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Head coach looking for harder serves on Day 2 of Canada Games play

WINNIPEG, MAN. – Team P.E.I.’s men’s volleyball team has to be more aggressive with its serves in order to be successful, head coach Stephen Boyd said Monday.

Boyd said his team’s serves were too easy in dropping its opening match at the Canada Games 3-0 (25-14, 25-8, 25-17) to Quebec.

“It allowed them to run a very fast offence against us,” he said. “We need to make our serves more of an aggressive attack instead of the simple mentality of trying to get the ball in play. These teams are too good for that.”

P.E.I. also ran into problems by serving the ball into the net or long, giving free points to Quebec. Boyd said you can accept a few scoring errors when serving aggressively.

“But when you’re serving very timid and you’re getting errors that’s a double whammy and I think that really hurt us,” he said.

Quebec has a strong volleyball program and Team P.E.I. knew they would be in tough in the opening game. Add in the fact the game was televised live on TSN and a young Island squad could have been nervous.

“Sometimes you have to get the jitters out,” Boyd said.

The team’s starters include one player who just graduated from intermediate school and three entering Grade 12. One of its two setters, Keith Johnston, sustained an ankle injury in the team’s second to last practice before travelling to Manitoba. Boyd is hopeful he can return to the lineup before the tournament is over.

The team also has three players who were in Winnipeg for the first week of the Games, leaving Boyd knowing he has to be cognizant of using them too much.

The coach’s message to his players was to control what they can control on their side of the court and quickly move on after points are scored.

“If we’re going to meet our goals for this event, we’re going to have to knock off teams of this calibre,” Boyd said. “The guys understand in order to do that we’re going to have to play their very best.”

They play Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan today at 11 a.m. and 10 p.m. Atlantic, respectively.

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