The Bruins volleyball team faced off against the McKinleyville Cougars on Thursday in a rematch non-league game. The Bruins gave a strong effort but were unable to overcome the Cougars, resulting in another 3-0 defeat.

At 2-3 overall this season, the Bruins currently sit at rank No. 23 in the OSAA 3A rankings.

The Cougars took an early lead in the first set, while the Bruins began trailing steadily behind. While scoring consistently, the Bruins couldn’t gain the momentum needed to overtake the Cougars and ended the first set at 25-12. The second set followed suit after the Bruins came close to tying things up around 10-8, but once again the Cougars broke away to take a second win at 25-14. The final set saw the the Cougars keep things close to the 15-13 mark, but after that the Cougars ran away with the game to take a 25-16 win and a 3-0 game.

“Overall, I was happy with our serve receives, but so far serving seems to be our nemesis this season,” said Bruins coach Lorinda Shew. “The score doesn’t really reflect what I was seeing on the court. I kept looking up and was surprised that we were behind after we had so many long rallies and the girls were playing so hard.”

Shew was happy to see the team still steadily making improvements from game to game, citing that much of what they’ve worked on during practice has transferred smoothly into the following games. The team has also shown some improvement with their blocking game with five total this game, but still need some work before league play begins next week.

“We’ve been working on mixing up our shots and putting them in different places, which we did, but against this team there were very few places we could put it that they didn’t manage to pick it up,” Shew said. “We do need to pick some more things up with blocks and need to get more prepared for that soon with league starting next week.”

The Bruins travel to Arcata today to compete in a tournament starting at 8 a.m. The Bruins will then play a non-league game on Monday when they travel to Del Norte to play the Warriors at 6:30 p.m. After that, they’ll start their league season against Cascade Christian on Thursday, who they will host at 6:30 p.m.