Sports

Getting down and dirty: Mount Si volleyball team sets sights on top competition | Photo gallery

Lexi Read and Lauren Smith, foreground, watch as Lindsay Carr digs a ball during play Thursday, Oct. 18. - Seth Truscott/Staff Photo
Lexi Read and Lauren Smith, foreground, watch as Lindsay Carr digs a ball during play Thursday, Oct. 18.
— image credit: Seth Truscott/Staff Photo

When the opposition’s outside hitter leaps up for a lethal shot, Genevieve Knoppi is in the line of fire—right where she wants to be.

With split-second reaction, the Mount Si libero braces herself to pop that ball up with her cupped fists.

“That hitter is going strong. They’re going, ‘I am going to sink this into the floor,’” Knoppi said. “Not today.”

Knoppi can be seen in the tough matches, calling out and communicating with teammates in the think of it, crouching for digs, and diving when she has to. The senior defensive specialist isn’t afraid to encounter the floor.

“Getting down and dirty, I love it,” she says.

The verve and reaction of Knoppi and her teammates helped keep Mount Si in a hardscrabble five-set battle with Mercer Island last Thursday, Oct. 18. But Mount Si fell in the short fifth series by two, 15-13, to an athletic Islander squad.

In a series that echoed the two teams’ first encounter this season, Mount Si won the first set, Mercer the second and third, Mount Si the fourth. Both teams rallied at times, fell from mistakes, but the final moments were tense in the crowded Wildcat home gym, as Mercer put it away.

Some spirits were low among the Wildcat ranks, but a thirst for payback, and the will to get it, were also evident.

“These matches are my favorite,” Knoppi said. “Fifth game, 13-all—it’s the do-or-die moments that make our team who we are, and show who we are. We just need to get a little bit better.”

Outside hitter Lindsay Carr has massive power, and drilled the ball several times in the set. Liz Larson is working on her tipping skills, and Knoppi expects to see that tactic help against tough foes like Mercer.

This season, the Mount Si volleyball squad has hammered every opponent but the Islanders. The Wildcats are now second in league play, 11-2.

“It means nothing,” Wildcat head coach Bonnie Foote said of Mercer’s new bragging rights. “What means something is the league tournament.”

Now, she wants the Wildcats to rise to competition.

“Action is what gets you there,” Foote said.

Following the game, Mount Si players took stock of what they need to do

Carr on Thursday saw strong defensive and offensive play, but too many errors. She wants to see the Wildcats improve serving and passing. Without that, there’s no game, she said.

“We’ll bounce back,” promised Lexi Read. “We’re going to fight back this weekend, in a tournament.” Mercer may be tough, but “We’re tougher,” she assures.

Seth Truscott/Staff Photos

Above, Gen Knoppi demonstrates her dig style.

Anna McCreadie leaps up for a kill as Liz Larson keeps an eye on the competition.

Mount Si celebrate their win in the fourth set vs. Mercer Island Thursday.

Senior Lauren Smith keeps the ball in play.

 

Lexi Read in service in the fifth game.

Mount Si senior Rachel Hayford serves, above. Below, Jen Rogers serves.

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