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Mount Si volleyball evolving into contender
For the Mount Si volleyball team, the last 10 days have been all about growth and improvement.
Varsity play has been solid, but the team’s heart and character have seen the most changes.
The Wildcats enjoyed a character-building win on Thursday night, Sept. 17, as they overcame a disappointing finish in the third frame and rallied to stun the Issaquah Eagles.
“It was a very big victory,” said Mount Si coach Bonnie Foote. “It wasn’t about one person turning on the heat, it was overall a team effort.”
Zoe Gogan led the way with 22 kills and 11 digs as the Wildcats posted the five-game victory 20-25, 27-25, 25-27, 25-15, 15-11. She also had three aces and one-and-a-half blocks.
“At the end, we really worked as a team,” Gogan said. “It really is starting to click.”
Mount Si opened proceedings by maintaining the advantage for much of the first stanza, before Issaquah took over late and finished things off. An ace by Maddy Emerson sealed the first frame for the Eagles.
Issaquah broke out to a 4-0 lead to open the second stanza, but the Wildcats rallied to make the rest of the frame close. The Eagles built a late lead again, and had three shots to close it out, but Mount Si’s defense fended those challenges off to tie the game at 24-24. Two Shelagh Macaulay kills then helped to slam the door shut on the second frame for Mount Si.
The end of game three was the turning point. After another close frame, the Wildcats were up 24-19, and had five chances to lock it up and take command in the match. Issaquah fought it off and tied things at 24-24. The Eagles ultimately closed the door on the middle frame and the Wildcats could have just decided to pack it in after what was a devastating defeat. But they did not quit.
Mount Si blasted out to a 9-1 lead in game four, and fended off a good
Eagle challenge to take the frame and force a fifth and deciding set. Gogan’s efforts were key throughout the stanza.
After a slow start, the Wildcats were able to take control for good at 5-4 in the final frame on an Aubrey Larion ace. Gogan continued to be money in the clutch for the Wildcats down the stretch, and on the third Mount Si match point, Macaulay called it a night with a kill. The senior had eight kills and 14 digs.
Senior Anna Moetului said the comeback was all about teammates supporting one another.
“We all held each other up,” she said. “We said, ‘shake it off’, and we were each other’s support on our weaknesses…we just came out and finished it.”
Larion added three kills and 11 digs to the effort to pace Mount Si.
Foote thinks this team could change the program for good.
“This team is changing (the) dynamics of Mount Si volleyball,” she said. “It’s one of the best teams that I’ve ever had here as a coach in the last ten years — and I’ve had some good teams.”
In other action last week, Mount Si made quick work of Liberty last Tuesday, Sept. 15, in three games, 25-10, 25-19 and 25-9.