'Cats come back to beat Knights

SNOQUALMIE - Going into last Wednesday's volleyball match with Newport, the Mount Si Wildcats were still smarting after being blown out in three games last Monday-25-18, 25-13, and 25-11-by a tough Issaquah Eagles squad. Also, as many Kingco 3A volleyball fans know, the Newport Knights are never easy to beat.

Don't tell that to Mount Si. In a big win for Mount Si coach Bonnie Foote, the Wildcats gave it their all and stunned the Knights in a five-game thriller at Mount Si High School. Scores were 12-25, 25-21, 9-25, 25-18 and 16-14 as the Wildcats moved into a tie for third place in league with the much-improved Liberty Patriots.

Foote thinks this victory may have helped her program as a whole, as they adjusts to life without star Marissa Hill, now playing at Western Washington University.

"I definitely agree it's a program-building victory, because we've been focusing on improving and we could've very easily given up and rolled over like we did on Monday against Issaquah. And they believed tonight that they could win," said Foote.

Among the Wildcat players who came up big in the stunning victory was junior Alicia Elmore. Elmore said heart was key.

"I felt like we needed to put our whole heart into it, and for me that's what I did because if I didn't do that tonight, I wouldn't feel like I did my job like to its fullest," Elmore said.

Newport controlled the first game of the match behind the strong play of seniors Sarah Potts and Deviny Mo. A kill by sophomore Patrice McKinnon closed out the frame. Mount Si returned the favor in the second game behind the efforts of Elmore, Alisha Larion and Ayana Hara. The Knights tried to make things interesting late, but the Wildcats were able to get across the finish line first.

A 15-0 run midway through the third game propelled Newport to a 2-1 match lead with the help of senior Lauren Campbell's stellar play.

"I think a lot of it was that I got a kick in the [rear] at practice. We had a little drill and the non-starters were starting and I lost my spot, so when I came in, I had to prove that I could still be the starter, you know, and so I think that was good. I mean, everyone played as a team, and we just killed them [in that game]," said Campbell, who has verbally committed to play college ball at Seattle University next year.

The Wildcats had their own long run through game four, and that 10-0 outburst forced a fifth and deciding game. Newport had their opportunities to put Mount Si away in the deciding frame, but Larion's kill sealed the deal, and the Wildcats pulled the upset.

Knights coach Steve Trachy was disappointed as his team fell to 2-4 in conference play.

"We haven't been meeting our goals at all, our expectations. To say that's been a little disappointing, that would be true. We haven't played as well as we should," he said.

Despite the win, the Wildcats, according to Foote, still have a lot of work to do.

"We're not even close to where we need to be yet in order to be a real contending team, and they know that. I'm very up front; I'm very honest. We have standards that we need to meet every day in practice and in our matches and we're not there yet, but with a match like tonight we definitely have set a new standard that we can continue to build on," said Foote.

The Wildcats open the second half of the schedule Wednesday against Bellevue. First serve is at 6:45 p.m.

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