The Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal’s volleyball report for the week of February 23, with a wrap on the Presidents’ Day weekend tournaments……

It’s time to provide our weekly look once again at local club volleyball, and how Valley teams and players are faring. We do that this week by wrapping up a huge weekend of regional play for many of the squads.

The Presidents’ Day weekend was, as we’ve been reporting here for you all weekend long, a big one for area girls’ club volleyball teams, as the teams – and their Valley high school players – competed against regional, and national competition, at three separate tournaments around the western United States.

We start locally, where many of the teams competed this past weekend at the Northwest Junior’s President’s Day weekend tournament, hosted by the Bellevue-based club at locations around the Puget Sound region.

Yesterday’s final day of play was very successful for the KJ 15’s. The Kent team, with Mount Si High School’s Victoria BearBow, rolled through their playoff bracket and won it to take 13th overall in the U16 “Open” age division (the team played older-age teams in this event) out of nearly 40 teams entered. Of the U15 teams who played up, KJ’s team finished the best of those teams. KJ finished 6-3 on the weekend and continues to show itself as a strong force within the U15 age group in local play.

It was even more successful for the Northwest Juniors’ 16’s UA Black, featuring Cedarcrest High School’s Taeler Gerde. The team made it into the championship bracket of the U16 “Open” age division, and made it to the semifinals, falling there to a Seattle team and finishing in a tie for third overall in the age group with a 7-3 record.

Meanwhile, in other U16 “Open” action, the NWJ’s 16’s UA Blue, with MSHS’ Kamryn Smith and Annaliese Jensen, finished 25th; they fell in their lone playoff match yesterday to a team from Mercer Island’s Island Thunder. NWJ finished in a tie for that 25th place position with fellow Bellevue-based team Sudden Impact Tornado; this team, with Wildcat Sara Kaitlyn Mitchell, fell in its lone playoff match yesterday to a Portland-area team and finished the weekend 3-4.

In the U15 age group, NWJ’s 15’s Baden Black, with Cedarcrest’s Sharemi Ojeda, finished 30th with a 2-6 record; they split playoff matches yesterday with teams from Woodinville and Spokane. Northwest’s 15’s UA Grey won their playoff bracket, and took 25th; the team, with fellow Red Wolve Selah Kuiken, finished 4-4 on the weekend. And taking 21st was NWJ’s 15’s UA White, with CHS’ Hannah Winston. They finished 4-3 on the weekend after falling in their lone playoff match to a team from eastern Washington.

The U14’s saw a solid finish for Snoqualmie’s RidgeValley, as they finished 19th in that age group’s “Club” tournament after splitting playoff matches against teams from Pierce County and Portland. RVVB finished the weekend 5-3. U16 and U14 teams were split into “Open” and “Club” divisions in their age groups in this tournament, with the “Open” level being the higher level of play.

Meanwhile, at two tournaments elsewhere, it was a mixed bag. All four area teams with Mount Si High School players finished well back of the top teams in their age groups at the Triple Crown tournament in Salt Lake City.

Sudden Impact’s 16’s Thunder finished 39th in the U16 division with a 3-4 record; the Bellevue team, with Mount Si’s Harper Click, fell in its lone playoff match to a team from Colorado. In the U17 age group, KJ’s 17’s, with Wildcat Lillian Bachand, finished 37th after winning two playoff matches against California teams. KJ finished 5-2. Sudden Impact’s Storm also won both of their playoff games, and the team, with ex-Mount Si’er Patience O’Neal, finished 4-3 on the weekend after the two wins, which came against teams from Portland and San Antonio.

The U18 division saw the Sudden Impact 18’s Storm finish 1-6 and in a tie for last place – 47th – in their age group; they fell in their lone playoff match yesterday. This team features Wildcat senior Courteney Carr.

And in Las Vegas, the results were mixed for Island Thunder and their two teams with locals. The 16’s, with MSHS’ Bellah Gogan and Karlie Stewart, finished 37th out of 119 teams in their age group’s “Open” division after splitting a pair of playoff matches yesterday at the Las Vegas Classic. Both contests were against teams from southern California. The squad finished 3-5 on the weekend. As for their 18’s, with Wildcat Emma Anderson, they finished 89th out of 109 teams in the age group’s “Open” division with a 2-5 weekend mark; they fell in their lone playoff match to an Arizona team.

We neglected, by the way, to mention all weekend – and we apologize to them for that – that the KJ 16’s were also down there in Vegas, and they, too, had a solid finish – 41st in the U16 “Club” division. This team features Mount Si’s Hayley West and they finished with a strong 5-2 record after solid days both Saturday and Sunday facing teams from Colorado, Louisiana, Texas, California, Nevada and Arizona in the event.

Looking ahead
It’s a light weekend this coming weekend, with the one big tournament of note being the regional bid tournament for U18 teams, so both the Island Thunder and Sudden Impact U18 squads, with their previously mentioned Mount Si representation (Anderson and Carr, respectively), are expected to compete in the event, which has, for the winner, a berth to this summer’s USA Volleyball club national tournament. This tournament is the first of several of these so-called “national qualifiers” that will be coming up on the schedule for local teams; the big one of these happens at the end of March over in Spokane, but teams will also be competing in qualifying tournaments over the next several weeks in Denver, Las Vegas, Kansas City and Reno.

We’ll have another look at local volleyball next week as we take a look at the upcoming local Power League action.

Rhett Workman

About Rhett Workman

Rhett Workman is the editor of the Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal. Workman is a veteran sports journalist, having covered Snoqualmie Valley sports for nearly a decade with the Snoqualmie Valley Record newspaper before starting up the SVSJ. Workman's coverage has earned the support and respect of Valley coaches, players, parents and fans, and the SVSJ continues the standard of coverage that Workman brought to the Valley Record.
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