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Cats go up by two against league leading Spartans, then fall 2-3
In one of the most anticipated volleyball matches of the season, the last two undefeated teams in Kingco 3A conference action squared off last Tuesday with the Skyline Spartans handing the Mount Si Wildcats a disappointing loss (24-26, 25-27, 25-19, 25-29, and 15-9.)
The Wildcats, ranked ninth in the state heading into the home match, were once again hurt by their passing according to coach Bonnie Foote.
"I would say that our passing struggled about midway through [the] third game," she said. "Obviously if we can't pass we're not going to get a consistent set, and therefore we're not going to hit as well."
Another trouble spot for the Wildcats was their failure to capitalize on several opportunities to take the lead in games three and four.
"We had many opportunities and I think we had too many errors, and Skyline just capitalized on our errors," said the Wildcats' sophomore Katie Morgan, a JV call-up who saw her first varsity home action of the season in the match.
The Wildcats opened the first game with the early lead, but the seventh-ranked Spartans stayed close, tying the contest at 5-5 and 8-8 before taking the lead midway through the game. The Wildcats then re-tied it at 12-12 before the lead see-sawed back and forth over the course of several plays. The Spartans then retook control of the game thanks to the strong service efforts of Nauzley Abedini, who had two aces to propel the Spartans back out in front. Mount Si stayed close, then senior Jaclyn Boals' kill re-tied the game at 20-20. The lead again see-sawed back and forth, before the Wildcats took control at 25-24 when the Spartans hit the ball into the net. With senior Maggie Olson on serve for game point, the Spartans again hit the ball into the net, giving the Wildcats game one.
The second game was controlled for the most part by Mount Si, with junior Marissa Hill providing several key kills early. The Wildcats built the lead to 18-9 before Skyline worked their way back into the game. With the Wildcats smelling blood up 21-16, Mount Si lost serve when Skyline's Lisl Schilperoort killed the ball.
Abedini went on serve for Skyline and came up huge, scoring three aces as part of a 6-1 run which propelled the Spartans into the lead. The end of game two was very tight. Skyline had three chances to close out game two, but failed on all three. With the score tied 25-25, Hill killed the ball on two straight plays to lift Mount Si to a tough game two win. It seemed as if the Wildcats had just learned one major skill on the court that they will need to have in order to succeed later on in the season: fighting through adversity and not giving up. Skyline, though, was only getting started.
For the complete story, pick up a copy of this week's Valley Record