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!


…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.


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!..

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!



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.


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.

Beamer Ends Season on Winning Note!

Our talented team came to play Tuesday night against cross-district Federal Way.  Our match was “Senior Night” for the Eagles and I have to give “Kudos” to the trio of Federal Way students that sang the National Anthem “A Cappella” style.  It was excellent!

Our kids played great!  Sophie Miller was obviously pumped to play her last match in a Beamer uniform, she paced the team with 60 assists, which I am sure is a Todd Beamer record for a single match!  Sophie also sealed the win on the last play of the game, with an attack Kill from the right side on Kelsey Milholland’s assist. Both our offense and defense was on track as  we collected 68 kills and 15 aces on the night and passed 2.1 as a team.   Beamer won 3-1, with scores of 25-17, 25-22, 22-25, 25-17.

This was definitely a good way to end our season.  We have been a pretty inconsistent team all season long, but I will say that when we pass well – we are a “very, very” good team!  Nice job Lady Titans – we’ll definitely miss our 5 seniors and wish them the best as they complete the rest of their senior year and prepare for their next step forward!  We look forward to what our talented returning players will do as they take over leading our volleyball program!

Senior Night!

Last night we honored five incredible young women that have put a lot of time, dedication and committment into the Beamer Volleyball program over the past 4 years! Congratulations Sophie Miller, Chloe Mensching, Tatiana Dixon, Gwen Foisey and Kelsey Milholland!  I can only speak of their last two years in the program but each one of them has tremendously improved their level of skill and have grown in their leadership qualities. I am proud to have coached all five of them these past 2 years and look forward to great things as they continue to prepare for their next step forward in life.

We put forward a great effort in our match against Bethel but fell just short in the end.  Our Seniors played a big part in displaying a “never give up” attitude as we found a way to force Game 4 after being down 0-2 and then found a way to force Game 5.  We found ourselves battling to the very end. Final scores 15-25, 16-25, 25-18, 25-23, 12-15. I am proud of the effort our entire team gave last night! It was definitely an exciting game to be a part of.

Loss to Curtis puts Beamer in a very tough spot!

We started flat (does this sound familiar?) and it was looking like we were going to let the inevitable happen and allow Curtis to serve us off the court and sweep us in the match.  We were down 0-2 going into game 3 and our Seniors decided they wanted to play – we won game 3 and quite frankly played some of our best volleyball of the season.  We had a hard time playing catchup with Curtis in game 4 but did manage to put up a little bit of a fight.  We left Curtis with a 1-3 loss (17-25, 15-25, 25-18, 16-25) knowing that chances of getting to the playoffs are just about done, barring major upsets over the SPSL somehow creating a three way tie for 5th and us sweeping our remaining 3 league matches.  I guess there is a part of me that just says, “Keep Fighting” until you can’t fight anymore!

Lost to Rogers!

We have been a very sporadic team this season. When we play well – boy do we play well! But when we play bad – sometimes it looks really bad. We have yet to find a way to play consistent all match long. We lost to Rogers at home on Monday 16-25, 25-18, 24-26, 22-25. We seem to struggle closing games and ultimately winning matches. Time is running out and any more losses it will start to look pretty bleak to reach our goal to be the first Beamer Volleyball squad to make the playoffs.

Rise Above!

It took me awhile to figure out what to say about our home match against GK. We did almost everything right in our preparation and really felt like we were ready to pull off an upset against a team we have never beaten before in our school’s history. We came very close losing in five sets 2-3 (25-22, 23-25,25-12,15-25,10-15). About the only thing I can say that isn’t positive was that we didn’t win the match. We played exceptional at the net, we passed very well in games 1, 2, 3, and the last half of game 5. We came out strong, we were pretty focused, we had lots of energy, we forced the tempo of the match and many of our players had very good individual contributions to the team, we even found a way to not give up on our team and finished strong after being down big in game 5. So, how did we lose this match? I believe that Coach Buck said it best, we are right there at the point of breaking through – but we have to “RISE ABOVE” even our own expectations if we want to start pulling out these wins. We will prepare the same way this week and try to bring the same energy and focus to our next home match against Rogers… and we are going to take it one point at a time, one game at a time, one match at a time…. and hopefully we will “Rise Above” this next time!

A tough one for sure…

I love coaching because there is always a life lesson that pops up in every match. I watched my team warm-up looking more ready to play than I have ever seen them this season – I was expecting a great match from our players. Instead we got a pretty demonstrative collapse. We started well in game 1, but we never really forced the tempo or established our will to win. We kinda let Spanaway Lake control the match from start to finish. I thought for a minute that we should be leading because we definitely looked like the superior squad judging by our height, offensive might and style, but our play didn’t support that. We never led in game 1 losing 19-25 in a game that we later described as showing little urgency! In game 2, all the energy and spunk we had going into the match was gone. We struggled to start the game and it started looking like we were playing Emerald Ridge all over again. The result a 10-25 thrashing, we just couldn’t pass. In our huddle before game 3, we talked about being urgent about taking it one step at a time, about focusing on trying to get out of the hole we created for ourselves. We started the game with a 4-0 lead and looked as if finally our team was ready to play, we continued to push the tempo and establish the style of the game all the way to a 23-17 lead – then the wheels fell off! We missed our serve and gave up 9 straight points and found ourselves staring at 24-23 match point for Spanaway Lake. We managed to fight back a little and even regained game point but still lost 27-29. There is definitely a life lesson to learn from this, but there is a part of me that thinks we shouldn’t have to make our life lessons this difficult!

Great Start, Bad Finish vs. Emerald Ridge

We played great volleyball in game 1 against Emerald Ridge last night. It looked as though all the hard work we have put into practice was starting to pay off. We passed well, we served well, we hit well, we blocked well, we played defense well on our way to winning the first set by a score of 25-20. About the only thing we did not do well was to continue to play through the rest of the match. After game 1, we were a total different team – we looked confused, sometimes we looked like we were trying “too hard”, sometimes we looked like we gave up “too easy”, and sometimes we looked like we just didn’t know how to play! I wonder if we were satisfied with winning game 1 and forgot that a match is a best of 5. I will confess it was really hard to stomach watching our team dismantle ourselves that way. We lost the next 3 sets and it wasn’t even close. The final result was a 1-3 loss in our league opener to the Jaguars (25-20, 14-25, 8-25, 11-25). I am getting tired saying this, but the silver lining in all this is that we know that when we pass well and play good defense we are a good team! I am hoping we bounce back quickly from this very disheartening loss. Wednesday “hard” practice… Thursday Spanaway Lake!