It’s a big night of playoff volleyball. Cedarcrest looks to keep its season alive while Mount Si aims for its first league title as a 4A school. Previews and picks right here right now!!

Good Tuesday morning. Previews and picks aplenty this morning. We start with volleyball and it’s a playoff double-header tonight as both Cedarcrest and Mount Si compete in postseason action.

Northwest 2A District First Round: Cedarcrest Red Wolves @ Sammamish Totems, Sammamish HS, Bellevue, 7:00 (loser out) – The Red Wolves and Totems meet in a first-round matchup tonight that on paper looks one sided in favor of the home side. Sammamish comes in as the fifth seed in this tournament with an 8-7 overall record while the Red Wolves struggled yet again this fall in Wesco, winning only two matches, enough to make it into these playoffs. The team however did compete quite a bit and made matches close, so they have that going for them tonight against a Sammy squad that has a big group of seniors and aspirations about making it to state.

Seniors Katelyn Nagel, Sierra Hopper and Ezabelle Alvarez are your players to watch tonight for the Totems. As for CHS, they were swept in three sets by Archbishop Murphy in their regular season finale at home last Thursday, and being swept was sadly a theme this year for the Red Wolves, with 10 of their losses being in such fashion. Players to watch for Cedarcrest incluse McKenna Cato, fresh off a 17-assist, seven dig, two ace, three kill effort against Murphy; Caroline Tiffany, who had 25 digs in that match, and Anika Baumann, who had eight kills, two aces and two blocks also against ATM.

It is hoped by us that Nielsen, who has an out-of-season background in club coaching, will encourage her younger players to try out and get onto club programs this winter, and perhaps also lend a hand to the local Valley View organization in a consulting capacity perhaps to help strengthen that club. Things like this will help this CHS program grow in the coming years, and this season saw the beginnings of that growth. We expect it to end tonight, but the real work will now begin. Sammamish in four

Kingco 4A Title Game: Mount Si Wildcats vs. North Creek Jaguars, Skyline HS, Sammamish, 7:30 – Wow. That’s all we can say. The Wildcats compete in their first ever league title game as a 4A school tonight, and it’s against a team they got one of their signature wins of the regular season from – North Creek.

September 18 was when these two teams met – at Mount Si, and it was a tight one early, but the Wildcats responded to a late NC challenge and won the thing in four, 27-25, 25-23, 17-25, 25-21. In that game, the players to watch tonight were the ones who delivered. We’ll start with sophomore Bailey Showalter. She had 16 kills and 15 digs in the first meeting against the Snohomish County team, along with three assists and four aces. Showalter’s going to be someone North Creek’s going to pay a ton of attention too and also test a bit on the side. How Mount Si’s young star responds will speak volumes.

Senior Dana Dolan had 20 assists, 12 digs, three aces and two kills against the Jags, and is coming in off a 43-assist, 14-dig effort along with five aces against the Eagles this past weekend. We’re going to suggest to the folks down at UNLV now to get themselves some film of Dolan. She wants to attend school down there and you Rebels can use her as your setter, and she can potentially be an asset to your program.

Senior Breana Fitzgerald had 16 kills and 19 digs in the win over Issy last Saturday and had a solid 10-kill, 15-dig performance against North Creek. Again, she is a wild card in this one and is a nice secondary piece for this Mount Si team. And we’ll also talk about junior Kaili Tachell as well. 12 digs against the Jaguars and she had a kill and 16 digs against the Eagles this past weekend. We thought going into this tournament the depth pieces really weren’t there for Mount Si, but in this case we were way wrong. If Tachell steps up tonight and helps the defensive effort, that’s going to be a huge bonus for the Wildcats.

North Creek is a strong team and well-coached, with ex-Redmond coach Richard Abiador leading the Jaguars. Seniors Allison Wilks and Jenna Howard lead North Creek, with junior Emmi Foltz also expected to make significant contributions this evening. They do have a win over Issy, so that’s a nice plus in their schedule.

This is a matchup, though, that to us has for Mount Si a lot of parallels to last Saturday’s match, except switch the roles around. Where the Wildcats were looking to prove something to itself and to their fans in the match last weekend, it’s North Creek tonight who will look to do that against Mount Si after falling to the Wildcats in close fashion earlier this season. So the challenge for Mount Si is to be able to respond effectively to that pressure the Jags will apply. How do you do that? Simple. Tough serving and effective defense. And you have good players ready to do that for you. You know their names, we mentioned them already. If those players step up, and Mount Si gets out of the gate well controlling the pace and flow of things, this will be a special night for a special group of girls in what is becoming a truly special season for this program. Mount Si in five

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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