After a 16-18 season in 2015 that saw boy’s volleyball miss the playoffs, the Pirates were excited to open the 2016 season on Friday afternoon against Collingswood. Cinnaminson fought hard, but fell 2-1 in the opener.
“You have to look at what we did right and say, ‘We can do this. We just have to be able to finish games,'” head coach Robert Spier said. “Once we figure out how to win, we will be able to finish these games.”
There was a nice crowd on hand Friday afternoon that saw the Pirates jump out to a 12-7 lead over the Panthers that not only energized the players, but also those in attendance.
The gym was loud and it might have taken the Panthers off their game a bit. Cinnaminson picked up a win in the first set 25-20, leading for the majority of the first set.
“We started off great. That first set was awesome,” Spier said. “I think because they are so young they are afraid of making a mistake that will cost them the win.”
The second set was a back-and-forth affair that saw the Pirates quickly go down 3-0 before taking a 7-6 lead. Collingswood would not go away in the second set, taking a 17-13 lead after some substitution issues.
On two separate occasions in the second set the Pirates were awarded a point for illegal substitutions by the Panthers. Cinnaminson roared back to tie the game at 20 and then went up 21-20.
The final three points of the second set, after the Pirates tied it at 22-22, went to the Panthers for a 25-22 victory to tie the match at one set apiece.
The third set was all Collingswood as the Panthers built 8-3 and 10-4 leads that the Pirates just could not overcome. Cinnaminson fell in the third set 25-13 to drop the opening match 2-1.
“I think in the third we just imploded. We definitely started thinking about the mistakes more and more,” Spier said. “We finally get an opportunity to serve, we’re so worried about getting a point that we wind up serving bad. Four out of five servers in a row served the first one into the net in the third set.”
Despite losing two of three sets, the Pirates played well in the first and second sets of the match (win and loss).
“Hopefully they see that. As a player and a coach you get so into the moment that you’re not thinking big picture. You’re thinking the last point,” Spier said.
“You see the one L, the one loss. It’s tough to see that the first two sets we played really, really well, even though we took a loss in the second one.”
Cinnaminson will take part in a 21-team tournament hosted by Moorestown on Saturday that begins at 8am. None of the matches from the tournament go towards the regular season record.
“It’s a great day because since there’s no pressure you can work on a lot of things. You can work on different plays. You can work on different lineups,” Spier said of the tournament.
“We’ve used this tournament in the past as a big stepping stone. Hopefully we will be able to rebound from this first loss, use momentum we gain tomorrow, learn how to win and run with it.”
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