Wildcats continue their winning ways

The Mount Si volleyball team continued its strong start last Monday, Sept. 18, as they swept the Ballard Beavers in three games, 25-21, 25-21 and 25-19. The win, however, was not easy.

"They kind of played pretty tough up until about 22, 23 points, then kind of got a little bit out of system and made it a little tighter than maybe it needed to be," said Wildcat interim coach Dave Bachman, who recorded his first Mount Si varsity coaching victory with the win. Bachman is filling in for Wildcat head coach Bonnie Foote, who was on maternity leave.

Strong serving was the story of the first game. It was a close frame to start, with several lead changes, until a pair of aces by junior Danielle Rehm gave Mount Si the cushion they would need to close out the game. A Wildcat kill on the second game point, with Ballard on serve, took care of things. Rehm finished with four aces on the night.

Another pair of aces on serve, this time by senior Faith Hutcherson, helped Mount Si build a strong lead in the second game. The Beavers rallied late, but it was not enough. An ace on serve by sophomore Miranda Pratt sealed the frame for the Wildcats.

Mount Si continued its strong play in the third game once again building a nice lead, this time with strong athletic play from everyone on the floor. Ballard made a game of it late again, but the Wildcats fought off the challenge and secured the match victory when the Beavers hit the ball out of bounds on a kill attempt.

Hutcherson recorded 30 assists in addition to three service aces, while junior Alisha Larion tallied 15 kills to lead the Wildcats.

Pratt was pleased with her, and the team's, play. "I just tried the best that I could do and I think the whole team did, basically. We gave everything we could and we left it all on the court," Pratt said.

On Thursday, Sept. 21, the Wildcats opened the league schedule sweeping Liberty 25-23, 25-23 and 25-11. Hutcherson had 30 assists and six service aces to lead the Wildcats. On hand was coach Bonnie Foote, with her new baby girl in tow. She, however, watched the game from the stands.

Although the score indicates that the Patriots were a dangerous team in those first two games, Liberty coach Ami Williams wasn't so sure. "I don't think we played to our potential, even in those first two games. Mount Si had a lot of errors and gave us a lot of opportunities we didn't take advantage of and I think we should've really pounded those first two games and we didn't," Williams said.

Williams may have been right in her assessment. In the first game, Liberty held the lead for much of it, going as late as 22-20 before the Wildcats rallied and took the game. Pratt's kill sealed the first stanza. Liberty again had another late lead in game two, but the Wildcats responded, despite the Patriots' best efforts. Pratt again delivered a kill to close out the second game. She finished the contest with 15 kills.

The Wildcats turned it up in the third game. Strong serving from Rachel Brun and three Larion kills propelled Mount Si to a 9-0 lead that they would not relinquish. Larion's kill off a huge dig by Hutcherson closed out the match. She finished with 13 kills on the day. Brun was pleased with her efforts in that sequence. "Well, I think it just got our momentum going," Brun said.

The team made the adjustment to Bachman. "He's different from Bonnie [Foote], but he's just as good as any other coach there. He compliments us very well," Pratt said. However, that adjustment was to be short-lived; Foote e-mailed the Valley Record last Thursday and informed the paper that she plans to be back on the bench coaching this week, only days after having her new baby.

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