From volleyball and soccer….

Good Thursday morning. We’ve got some soccer and volleyball to talk about this morning. Cedarcrest and the colleges, all on the women’s side.

Red Wolves win: A solid night from several players paced Cedarcrest High School’s volleyball team to a sweep of Granite Falls last night at home in Duvall in a Cascade Conference matchup. Scores were 25-10, 25-21, 25-11.

Annabella LaBate had 34 assists, four blocks and an assist to lead the Red Wolves, while Sydney Lisk added 14 digs and three blocks. Alyssa Birum had 13 kills, two blocks and 11 digs to pace CHS, while Taeler Rains added 38 digs in a strong defensive effort. Valerie Koch added 12 kills and 9 blocks to pace things as well for the Red Wolves, who right now are on the outside looking in in the postseason standings.

CHS is 4-9 in league and in third overall among Cascade 2A teams, two games back of Lakewood (6-7) for that second place spot, after last night’s win, which followed a four-set loss Monday to South Whidbey. There is just one game left in the season, and as things stand currently, the third-place 2A Cascade team will not make it to postseason, so it looks very likely the Red Wolves’ season will end with their next contest, against Archbishop Murphy next week.

Whatcom swept on road: Whatcom Community College’s volleyball team was swept on the road at Bellevue College last night, 25-12, 25-18, 25-12, in Bellevue. Freshman Hanna Halverson, she a 2014 CHS grad from Duvall, played in front of the friends and family last night and had a solid effort for Whatcom, with 19 assists, two aces and two digs. Whatcom dropped to 1-6 in league, 8-23 overall with the loss.

Red Wolves win to set up huge game Saturday: Off a 3-0 win Monday over South Whidbey, the Cedarcrest High School girls’ soccer team got it done again last night, beating Granite Falls. More on last night’s win in the Everett Herald.

The victory put Cedarcrest at 9-3-1 in league, right behind Archbishop Murphy, at 9-2-2, for the top overall spot in 2A in the Cascade Conference, setting up a huge game between the two sides Saturday at 1:00 at Cedarcrest High School in Duvall that will decide that top seed into the district playoffs. Both teams will be advancing to the postseason, but the loser of Saturday’s game likely will open their playoff run on the road.

The seedings have yet to be announced, but are dependent on Wesco 2A Shorecrest’s season finish; they currently lead their conference in the standings, so it is likely the Cascade #2 will seed low in the district seedings and end up with a road playoff opener.

Redlands rolls to win in college action: The University of Redlands’ women’s soccer team routed visiting Whittier last night 5-1 in a conference matchup in Redlands, CA, with Mount Si grad Hailey Kuykendall seeing action for the home side. The freshman, from North Bend, played 20 minutes off the bench on defense, with no stats of note, for Redlands. Kuykendall walked the graduation aisle at MSHS back in June.

Tough loss for St. Peter’s as college season winds down: The St. Peter’s (NJ) University women fell at home in overtime to Rider 2-1 in Jersey City, NJ, as the host Peacocks couldn’t hold a 1-0 halftime lead. Freshman Lauren Solene, she of Fall City and also a 2014 Mount Si HS alum, made eight saves in goal for StP, but allowed both goals, including the overtime winner for the visitors in the 91st minute. Her record dropped to 1-14 on the season in goal for the Peacocks.

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Wildcat girls’ soccer falls for first time in league play, but team still in good shape for postseason

One second-half goal was all it took for the top team in Kingco, the Issaquah Eagles, to outlast a very strong effort from Mount Si High School’s girls’ soccer team, as the Eagles held on for a 1-0 win last night at Mount Si High School in Snoqualmie.

The goal came minutes into the second half from the Eagles, as they handed the Wildcats their first league loss of the season. Still, coach Darren Brown was pleased. “Well fought match,” he said in comments emailed to the SVSJ. “We fell short but cannot deny our effort tonight. Time to prepare for Eastlake (tomorrow). We control our destiny.” And he is right – Mount Si, as we have noted previously, is locked into one of the top three spots going into the playoffs, and could still make it to a tie for second place were Issaquah to beat Skyline, also tomorrow.

The match starts at 7:30 p.m. up at Eastlake High School in Sammamish.

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Mount Si’s senior volleyball players close out home careers with a strong effort in sweep of Redmond

Senior Night last night for Mount Si High School’s volleyball program featured a little emotion in the pregame ceremonies, as the team’s five seniors – players Sarah Brevick, Anna McCreadie, Jenn Rogers and Liz Larson along with student manager Dominique Knoppi – were recognized for their years of service to the Wildcat program, then, after that, Mount Si used that emotion to fuel a very satisfying win that may have helped start to right a ship that had stumbled somewhat with two losses last week.

The Wildcats this season have not seen much in the way of three-set sweep victories, but last night’s match against Redmond proved to be one, as Mount Si took care of business, 25-23, 25-18, 25-20.

“I’m very excited that we finally got a win in three. More excited that we got to celebrate our five seniors,” said an elated Wildcat coach Bonnie Foote, who added, “I was just pleased with our overall intensity level. I felt like the girls came prepared; we didn’t have too many ebbs and flows in the match. I thought we were pretty even keel, pretty consistent which was nice to see.”

The Mustangs to open the match didn’t make things easy for scarlet and gray, breaking out to a small lead that they were able to maintain as both clubs frequently changed possession during the early portion of the first frame. Brevick, though, came up to serve midway through the frame, and strong play by the Mount Si offense – and a key ace on serve – helped propel the Wildcats in front 12-11, and it was a lead the Wildcats would not relinquish despite Redmond’s best efforts; solid play from top outside hitters such as Audrey Hyem and Elise Petit helped keep the Mustangs close. But a Larson kill on the second Mount Si game point with Redmond on serve sealed things up, and the Wildcats were in business heading to set two.

Larson was pleased with how well her team translated a strong Monday practice into last night’s match. “It was really great coming back after two losses last week and competing so well, because we worked really hard on a lot of things at practice (Monday) and I think we all applied what we worked on (in practice)in the game tonight,” she said.

Hyem opened set two with an ace for the Mustangs, and once again, Redmond proved to be a tough customer early in this frame, just as they were early in the opening set. But another Larson kill put Mount Si in front 8-7 midway through the stanza, and the Wildcats got good play from players such as Brevick, Scout Turner and Tati Utley to help maintain that advantage. Both McCreadie’s, Anna and Katie, with a large family contingent in attendance, had key kills down the stretch, and a Larson ace locked up the second set for the Wildcats on the first game point.

Just as she finished the second set, Larson opened the third set with another ace, and Mount Si was off to the races. But Hyem then popped back-to-back aces and Redmond was out in front, once again proving to be a difficult team early on in a frame. Then Anna McCreadie decided to change things up. Late in the second set, she went from her standard serve back to a so-called “jump serve”, a serve which, as we have told you, has met with mixed results for the Santa Clara-bound star. Well, in last night’s game, the “jump serve” proved to be on target, as she reeled off eight out of nine of those with success during her service sequences in the second and third sets, including a stretch of 5-6 at one point midway through the third frame, with four aces as part of that.

Mount Si used it to take control of the third set, and McCreadie closed things out with back-to-back aces to give the Wildcats a much-needed confidence boost, that, combined with the return of Utley to the lineup (hamstring) and soon-to-be return of junior Haley Holmberg, out all year with injuries but who was in uniform last night and did not play, could see Mount Si mount a late-season push for postseason. Rogers hopes fans are excited about what lies ahead. “They can expect a really tough team,” she said. “We are going to be a very competitive team. I think we all work really well together.”

McCreadie finished with 15 kills, six aces, three digs and two blocks to lead Mount Si, while Courteney Carr added 19 assists, five digs and an ace to pace things, and Rogers finished with 15 digs and an assist to aid the Wildcats. Larson closed out her home career at Mount Si with a solid six kills, eight digs, three aces and 2 ½ blocks.

Brevick was very happy with how things went. “It just felt good. We’ve been working really hard in practice and just building up to this and focusing on us, so it felt good to come out there and prove what we can do,” she said.

McCreadie had these words of wisdom for future Wildcats. “Work hard. Commitment can’t be compartmentalized,” she said. “You can’t give 100% in just one area of your life, it has to be everything. Otherwise you won’t find success and you won’t find joy and satisfaction in what you’ve accomplished.”

Larson, like McCreadie, hopes to be playing collegiately next fall; she told the SVSJ she is scheduled to take a college visit this weekend, to the University of Redlands in California, one of among a few schools, mostly in southern California, she is currently looking at. She also had some advice for future Mount Si players. “Come out work hard every day in practice. Don’t be afraid to just go for every single ball and let other people think you’re crazy for working so hard because it really does pay off in the end,” she said. Redlands, for those curious, has a MSHS grad playing sports there this fall – women’s soccer freshman Hailey Kuykendall.

Mount Si is at Eastlake tomorrow to start a three-game road swing to close out the regular season. Next week, the Wildcats are at Skyline and at Woodinville. Matches start at 7:00 p.m.

JV falls in tough one: The Mount Si JV started out strong, but ended up on the short end just barely, falling in three to the Mustangs, 16-15, 27-25, 15-13. Drew Butler led the way for the Wildcats with 11 assists, four kills and a block, and Sarah Miller added 17 digs and an ace to the effort. Emily Cole pitched in seven kills, four digs, an ace and a block to pace Mount Si, who also had a solid four kill, eight ace, seven dig performance from Amanda Harkleroad. The Wildcats meet Eastlake tomorrow.

“C” team swept: Mount Si’s “C” team fell 25-18, 25-16, 15-13 to Redmond last night. Riley Ovall had a solid effort to lead the Wildcats, with 10 digs, four aces, a kill and an assist, while Sydney Prins pitched in six aces, five digs and an assist. Hailey Ramsey also added six digs and an ace to the Mount Si cause; the Wildcats meet the Eastlake Wolves at 5:30 tomorrow night leading up to the varsity match at 7:00.

Big night for ex-Wildcat in college volleyball upset
While her younger sister Dominique was being recognized for her work as MSHS volleyball student manager, Missouri Valley College sophomore Gen Knoppi, a 2013 Mount Si grad, was putting on a show last night helping her team score a huge upset win on the road.

MVC took down Evangel, ranked in the top 20 nationally in NAIA volleyball, in five, 25-22, 25-17, 11-25, 11-25, 17-15, on Evangel’s home floor in Springfield, MO, and Knoppi made her mark. She had 16 digs and an assist to aid Missouri Valley, now 18-13 on the season.

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Where do things stand on the playoff trail for both Mount Si and Cedarcrest’s football teams??

We’re going to talk some football this morning. This week is a huge week for both Mount Si and Cedarcrest High Schools as both teams, for the first time in awhile, are talking week 10 playoffs.

We’ll break it down for you this morning and give you the information you need to know as you get ready to cheer on your favorite local high school team this Friday night.

We’ll start with Mount Si.

The Wildcats meet Newport this Friday, and just like last Friday against Issaquah, it is a must-win for Mount Si. Why is that? Well, there’s five teams currently in the hunt for three Kingco 4A week 10 playoff berths. Here’s all the teams, and who they have left:

MOUNT SI (4-3 league): at Newport this Friday, at Liberty next Friday, Oct. 31
NEWPORT (4-2 league): vs. Mount Si this week, at Woodinville next Thursday, Oct. 30
EASTLAKE (4-2 league): vs. Redmond (1-5) this Friday, at Skyline next Friday, Oct. 31
SKYLINE (4-2 league): at Inglemoor (0-6) this Friday, vs. Eastlake next Friday, Oct. 31
WOODINVILLE (3-3 league): at Issaquah (1-5) this Friday, vs. Newport next Thursday, Oct. 30

As you can see, everyone has at least one other team they are playing in the final two weeks that they are jockeying with for these playoff seedings. The scenarios at the moment are numerous and complex, so we’ll spare you those details, and just say that Mount Si has to win this week or their playoff run is over. The Wildcats will not get in with four league losses, but still have a good shot to get in with a 5-3 league mark, even if they end up in a mini-playoff on the way there.

The chief reason Mount Si scored the win last Friday night in our view is how well their running game looked. As coach Charlie Kinnune noted to us in our postgame interview following the victory over the Eagles, “Well, in this game, at this time of year, you have to be able to run the ball,” and that’s exactly what happened. And the efforts of these players not only speak well for their playoff chances now, but for the future as well. Sophomores Cory Cotto and Max Bonda both stepped up on a big stage last Friday night and shined in their own ways, but combined made a huge impact and helped their team get the job done. The two of them, we estimate, ran for around 150 yards or so combined, with Cotto running off that 55-yard burst that opened the game and Bonda scoring that touchdown, his first ever as a varsity player.

Both of those guys will have to once again step up and deliver this week, but it will be on the road in a hostile environment, so it will certainly be a bigger challenge for them. We feel, though, that they are up to the challenge and fans should be excited about what lies ahead for both of these young players.

While their efforts were certainly a good omen, there was also a not so good omen and that was in the turnover category, where Mount Si committed three of those – two interceptions and one fumble – and there were, by our unofficial count as we jotted them down on our notes, at least two or three other instances where the Wildcat offense had difficulty controlling the ball in the wet conditions and fumbled it, only to fortunately recover it themselves. Those things need to be cleaned up this week, so much so, especially with the rain likely in the forecast for Friday, that if there was one thing that we think should be emphasized in practice this week, it is ball handling and ball control in the wet conditions.

Mount Si for the most part got lucky in this area last Friday – that their struggles didn’t end up costing them too much in the way of points – but it did, as you know if you were there, get very close to doing just that late in the game, and the Wildcats likely won’t be nearly as lucky this upcoming week, what with Newport having a better record and doing quite well for themselves this season. So if Mount Si is able to keep turnovers to a minimum, that will be a big plus.

It will be an interesting game this Friday, and one we’ll be talking about more later in the week. Now let’s talk about Cedarcrest.

It has been three years (2011) since the Red Wolves were talking playoffs, but as we noted in our preview last Friday, their big win over Sultan put them into the postseason discussion, and their win last Friday over South Whidbey seems to have strengthened that significantly. Currently, Cedarcrest sits at 3-2 in league play, 4-3 overall, and that’s good for third overall among the 2A schools in the Cascade Conference.

Since the playoff brackets haven’t been officially announced yet, we decided to check out the information the Northwest District has on its website regarding the playoff allotments today, and we can tell you that the conference does in fact have three playoff berths. CHS plays Granite Falls (1-4 league) this Friday, so a win against GF, the fourth-place 2A team currently within the league, would lock up a week 10 playoff berth for the Red Wolves. What’s more, Archbishop Murphy, who at 4-1 is one game ahead of the Red Wolves among 2A teams, plays King’s this Friday night for a potential share of the Cascade crown. Were Murphy to lose that game and Cedarcrest to win theirs, that would set up a huge showdown next Thursday night between the two teams at Cedarcrest High School in Duvall that would determine the seeding situation.

Much of this hinges on Shorecrest, who is as the lone Wesco 2A team given a playoff berth regardless of their finish. At the moment, the Scots are winless on the season, so it looks as if they’ll end up with the eighth seed into the week 10 playoffs. If Shorecrest does end up there, that would likely mean a road game for the #3 Cascade seed in week 10, and a home game for the #2. So, in essence, if CHS wins and gets the help from King’s in their game as well, a lot could be on the line next week depending on how Shorecrest finishes out their season.

The Red Wolves have had a good last couple of weeks, with a lot of offensive balance starting to show up, so the next couple of weeks could be good times for this Cedarcrest crew as they look to make a run towards a possible state playoff berth, which is certainly doable but will be a challenge.

QB Adam Davenport and RB’s Colson Scott, Liam Thomas and Alex Parnell have all made significant noise these past couple of weeks, and all will be looking to aid this Red Wolves surge towards the postseason.

It should be a fun next couple of weeks, and we’ll be sure to keep tabs on it here.

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From the pitch…

Good Tuesday morning. We have a couple of college soccer scores for you this morning.

Men’s Soccer
Redlands 4, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 3 (OT): Claremont-Mudd-Scripps sophomore Alex Censullo, from North Bend, scored a goal to help his team take a 3-1 lead at one point, but host Redlands stormed back with three unanswered goals, including the overtime winner, to steal the victory last night in Redlands, CA. Censullo’s tally came off a feed from teammate Elijah Lichtenberg in the 39th minute and it put the Stags in the lead 2-1 at that point, and he had a total of three shots recorded in his 84 minutes of work. Censullo is a 2013 Mount Si High School grad.

Women’s Soccer
Washington 3, Oregon State 0: The Pac-12 Networks TV audience who saw this contest last night in Seattle – along with the fans who were there in person – saw a mini “Valley Cup” battle as 2012 Cedarcrest grad Gwen Bieck and her Beavers took on 2013 Mount Si grad Miranda Rawlings and her Huskies. Bieck, a junior from Duvall, started on defense and played the full 90, while Rawlings, a sophomore from North Bend, came off the bench and played 29 minutes. Neither player recorded any stats of note in the contest.

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