Series of mini games exposes what Buffs need to work on

The first time on the floor for the Madras High School volleyball team proved to be a productive one, even without a win.

At the Summit Jamboree, held Friday at Summit High School in Bend, first-year head coach Rhea Cardwell said the action provided her with all she needed to tailor future practices.

Jamborees are made for that specific purpose – to give coaches an idea what they have while getting looks against several opponents. The truncated one-set matches don't count in the season standings.

"We played competitively with some bigger schools, so I was happy with that," Cardwell said. "I got to see what our strengths and weaknesses are right now, so now I can figure out what we need to do in practice to correct mistakes."

Madras lost one-set matches to Mountain View, Sisters, Summit and Ridgeview, but all except the Sisters match were decided by 2-3 points.

Cardwell said one rotation in the Mountain View set was "pretty rough," but the Buffs battled back into the match and made it competitive, which Cardwell was proud of.

"They could have laid down and died, but they fought and fought to get back in it," Cardwell said. "They showed a lot of intensity and fortitude."

Early in the season, Cardwell said she was pleased with the team's setting. She said balls were in the right spot on a consistent basis, which is imperative so the hitters can make solid swings and notch kills.

"It's really nice to have good setting at the high school level, because sometimes that just doesn't happen," Cardwell said.

Cardwell plans on breaking down the basics of passing and serve receive, though, noting those as some of the weaknesses that were exploited during the jamboree.

"We just weren't really consistent with our passing," Cardwell said. "Once we are, our offense is going to explode."

The Buffs are in action Wednesday, with two matches inside the Buffalo Dome, a 4:30 p.m. tilt with defending 4A champ Crook County, then a 7:30 p.m. match with Sisters.

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