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Mount Si high volleyball players, coaches fare well in Seattle club tourney

The KJ Baden U15 girls’ volleyball team, one of several teams competing in a recent Seattle club volleyball, poses after winning their tournament title. Local athletes include Mount Si freshman Zoe Gogan (at rear, third from right) and her Wildcat freshman teammate, Aubrey Larion (middle row, center). The team is coached by Christal Morrison and John Killingbeck. - Courtesy photo
The KJ Baden U15 girls’ volleyball team, one of several teams competing in a recent Seattle club volleyball, poses after winning their tournament title. Local athletes include Mount Si freshman Zoe Gogan (at rear, third from right) and her Wildcat freshman teammate, Aubrey Larion (middle row, center). The team is coached by Christal Morrison and John Killingbeck.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Mount Si High School volleyball players and coaches were very busy over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, participating with various club programs in a big Seattle tournament, the Emerald City Classic Invitational.

There were a total of eight Mount Si players and two coaches taking part with three separate club organizations. Most of them represented Kent Juniors (KJ) Volleyball.

The KJ U14 team, coached by Wildcat “C” team head coach Callie Wesson, finished tied for ninth in the 14-Open division. They went 5-1 in pool play Saturday and Sunday, May 24 and 25, with their only loss coming at the hands of an Olympia team.

In playoffs held on Memorial Day, May 26, they fell in a crossover match to a team from Bellevue and missed the playoffs.

KJ’s U15 club, featuring Mount Si’s Zoe Gogan and Aubrey Larion, won the 16 Club division. They went 4-2 in their pool competition the first two days, then had to pull off three straight upset victories in the gold bracket playoffs to take the divisional crown. The championship win came over a team from suburban Portland.

KJ’s U16 group, with rising Wildcat stars Summer Nash and Robyn Schirrmer, also did very well in the 16 Open division. They went 5-1 in their pool action over the weekend, then advanced to the final of that division’s gold bracket, falling to a Eugene, Ore., team to take second overall in the division.

KJ’s U17 and U18 clubs both competed within the same division, the 18 Open, and both teams had fairly identical results. The U17s finished fifth, the U18s third. Both clubs dominated the pool portion of the tournament, going 6-0 each in their matches, with neither team losing a single game in any of those contests. Both clubs made the gold bracket playoffs on May 26, with the U17s falling in their first round match, and the U18s falling in the semifinals.

Among the coaches for the KJ U17 team is Mount Si varsity assistant Dave Bachman, and playing on the KJ U18 club is Miranda Pratt, who as a senior this fall is expected possibly to be the top senior in Kingco 3A. Pratt has verbally committed to Idaho. Among the clubs Bachman’s team faced in their initial stage of play in the tournament were two teams featuring other Kingco 3A players, including UW-bound Lauren Barfield of Newport.

While KJ had the majority of Wildcat representation, two other local club programs also had teams with Valley players competing. The Issaquah-based Sudden Impact organization had two entries with Mount Si talent: the U16 Thunder team, with junior-to-be Shelagh Macaulay, did well, finishing ninth in the 16 Open division. They went 4-2 in their pool play; and fell in the first round of their division’s gold bracket playoffs May 26 to a Spokane team.

The U17 Storm club, which includes Mackenzie Peerboom — who will be a key returning player this fall for the Wildcats — fared better. They played in the 18 Club division, and finished tied for third. They opened with a 5-1 record in the first two days of competition, then fell in that division’s gold bracket semifinals. The Bellevue-based Northwest Juniors 18 team, featuring outgoing senior Danielle Rehm, also played in that division, and went 4-2 in their opening matches of the tournament. They, too, made the gold bracket semis, and fell in their semi match. Had both Peerboom and Rehm’s teams won those matches, they would have faced one another in the finals of that division.

All of this success pleased Wildcat volleyball coach Bonnie Foote.

“It definitely shows that their hard work has paid off,” she said.

The playoffs were divided into four different brackets. The gold bracket, that all of the local players’ teams made in their respective competitions except for the U14 team, was the top tier bracket in each of those groups.

The event was held at the University of Washington, and was sponsored by the Washington Volleyball Academy. There were nearly 200 teams competing in the event. The clubs came from all over the Northwest and British Columbia.

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