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The week in Mount Si Volleyball
Mount Si 1 (25-23, 25-23, 21-25,
The Wildcats opened their regular season Sept. 15 with a nonleague match against the Kentwood Conquerors of the 4A South Puget Sound League at Kentwood High School in Kent. Like their match last year against Kentwood, the Wildcats put a scare into the Conquerors before being defeated by Kentwood.
Mount Si 3, Issaquah 0
The Wildcats opened their 2003 Kingco 3A campaign Sept. 16 against the newly renamed Issaquah Eagles. Not only did the Issaquah school mascot take on a new look, but so has the Eagles' volleyball team. Eight of the 13 players on the Issaquah squad are freshmen or sophomores and that played a huge factor in this match.
"It was exciting. That was a good start, great finish - kind of had [some] peaks and valleys in the middle but we played back through it, and did a nice job, so I was proud of them," said Mount Si coach Bonnie Foote.
Mount Si opened game one with a huge 8-1 lead, backed by the strong serving of senior middle blocker Chandra Rappin and solid frontcourt play by fellow senior outside hitter Jaclyn Boals. The Wildcats would not lose the lead in game one, despite a measured comeback by the Eagles that saw them get to within two points of the Wildcats late in the first game. However, junior outside hitter Marissa Hill came up with two big kills, including the game clincher, and Mount Si grabbed game one.
Issaquah opened game two with a lead, and despite the Wildcats tying it at 2-2, 5-5 and 6-6, the Eagles held their own throughout much of the first part of game two, only to see Mount Si mount a huge comeback to take the lead. The Wildcats and Eagles played close the rest of the way, as all the Wildcats' players stepped up and contributed to the effort. Senior setter Maggie Olson's tip at the front of the net clinched game two for Mount Si.
The serving of senior middle blocker Amy Keogh propelled the Wildcats to another huge 8-1 lead in game three, and there was no looking back. Mount Si ultimately built their lead to 22-9, and clinched the match on a miscue by the Eagles.
With matches now scored this season using the rally scoring format, where points are scored on every play and it takes 25 points to win a game, the matches are full of action. But don't expect the Wildcats to make any changes to their game plan.
"Honestly, I don't think of anything different. The only thing you have to realize is that the ball hits the net and goes over on the serve it's good ... and it's Ping-Pong scoring. I don't teach any differently. I don't teach to the scoring. I teach fundamentals. I teach the game, so I don't change a thing with rally scoring," said Foote.
Another rule change this season is the introduction of the "libero," who is a player specially called on to provide defensive support for a team during play. Senior Emily White was that player during the Issaquah game, and she stood out because she wore a different color uniform than her teammates (white vs. red). She thinks that it might help her team.
"I think it's a lot better for the program. It speeds things up and it always gets a lot more girls in the game. I like it. [It's] fun for me because I get to play more," said White.
Mount Si 3, Interlake 0 (25-10, 25-15, 25-13)
The Wildcats continued to roll over Kingco 3A opposition to start the season as they waxed the Interlake Saints. Interlake opened game one with an ace and stayed close with Mount Si for a while. With the score at 15-9 Wildcats, and the game slowly going in Mount Si's favor, Wildcats' senior Maggie Olson, aided by a strong service game and kills by junior middle blocker Marissa Hill and sophomore fellow middle blocker Erin Caldwell, helped the team to seven straight points, which put away game one. Hill's ace sealed the deal in the first game.
Senior Kristina Turple's service ace put Mount Si in the lead in game two, where they would stay. Olson's ace closed out game two for the Wildcats.
Mount Si again opened game three with a lead they would not relinquish. Hill, Olson and Keogh came up big on serves for the Wildcats in game three, and Caldwell and Boals scored critical kills to help the Mount Si efforts.
On match point, the Interlake server hit the ball into the net, giving the Wildcats the victory. (On rally scoring, points are scored by the opponent when the service team makes a mistake.)
The keys to victory according to Foote, were serving and passing.
"Tough serving and passing wins games," the coach said.
Hill thought the team could have done even better.
"Well, I don't think it was our best overall game. I think we could have done better but we just needed it, so I think we did [an] overall good job. [We were] together as a team," Hill said.
Kayla Jayne was the Wildcats' libero for the game, and she loves the role.
"It's a rush. You just keep on going in and out and it's fun to be able to go in and out of the game and just constantly be playing and it's a big responsibility," said Jayne, who supports the new rule. "It's a lot of fun. I think it's a good thing that they put it in the high schools."
The Wildcats played Saturday at Kentlake, and were scheduled to play twice this week: Tuesday, on the road at Liberty and Thursday at home in round one of the volleyball Valley Cup against Cedarcrest, who gave the Wildcats fits last season. The Red Wolves eliminated Mount Si in the Kingco tournament in a three-set barn burner at Newport High School to end Mount Si's 2002 campaign.