Wildcat volleyball gets two key wins

SNOQUALMIE - It was a big week last week for the consistently improving Mount Si girls volleyball team, and they got a postseason berth as a result.

Mount Si opened the week with a Monday afternoon win over Sammamish in four games, 25-19, 25-22, 25-27 and 25-19. The win avenged an early season home loss to the Totems.

Last Wednesday, the Wildcats fought off a strong challenge from a much improved Liberty Patriots squad and clinched a Kingco Tournament playoff berth.

The Wildcats got it done in four games, 26-24, 25-21, 19-25 and 25-18. Mount Si coach Bonnie Foote breathed a big sigh of relief.

"The whole match was a good match, and my kids have just improved so much, and they never cease to amaze me," Foote said.

Game one was tight, with a number of ties and lead changes throughout. Faith Hutcherson, Xandy Evans and Erin Caldwell came up big at various points in the game, and Evans ace closed it out on the fourth game point after Liberty beat back the first three Wildcat game point attempts to tie the game at 24 each.

Things were a bit easier in the second game as Mount Si maintained the lead through most of the frame. The Patriots tried to make things interesting late, but there was one problem: Liberty had gotten caught serving out of rotation, so the rally was wasted. The rotation violation resulted in a game point for the Wildcats.

Game three was tough, and controversial for the Wildcats. Mount Si built a lead in the frame, only to see it go away. Then the problems erupted. First, junior Hutcherson left the game with a cramp in her leg, then later, a questionable call against Mount Si made Foote very unhappy and she made her feelings known with the officials to no avail.

"That was tough, that third game," said Foote. "It was an unfortunate call, and obviously I was pretty fired up about it. It kind of swung momentum a little bit and then I was a little nervous because I knew that they had momentum on their side. I just wanted to get my kids back focused and just win that fourth game. I didn't want to go five."

Liberty took the momentum from their third game win - a win sealed by a kill on the second game point - and proceeded to give the Wildcats a hard time in game four.

Hutcherson returned to the lineup well before the start of the fourth game and her presence was important down the stretch. However, another player's presence was even more important. Junior Noel Walter came up big on serves late with three aces - two off the net and into Liberty's end - and that helped to close out the match.

"We came to play, and we wanted to win, so we played hard," Walter said, adding the playoff berth is a huge confidence builder for her team. "Everyone thinks that we're the underdogs, but we're going to show 'em up. We're going to be there to win," said Walter

Mount Si hosts Kingco leader Issaquah in an afternoon contest Oct. 12. Game time is set for 3:30 p.m. at Mount Si.

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