Wildcat volleyball sweeps week

SNOQUALMIE - The Mount Si Wildcats girls volleyball team continues to improve with every game, showing their skills last Wednesday against the Interlake Saints.

Mount Si swept a resilient Saints team in three games with scores of 25-19, 25-19 and 25-13. The Wildcats also picked up their first home win of the year to go 3-1 in league. Their other two wins have been on the road (at Bellevue and last Monday at Liberty). Senior Erin Caldwell liked the overall ease of the victory.

"Well, I thought it was a pretty laid-back game. We just got the job done, but it wasn't too intense, and it wasn't too down, which was good," said Caldwell.

Game one was all Mount Si as the Wildcats maintained the lead throughout the frame. The game wasn't a slam dunk though as the Saints hung tough late, fighting off six game points before a Wildcat kill sealed it. Interlake took the lead early in game two and tried to make things interesting, but with Mount Si up 14-13, and senior Alicia Elmore on serve, the Wildcats went on an 8-0 run to put game two out of reach. Again, the Saints tried to mount a late challenge, fighting off three more game points before a kill by Mount Si freshman Miranda Pratt ended the rally.

Mount Si made easy work of the Saints in game three. Of Interlake's 13 points in that game, 12 came courtesy of sideouts (points scored on changes of possession). Pratt was pleased with her team's effort.

"I think everyone pitched in the best that they could. Some people had a good night, some people had an OK night, but I think we all did really good," Pratt said.

For the Wildcats to beat the likes of upcoming opponents Issaquah, Newport and Mercer Island, Mount Si will need to close the deal a lot sooner, according to Wildcats coach Bonnie Foote. Foote said the problem of closing games in a timely fashion has to do with match ups and chemistry, but she's still confident in her team.

"I think that a lot of times when you get lineups changing and you get things kind of going in different directions, that's going to happen, and you get different chemistry out there," Foote said. "I don't think there was ever a doubt. I think there was always a confidence that we were going to win that [particular] game."

Sophomore Wesley Eand knows what she plans to do to help her team finish games more quickly.

"I hope to go for every ball and dig it, and help the team out by not letting them down," Eand said.

Foote offered praise to her underclassmen.

"I'm really impressed with our underclassmen right now. I think that they're stepping in and doing an incredible job for us," Foote said.

One underclassman in particular is drawing special praise. Ayana Hara, an exchange student from Japan competing this year for Mount Si as a junior, showed excellent communication skills with her teammates at various points in the contest, and recorded some assists as a result.

"I think [Hara] is going to add a ton to our court. She's played the game, she's got ball control, she can set, she can pass, she's going to push them a lot," said Foote.

Mount Si takes care of Liberty

In the game against Liberty, Mount Si did well to start, then had to work hard to finish. The Wildcats won the match in four games, 25-7, 25-23, 25-27 and 25-12.

The Wildcats now are in the midst of a tough portion of their schedule. After having played at Issaquah Monday against a very good Eagles team, Mount Si hosts Newport on Wednesday. The Knights are 1-3 in Kingco 3A coming into this week's play but they have always been one of the elite teams in the conference, and boast a senior-laden roster this season led by Anna James. First serve is at 6:45 p.m.

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