Volleyball day in the Valley as Mount Si hosts district playoffs on home floor. We preview today’s two-fer right now!!

Good Saturday morning. Soccer, football, and more on tap. First, though, it’s going to be a busy day at Mount Si High School this afternoon as the first two rounds of Wes-King 4A volleyball take place featuring the Wildcats, Mount Vernon and Newport. The Bulldogs and Knights lead it off at 1:00 with the winner advancing to meet Mount Si right afterward at 3:00.

Here’s a look at the 1:00 matchup between Newport and Mount Vernon.

Scouting Newport: The Knights come in at around .500 this fall (9-8 overall, 4-5 league) and earned the Kingco’s sixth seed into the tournament. Mount Si is 2-0 against Knights this season including win in Kingco tournament. Freshman Arden Carnrite leads Newport, averaging we think around 10-15 kills a match. Also watch senior Sydney Holmes and junior Sarah Henricks. Knights have not played a Wesco foe this season, but did play two against GSHL teams, an equally tough league in southwest Washington.

Scouting Mount Vernon: The Bulldogs have had a solid season, currently 12-5 on the season. Senior Grace Pollett and junior Naisa Williams lead the ladies from Skagit County, both averaging around that same 10-15 kill a match range we think Newport’s Carnrite is running at at the moment. Knights did play Mount Si at Kent Classic, more on that shortly. Pollett also among team leaders in digs, so she will be one that could be challenge for both Kingco teams today. Keep an eye as well on senior Lily Zavala and junior Kamryn Horton, both of whom lead in digs and assists respectively this season for the Wesco squad.

Our verdict: Wesco showed last year how challenging a league they were for the Kingco teams to deal with, and with Mount Vernon seemingly having some solid, experienced depth in their corner, we like them to get the job done in the opener. They’ll have traveled a good hour and a half south to get to Mount Si today and the trip at a minimum will pay for itself early with a sweep of the Knights. Mount Vernon in 3

Now that we have told you who we think gets the Wildcats at 3:00, let’s take a look at that matchup, shall we?

KINGCO 4A VOLLEYBALL
WESKING 4A DISTRICT TOURNAMENT – QUARTERFINALS
MOUNT SI WILDCATS VS. MOUNT VERNON BULLDOGS
MOUNT SI HIGH SCHOOL, SNOQUALMIE, 3:00

As we mentioned above, these two teams have met once already – at the Kent Classic tourmament, with Mount Vernon rolling to an easy win over the Wildcats. MSHS coach Bonnie Foote told us, however, this week that she didn’t think that the team’s performance in that match was representative of how she expects to see the girls play today, as they were winding down the tournament at that point and were battling fatigue. With the shoe on the other foot in this one – Mount Si with the fresher legs and Mount Vernon potentially fatigued depending on how their earlier match goes – the Wildcats could have an advantage.

However, let’s not forget also what we also just mentioned. Wesco’s not child’s play. Yes, Mount Si beat Jackson in a tight one last year, but it was just one of four wins in 11 tries by Kingco teams against Wesco squads in last year’s Wes-King event, with three of the five state berths to state last year claimed by Wesco teams. And this is a Mount Vernon team who is 6-4 this fall against the other Wesco WesKing district entrants – Monroe, Jackson, Lake Stevens, Kamiak and Glacier Peak.

So how does Mount Si get a win today? Well, you’ve got to serve tough and take command of this one right away. Kingco co-MVP Bailey Showalter’s got to be that today. The Wildcat sophomore was hounded all match by North Creek Tuesday night in a blowout four-set loss to the Jaguars and was held to just 10 kills and nine digs, this after averaging better than 15 of each of them over the past several matches.

Senior all-Kingco second-teamers Dana Dolan and Breana Fitzgerald also are going to be key. Let’s start with Dolan first. “Double-D” has averaged around 20-25 assists a match in recent outings, but was held to just 18 of those Tuesday in the loss in the Kingco title match to North Creek. She’s got to bring the numbers back up a bit and we trust she will. Dolan has proved to be a solid setter this fall. Fitzgerald had 13 digs in the match Tuesday but just four kills. Bre’s going to need to get herself involved a little more in this one today, similar to how she’s played in recent matches, such as against Issaquah in the Kingco semis, in which she went off for 16 kills and 19 digs in perhaps one of her best efforts as a high school player.

Also watch junior Kaili Tachell, who had 16 digs in the Issy match but just seven the other night against North Creek. Tachell, just like Fitzgerald, is going to need to get herself more involved in things today and bump those numbers back up. She’s had a good postseason run, and we expect that to continue today.

That all said, this Mount Vernon team, as we told you before, has a lot of weapons, all of whom have experience, and they certainly aren’t going to be afraid today. The match against Mount Si in Kent provides us a bit of a guide perhaps for what to look for in this one. We think this will come down to how the Wildcats start out of the gate, especially if Mount
Vernon has little rest coming out of their previous match.

MOUNT VERNON IN 4

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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