Volley squad lands high seed in Kingco High marks for Wildcat spikers

Mount Si’s Bethany Frieler digs the ball during the Wildcats’ league championship volleyball game against Mercer Island last Friday, Nov. 7, at Sammamish High School. - Mark Lowry / Reporter Newspapers
Mount Si’s Bethany Frieler digs the ball during the Wildcats’ league championship volleyball game against Mercer Island last Friday, Nov. 7, at Sammamish High School.
— image credit: Mark Lowry / Reporter Newspapers

The Mount Si volleyball team fared well at last week’s Kingco 3A tournament at Sammamish High School. The Wildcats grabbed a high seed, but now have to get past the first round at districts in order to have a chance to go to state.

Mount Si opened with a victory over Juanita last Friday, Nov. 7, but the way they won could mean a lot down the road. The Wildcats played solid throughout in a 25-13, 25-16, 25-16 decision.

“They played confident tonight,” said Mount Si coach Bonnie Foote. “They kept the ball off the net; they didn’t dig it over. We covered our hitters when we got blocks and we put it back in, and we kept the pressure on them all night long. I think that’s good.

“They worked on a lot of things in practice this week and it transferred over tonight,” the coach added.

The Wildcats used their defense to seize control in game one. There were no fewer than six points in the frame where spectacular defensive plays by the Wildcats helped them score. Among the players who made great plays was senior Cortney Tubbs, who said strong preparation in practice was key.

“We’ve been playing a lot of game-like situations lately, and it’s just a whole bunch of repetition,” Tubbs said.

“We really work on conversion and converting our digs,” Foote added. “When we get a dig, [we’re] going up and putting it away, and we did that all night.”

A kill by Miranda Pratt slammed the door shut on the stanza.

Where it was defense in game one, the second and third games found the Rebels providing more of a challenge. Mount Si had to find another way to win both of those frames, and they did.

Game two saw Juanita take early control, behind Ashley Snedeker and Jazzmin Garcia’s strong play. The Wildcats stayed close, then made their move late, taking the lead at 16-15 and setting up a similar situation to one which presented itself quite regularly in the match the two teams played at Juanita on Sept. 29. One of the key reasons Mount Si fell to the Rebels that night was their inability to finish off the opponent when they had a chance to do so.

Fast forward to last Friday, and things were much different. The reason: Shelagh Macaulay. The junior, who was out with a broken arm for the Sept. 29 match but has since returned, got on serve soon after the Wildcats took the lead and promptly pocketed a pair of aces.

“It just feels good to be back,” Macaulay said. “I was really upset I was out [during] the season. It’s just good to come back and not be totally behind with everybody and still be able to help the team.”

Robyn Schirmer and Mackenzie Peerboom also stepped up and got key kills in the late run. Peerboom finished off the frame with a kill.

Game three saw Juanita open up again with the lead, but the Wildcats took the lead early on in this stanza. However, the Rebels kept coming back on Mount Si, despite the best efforts of Pratt, Peerboom, Macaulay, Aubrey Larion, and others. The Wildcats were finally able to wrestle the advantage away for good using several Juanita hitting errors and a Zoe Gogan kill, which set up match point. With Amanda Beekman, one of several junior varsity callups on varsity for the postseason, on serve at 24-16 Mount Si, the Rebels hit the ball out of bounds, taking care of things in about an hour.

The Wildcats advanced to face Mercer Island in the league title game, but the Islanders were too much in the end, as they beat Mount Si 25-11, 22-25, 25-23, 25-20.

Mount Si, the Kingco No. 2 seed, will play a loser-out game in the first round of the SeaKing District Tournament at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, at West Seattle High School.

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