'Cat volleyball wins last home match

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SNOQUALMIE - The Mount Si Wildcat girls' volleyball team said goodbye to it's home gym for the 2004 season last Wednesday, but not before honoring seven seniors then going out and picking up a difficult five-game victory over Newport in a match that took more than two hours to complete.

"We definitely deserved a win tonight without a doubt," said an elated Wildcats' coach Bonnie Foote.

As she has told the team in the past, playing with too much adrenaline can lead to a lull later in the match, and that's exactly what happened against the Knights, according to Foote. Despite the long match and eventual lull, Foote said she was proud of the way her team bounced back.

The Wildcats won the first two games, 25-23 and 25-20. The score of those games, at least to senior Maggie Kujath, didn't tell the entire story.

"It was great. I mean, we just totally came out and dominated [Newport] in the first two games," Kujath said.

The close beginning of the first game set the tone for the match, but Mount Si took command midway through, only to see the Knights come back late. Newport briefly had the lead at 22-21 late in game one, but senior star Marissa Hill then took over and guided the Wildcats to victory.

Game two started out with Newport taking control, only to quickly see that evaporate. Behind an 8-0 run Mount Si gained the upper hand on the Knights and cruised, albeit precariously, to the game-two victory.

The Knights overcame early Wildcat domination in game three and took the lead midway through the game. Despite a strong Mount Si challenge, courtesy of sophomore rising sensation Faith Hutcherson, Newport held on and won 25-23. The Knights then controlled much of the fourth game, and again, despite a furious challenge from the Wildcats, held its own and won 25-22. Mount Si, in the fifth and deciding game of the match, just like in the second game, overcame an early deficit to Newport, and behind Hill's strong play, took care of the game 15-7, and the match. For Kujath, this match was unforgettable.

"This is going to live in my memory forever this game - this one game, my last home game," she said.

The atmosphere was electric and the gym was as loud as it usually is for Mount Si basketball games. The electricity and noise came courtesy of a Wildcats' student section that was larger than normal. Foote credits them for helping the team.

"We have the best dang fans around. You couldn't pay for more fans than we have right now," said Foote.

Prior to the game senior players Hill, Kujath, Ashley Svarthumle, Emile Aaltonen, Emily White and the injured Gina Zanella, along with their parents, were honored with gifts and flowers.

Last Wednesday, Oct. 13, the Wildcats were blown out in three straight games by the Issaquah Eagles. The win clinched the regular-season Kingco 3A title for the Eagles.

Mount Si wrapped up regular season play with a loss against Mercer Island at Mercer Island last Monday. The loss put Mount Si in third place in the league.

The Wildcats open Kingco Tournament play Thursday at Liberty High School in Renton (opponent to be determined) either at 5:30. Depending on Thursday's results, Mount Si will play again on Saturday, either at noon or 2:30 p.m. against an opponent to be determined. Admission for adults this season for the conference tournament is $6; students with an ASB card pay $4.

To get to Liberty High, follow Interstate-90 to Issaquah, exit at State Route (SR) 900 Exit 15, turn left and follow SR 900 to 164th Ave. S.E., then turn left at the light. Go up 164th to S.E. 128th and turn left. Immediately get into the right lane and turn right at the next light (168th Ave. S.E.). Follow 168th to the school. The gym is at the south end of the parking lot.

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