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Wildcats headed to district tourney
The Mount Si Wildcat volleyball team closed out their regular season last Monday, Oct. 23, at home against Newport by honoring their three seniors, Alison Loud, Amy Ayers and Faith Hutcherson. All three had a hand in helping the Wildcats roll into the playoffs with an entertaining three-game sweep of the Knights, 28-26, 25-22 and 25-20. Loud had one kill and two digs, Hutcherson added 21 assists and five digs and Ayers paced Mount Si with one kill and 10 digs.
The Wildcats trailed in much of game one before rallying to tie the contest on Newport's third game point at 24-24 on a kill. Mount Si outlasted the Knights the rest of the way, fighting off two more ties before sealing it with a service ace by Danielle Rehm. The Wildcats controlled much of game two, but Newport fought back and tied it late at 18-18. Mount Si did not let that faze them and took care of business, closing it out when the Knights hit a kill attempt out of bounds.
The Wildcats dominated much of game three, despite Newport's best efforts. An illegal hit by the Knights on the third Mount Si match point sealed the victory.
Wildcats coach Bonnie Foote will miss the seniors. "I will miss their leadership and just the energy that they bring to our team. They're always positive, upbeat, a lot of fun," Foote said.
The program, in addition to honoring the seniors, also took time to remember their fallen teammate, Tess Sollitto. Sollitto, who competed for the Wildcats last season, died in a swimming accident on the Snoqualmie River earlier this year. In pre-game warmups, players wore T-shirts emblazoned with her name and prior to the match, Foote led a moment of silence in Sollitto's memory.
Kingco tournament recap
Mount Si split their two matches last Thursday, Oct. 26, at home to open the Kingco tournament. In game one, the Wildcats escaped with a tight four-game victory over Newport, 25-16, 28-20, 25-23 and 26-24. Pratt had 16 kills and four digs to lead Mount Si. A tired Wildcat team tried their best early in the nightcap against Issaquah, but ran out of gas as the Eagles swept in three games. Scores were 25-21, 25-19 and 25-9 Issaquah. Wesley Eand with five digs paced the Mount Si effort.
Issaquah coach Todd Parsons credited his team's success to strong serving. "We came out and we won the serving battle and won the serving-receive battle and that's really where it was at tonight," Parsons said. The Eagles' star senior, Casi Schwisow, said her team was ready. "We had little goals that we wanted to meet in each game and came out and focused on those and I think we came out confident," Schwisow said.
Last Saturday, Oct. 28, the Wildcats played Mercer Island for third and fourth place. In the regular season, Mount Si trounced the Islanders; last Saturday was a different story. The Wildcats won the first game and led late into the second game before the Islanders rallied to win that game, then took care of business the rest of the way. Scores in favor of MI were 21-25, 25-23, 25-18 and 25-19. Pratt had 20 kills and four aces to lead the Mount Si cause in defeat. "We made a lot of unnecessary errors serving and hitting. Our passing wasn't as solid, like it was last time we played them," Rehm said.
The Wildcats advance to the SeaKing District Tournament as the Kingco's No. 4 seed. Games are Thursday at Mount Si and Bishop Blanchet High School in north Seattle, and Saturday at Liberty High School in Renton. Originally, the Saturday games were scheduled to be at Mount Si, but were moved to accommodate Saturday night's football game. Games Thursday begin at 5:30 p.m.; Saturday at 11 a.m.
Five teams advance to state from SeaKing, and it looks to be a difficult road for the Wildcats if they want one of those slots. The Metro League's Mountain Division, led by the likes of Bainbridge and Bishop Blanchet, are expected both to have a full compliment of teams and be tough, as will Nathan Hale of the Metro Sound Division. Skyline and Issaquah also are expected to make strong runs from Kingco 3A.