It looked like the Mount Si volleyball team (10-3) was on the verge of a crucial league victory over the Issaquah Eagles (10-1), holding a 2-1 lead and a 22-15 advantage in the fourth set. The Eagles rallied to win the set and secured the victory by taking the deciding fifth set on Oct. 16 at Mount Si High School.
After the Eagles won the first set, 25-17, the Wildcats took the second and third sets (25-21, 25-15). The Eagles won the final two sets (30-28, 15-9) to win the match, 3-2.
Wildcats head coach Bonnie Foote said they stopped putting pressure on the Eagles in the fourth set, allowing them to get back into the game.
“It was a hard match,” Foote said. “It was well played by both teams. Issaquah never gave up. I want to see this team compete all the way until the end.”
Foote said they got nervous, something she wants to see improve as they head into the postseason.
“Through the whole match, we served tough, passed really well and we ran our offense,” Foote said. “But we stopped putting pressure on them at the end of the match. We were not mentally tough at the end, and we have to figure that out and work on it. We have a great team and we can go far, but we have to work on getting better.”
Mount Si sophomore Bailey Showalter had a game-high 24 kills and seven aces for the Wildcats. Showalter said it was a tough loss, but it will provide them with plenty of motivation.
“We’re ready to use this and really push ourselves in practice and work to get better,” Showalter said. “That’s some of the best volleyball we’ve played as a team in those middle sets. We pushed hard and we played as a team. We’re disappointed in ourselves about that last set, but we’re ready to use it.”
Foote said her team this year is solid and they have five hard-working seniors, libero Tori Bearbow, middle hitter Emily Dann, setter Dana Dolan, outside hitter Breana Fitzgerald and middle hitter Megan Underbrink. Along with her seniors, Foote said Showalter is a force for the Wildcats.
“(Showalter) makes a lot of things happen,” Foote said. “All of them are great in my opinion. I think every single kid on this team has an important role and we need everyone doing their jobs.”
Showalter said they will try to build off their performance in the second and third sets.
“Issaquah is a great team and we were working hard,” Showalter said. “We’re going to try and use the fuel we had in those middle sets and really push that. We’re ready to get back to work in the gym.”
The loss was disappointing, but Foote said they are focused on finishing strong and learning from their mistakes.
“It’s one match, it’s not the whole season,” Foote said. “If we can improve and get better, then we learned something.”