Wildcat volleyball outlasts Totems squad

The Mount Si Wildcat girls' volleyball team went to Sammamish Oct. 17 for their final league match of the regular season. It was Sammamish's final home match of the year and it gave the Totem team a chance to honor their lone senior, Katie Fickel. However, aggressive serving and big plays from one budding star Wildcat sophomore ruined the Totems' night.

Mount Si swept Sammamish in three games, 25-16, 25-19 and 25-6, as the Wildcats finished with a 5-3 league mark. Sophomore Miranda Pratt led the way with nine kills, six aces and three digs. "Miranda served really well tonight. I thought we all served well," Mount Si coach Bonnie Foote said.

Game one was a tough one, but the Wildcats pulled it out. A string of three straight service aces by Sine Schirmer propelled Mount Si to a 7-1 lead. Sammamish quickly found its way back into the game, however, and gave the Wildcats a battle, something Mount Si has seen often over the past few years. The Totems have been historically a dangerous opponent for the Wildcats. Last year alone, the Totems defeated Mount Si in the first athletic event in Mount Si High's new gym and took the Wildcats to five games in a thrilling Kingco tournament fifth-place match before Mount Si won in that fifth game 16-14.

The Wildcats maintained their advantage in game one, but the Totems continued to fight back. However, the play of Pratt, Danielle Rehm and Alisha Larion up front was too much in the end for Sammamish. A Larion service ace closed out the first game.

Sammamish broke out to a 7-3 lead to open game two, and it clearly looked as if Mount Si was in for another tough match with the Totems. However, Pratt came up to serve and she was tough. The sophomore ran off a string of five straight service aces, part of a 9-0 run, to vault Mount Si into the game two lead.

Sammamish once again made a strong effort to fight back, but Pratt, Faith Hutcherson and reserves Amy Ayers and Mackenize Peerboom led the way to another game victory for the Wildcats. A Mount Si kill on the third game point with the Totems on serve locked up the second game.

Pratt praised her team. "I think Amy Ayers did a wonderful job and I think all the other players did really good, too. I think that they wanted to play and they came out strong," Pratt said.

More great serving by Schirmer and Rachel Brun, as well, propelled the Wildcats into a large third game lead that would not be relinquished. Two straight Larion aces closed out game three and the match.

The serving was a big story for Mount Si. Larion and Schirmer each finished with four aces, Rehm had five and Hutcherson added one more.

Foote praised the Totems. "Sammamish played hard. They worked hard, they played hard, they had nothing to lose," Foote said.

Hutcherson will remember Sammamish's senior leader, Fickel, very fondly. "I just remember she was always playing hard. She always had a lot of heart whenever she was on the court," the Wildcats' senior leader said.

Mount Si was off last Thursday, Oct. 19, and hosted Newport in a nonleague tune up Monday.

Kingco tournament preview

The Wildcats, Newport, Mercer Island, Skyline and Issaquah look to be the big guns this weekend at the Kingco tournament at Mount Si High School. Five teams will advance to next weekend's Sea-King district tournament, also being held at Mount Si. Games begin at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, and will continue Saturday. Admission is $6.

Look for Larion, Hutcherson and Pratt to lead the charge for the Wildcats, and with the home court advantage, anything can happen. However, top players such as Issaquah's Casi Schwisow, Skyline's Bizzy Williams and Mercer Island's Janelle Chow look to be ones to watch, as well.

With the top teams all being at the top of their games, matches should be competitive all weekend.

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