Mount Si veteran head coach Bonnie Foote knows her players and a handful of their older sisters well. They’ve formed close ties around the sport of volleyball and Foote speaks from the heart about her squad this season.
“These girls mean a lot to me and I’d love to see them get as far as they can, but it’s gonna be hard. There are no easy matches from here on out,” said the 19-year Wildcat coach, adding that they’d like to improve and have fun each time on the court.
The Wildcats gutted it out in a 3-2 loss to Bothell on Oct. 30 to grip sixth place at the 4A KingCo tournament and they continued to reside on the court at the Wes-King district tourney that began on Saturday. The Wildcats beat Redmond, 3-1, for their lone win at the KingCo tourney.
Mount Si (8-12 overall) beat Jackson, 3-2, on Saturday at districts and lost to Issaquah, 3-0. The Wildcats will play a loser-out match at 5 p.m. Tuesday against Woodinville at Bothell High.
Making districts was their initial goal and now they have their sights set on qualifying for state.
“That’s a high, lofty goal for this team, but it’s an awesome opportunity for them to step up, to get better in practice and go for it,” Foote said.
Mount Si players amassed some stellar stats against Bothell, including Dana Dolan’s 44 assists and 20 digs, Bailey Showalter’s 14 kills and 29 digs, Bellah Gogan’s 18 kills and 18 digs and Kami Smith’s 16 digs. Smith and Gogan (6-foot-1) are two of the team’s six seniors, Dolan is a junior and Showalter (6-foot-1) is a freshman.
“I think we have a really good chemistry and we all wanna play for each other to make each other better, and we all wanna win,” said Gogan, adding that the Wildcats dug down deep to rebound from an 0-2 deficit against Bothell to tie the score. “(We’re focused on) making it the best season it could be because we have a lot of seniors leaving this year.”
Foote was proud of the way her girls rallied to get back in the Bothell match. The Wildcats also dealt with a broken-down bus on the way to Bothell, but the coach made no excuses. They fought through it, on and off the court.
“We’re really working hard in practice on being consistent and playing a full match of consistent volleyball. It’s hard to do, ‘cause it’s a long road and you gotta play just one point at a time,” she said.
On the all-league front, Showalter is a second-teamer, and Dolan and Breana Fitzgerald are honorable mentions.