we lost!  We played a good first game but still lost 23-25, game point came off a second ball set over the net that we knew was coming but wasn’t able to handle!  After that,  there wasn’t much fight in our team.  It was Bethel’s Senior night and the Braves crowd was out to support them, they played like a team that wanted to get to the post season and we played like a team that was ready to put the season to bed.  I’m frustrated that our older more experienced players are not and do not show much disdain for our lack of competitiveness.

As someone affiliated with our program often tells me,  “Our Team just doesn’t know how to win!”

I do hope we figure it out before Tuesday though – a battle between two winless teams in the SPSL South – we are competing not to be last against our cross-town rival school Federal Way.

Rogers sweeps Beamer!

rogersIt’s been hard to watch our team be so sporadic through the season!  We are up then down, hot then cold, we play well and then come out and play flat.  Our inconsistent play has really hurt us throughout the season, especially in our league matches.  Rogers was a good team and we played them evenly for the first set and the first part of the second, but we played poorly the rest of the match.  We started off the 2nd set up 6-2, but after the Rams tied it up 8-8, we fell apart, it almost seemed as if we just didn’t want to compete anymore!  We had some players that were trying to put it together but as a whole it seemed as though we just did not have the desire it took to make it a competitive match.  This was a frustrating loss!  We served 50 of 55 but managed only 3 aces, we collected 26 kills, our last 2 games we hit poorly generating only 15 kills with 12 hitting errors.

Definitely not a recipe for winning and not a match that I want to remember – On the bus ride home, I was already looking forward to our next opportunity to play!  Next up, the Bethel Braves!

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…we had the defending SPSL South Champs on the ropes!

emeraldridge_logoLast night’s match against the defending SPSL South Champion Emerald Ridge Jaguars was pretty intense for us for the first 3 sets!  Our team came out focused and ready to play.  It was a great match, some big time swings, great blocks, good passing and overall good defense!  We lost 1-3, with the scores 25-23, 19-25, 26-28, 13-25 but we left the gym knowing we gave had the Jags on the ropes and gave them a run for their money in the first three sets.   We won the first set 25-23, we lost the second 19-25, setting up the all important pivotal 3rd set.

I felt the team that won the 3rd set would win the match and both teams played like it!  It was pretty intense with the lead going back and forth, there was a little confusion at the late stages of the game that halted the momentum in the match, and in the end we fell just short, losing 26-28!

Losing the high pressure game 3 took a lot of the wind out of our sails and we struggled to recover in game 4 losing 25-13.  A bit of a downer to what otherwise was a great match between 2 very good teams.  I’m proud of how our squad competed and just wished we had more to show for it.

Megan Huff played an outstanding match, leading us with 6 aces, 17 kills, 3 blocks, 6 digs and passing just shy of 2.0 on serve receive.  Aliya Ranis had a stellar match as our libero, passing an outstanding 2.39 on serve recieve and 12 digs, some were pretty darn amazing!  Reed Copeland & Nia Alexander provided some balanced offense up the middle collecting 11 kills and 4 blocks between them.

 ERHS

Puyallup Vikings

…Loss to Vikings Stings!

Puyallup VikingsThe Beamer Titans fell 3-1 to the Puyallup Vikings yesterday, game scores were 21-25, 25-22, 25-27, 17-25.  It was a very well played contest between two evenly matched squads.  As a team, we collected 49 kills, 5 aces going 80 for 89 serving, 7 blocks, and 59 digs in a losing effort.

As a fan, I would never complain about our team’s ability to compete and our level of play when we take the court.  But, as a fan, I couldn’t help feeling a little frustrated about not being able to pull out the “win” in these situations.  I have a hard time believing we  0-4 in the SPSL South, it just seems like we are a much better team than that!

As a coach, I’m more frustrated and just puzzled about why our team plays well enough to be competitive, hard enough to see the finish line and know that “we can” win the match, and then just stop playing short of claiming the prize and pulling out a victory!

Against the Vikings, we came into the match with the right mental focus.  We played well in game 1 up until we got to 20 and then just stopped playing to win.  We won game 2 after starting off quick, got a big lead and just held on to at the end.   We played game 3 well and had our chances to win, but made some crucial repetitive mental errors down the stretch and lost 25-27.  We came out flat in game 4, missed our first two serves and spotted them 8 points to start the match, it was 1-9 by the time we decided to play and we lost that game 17-25.  We have lots to work on to keep improving but at the forefront is trying to teach ourselves to be tougher mentally!  Yes, no doubt, this loss to the Vikings stings!..

West Seattle Wildcats

Lady Titans sweeps the Wildcats!

West Seattle WildcatsI always look forward to playing West Seattle, it’s a homecoming of sorts for me.  Mainly because West Seattle’s coach, Joe Baleto is a cousin of mine, and much like my family, you can usually count on his family being at the games supporting their program!  Friday was a good game for us against the Wildcats featuring the versatile all-league senior hitter Eastyn Baleto, who happens to be Megan Huff’s teammate on their “gold medal” winning club team.

We came out swinging in game 1 (25-17), as a team hitting 0.412 collecting 9 kills with only 2 errors!  Game 2 (26-24) was very competitive and could have gone either way.  We found our offensive groove again in game 3 (25-16), hitting 0.364, with 15 kills and only 3 errors!  An overall good win for us.   Beamer is now 6-1 in non-league matches, but 0-3 in the SPSL South.

Tough Loss to GK!

Every time you step into the Graham Kapowsin gym you can almost guarantee that it will be pack filled with energy.  GK coach Loni Parks always finds a way to have her squad play loud – the louder they are the better they play!  The GK Eagles were pretty loud last night, sweeping the Titans 3-0 (26-24, 25-14, 25-21).  We struggled to get ahead of the eagles all match long – I don’t think we ever led at any point of the match.  When I breakdown our performance it’s easy to point to our serve-receive game and then realize that we just didn’t do a good job putting the ball where it needed to be with all aspects of the game – whether it was a pass, a set, a tip or hit.  We never really did get good flow to our offense – part of that was that GK just had an outstanding defensive performance against us.

We have to figure out why we play well enough to be competive but then don’t do the things required to pull out the win.  We have to figure out why we haven’t matched up well against all the teams in the SPSL south that are defensively minded and have great ball control.  We have to figure out why we keep falling short against the teams in our league even when I know that we are just as talented as many of the teams we face.  – I know that improving our ball control is obviously the first step!

 

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Finally a 5 game match! – Beamer pulls out the win!

I’ve been around the sport long enough to know that having a “good volleyball team” has nothing to do with big school or little school, public school or private school, 4A or 1A.  What matters most are the calibre of players and athletes you have on your squad that help determine how good your team will be.

In the case of Beamer vs. Christian Faith earlier this week, we simply had two “good volleyball teams” playing a competitive match.  The visiting eagles have some exceptional players and athletes on their squad including hard-hitting junior Katrice Pond, athletic high-flying senior Freda Ireigbe, and talented eighth-grader Cierra Zimmerman.  They pushed us to our first 5 game match of the season!  It was a good match for us and our team learned a great deal.  In the past, these were the kind of games that Beamer would find a way to lose at the very end, but we learned a little about what we need to do to pull out a win!  The scores were 25-20, 22-25, 22-25, 25-18, 15-8 – Beamer wins 3-2 over the Eagles!  Megan Huff went on a tear at the service line going 28 for 31 collecting 14 aces, 21 kills and 6 digs!  Reed Copeland contributed 7 kills and 3 blocks.

 

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Beamer falls Short against the Sentinels!

You can’t be upset with our effort!  We were in every game and our players brought the emotion and energy that was missing in our previous match –  we just fell short.

This match featured a very good Spanaway Lake volleyball team filled with veteran club players that are just good all around.  The Lady Titans played a very inspired game and from a fan standpoint (and even from a coach on the sidelines standpoint) this game was fun to watch.  Even though we got swept 3-0 the games were exciting.  25-23, 25-21 and 25-23.  Very happy with our effort.  Megan Huff had 11 kills and 8 digs.  Aliya Ranis was very good defensively collecting 18 digs on the night.  Reed Copeland controlled the net well with 7 kills and 5 blocks.  Nia Alexander played exceptional contributing 6 kills in our overall team effort.

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Curtis sweeps Beamer!

Some teams just knock you off of your game and make it hard to recover!  The Vikings did that to us on Tuesday!

The visiting Curtis Vikings came into our gym and really socked it to us.  Their offense picked our defense apart with their well placed swings, roll shots and tips.  Our team played on our heels all night long.  The Vikings also prevented us from getting any real rythym on offense constantly putting pressure on our passers in the serve-receive game.   The Lady Titans fell hard in straight sets losing to Curtis 25-10, 25-13, 25-15.  The silver lining in the match was that we continued to work and by the third set I started to see glimpses of our team being able to compete and fight for points.  Even though the outcome of the match was clearly decided in the early stages of game 1, our team slowly improved our energy level and desire to compete as the game wore on.  This is a good benchmark game for us and a reminder of how tough the SPSL South really is.  Our lesson learned is that we have still lots of improving to do in our season!  Next up, Spanaway Lake another very good team.

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Beamer Bounces Back Big against Decatur!

In their only back to back match of the 2013 season, Beamer bounced back big from an earlier loss to Kentwood and jumped on the Decatur Gators from the onset to win in straight sets, 25-8, 25-18, 25-7.   The evening had the eerie feel of a potential upset as the heavily favored Titans we were without starting setter Mckenna Milholland and starting Middle Nia Alexander, both home sick.  They were also still dealing with starting libero coming back from an ankle sprain and the rest of the squad still battling the flu bug.  Thankfully, Catherine Miller stepped in and did a great job filling in as setter and Senior Megan Huff had a monster night impressing the Seattle University coaches who were in the crowd.  Beamer finished the night with a 28 kills, and 28 aces.  Yes, that is right 28 aces!  Everyone on the squad chipped in on this win as coach Pat was able clear the bench and even played freshman Savana Service from the JV squad.  Nice job Titans.

Beamer falls to Kentwood in Straight Sets

We played awesome considering that we were managing injury and illness all throughout the Varsity squad.  Aliya just coming back from an ankle sprain, Reed and her wrist, Camryn, Nia, Mckenna, Leena and Jordan all battling the flu bug.  Despite having only  one healthy starter we played a great match against a very good Kentwood squad.  There were lots of great kills on both sides of the ball, the intensity was great, we had some very exciting rallies and if we didn’t give up all those points on services aces we might have been able to pull out a set or two but instead we fell in straight sets losing 19-25, 20-25, 23-25 to the Conquerors.  We gave up 14 service aces to Kentwood and that was the big difference in the match.  Overall you have to be pleased with the way our team competed.

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Kent Classic update

I love the Kent Classic tournament because it gives us a snapshot of where our team is with respect to some of the top high school programs in the state.  Yesterday’s showing revealed that we have some work to do with our team.  We played well in the morning pool but gave up some crucial runs and couldn’t recover, we played sporadic in the pm pool and struggled with our passing and made it difficult for us to take quality swings at the ball.  We made a bunch of unforced errors that really hurt us.  In bracket play we seemed to find our groove again and made it to bracket finals.  We finished the tournament losing a 3 set thriller almost completing our comeback but falling short 13-15 in the last set.  I really like our team this year, sometimes I forget that we are a pretty young team.

JV’s First Season Win!

Last night our Todd Beamer JV squad got to see all of the players out on the court in last nights match! The girls have been working hard at practice to improve and it’s beginning to show! Congratulations to both Lady Titan teams for their wins last night!

Beamer over Jefferson!

The Beamer Lady Titans pick up a solid 3-0 win over the Jefferson Raiders tuesday.  Beamer collected 32 kills, 13 aces and 3 blocks in a team effort sweeping the Raiders 25-14, 25-7, 25-17.   Senior Megan Huff went on a tear at the serving line with 6 aces and added 7 kills.  Junior Reed Copeland led the charge up the middle with 8 kills, and 2 blocks.  Sophomore Nia Alexander finished with 6 kills from the middle.  Kudos to Sophomore Mckenna Milholland finishing with 32 assists and Junior Zella Hanson contributing 2 kills and 2 aces.  BTW, special thanks to our own Reed Copeland for starting the night off with her signing of the National Anthem!