Wrapping up the volleyball from Wednesday with a barnburner in Snoqualmie and a tough loss that negatively impacts the postseason picture for CHS

Good Saturday morning. We’ve got a lot on deck for you this morning including last night’s football. We’re going to start first by doing some housekeeping from earlier in the week. Volleyball on the plate.

Mount Si High School volleyball players react following a point during their match with Issaquah this past Wednesday. Among the Wildcats pictured from L-R: Breana Fitzgerald (left), Dana Dolan (center left), Jade Petrzelka (center), Tori BearBow (lower right) and Bailey Showalter (upper right). (Rhett Workman/SVSJ)

Mount Si High School’s volleyball ladies hosted Issaquah on Wednesday in what arguably was the biggest match this program has played since joining Kingco 4A. And the Wildcats came out and played like they knew it, too. They gave the Eagles one heckuva battle, even coming within inches of taking this one, but ended up running out of gas after an extended fourth set, falling in a marathon thriller in five.

The Eagles secured control of the Kingco 4A title race handing Mount Si a 25-17, 21-25, 15-25, 30-28, 15-9 defeat. Maya Patton had 16 kills and 10 blocks leading Issy, while Olivia Morgan pounded out 41 assists and 16 digs as the Eagles rebounded from their loss Monday to North Creek in scoring the win.

Things started out well for Mount Si out of the gate, as they got some solid play early from several sources, and saw a theme develop right away – tough serving all game, including from players who don’t normally get a lot of chance to play on varsity. Clara Schlotfeldt came up to serve after Mount Si got a side out to take a 3-2 lead and proceeded to get an ace in her sequence as the Wildcats built that early advantage and forced Issaquah coach Tami Reese to call time out. From there, though, the Eagles responded and were able to take command midway through the opening frame, closing it out on a block to take the opening set.

Set two saw the two teams jockey for the lead with several ties and/or lead changes early in the stanza with players such as Issaquah’s Lauren Spencer and Abby May also contributing to the efforts in addition to their previously mentioned teammates; Spencer finished with 17 digs while May added 12 kills and 10 digs to the cause. But another player who stepped up, as was the case all match, was Mount Si’s Bailey Showalter, and she came up to serve late in the frame, pocketing three straight aces in the process to put the Wildcats up. After she had a service error on set point giving Issaquah the ball back, the sophomore responded with a kill to lock the door shut and tie the match at a set apiece. It proved to be a night to remember for Showalter as she logged 24 kills, 25 digs, four assists and seven aces leading Mount Si.

The Wildcats maintained their strong push from the end of the second set into the third, and saw Breana Fitzgerald finish the deal with a kill. Fitzgerald is a senior who was one of two we mentioned in our preview of the match this past Wednesday who needed to up her output a bit for the team to succeed – well, she did just that, finishing with 14 kills, 13 digs and an assist, and all around she simply played well. If Fitzgerald can build off this effort the rest of the season, watch out.

The fourth was one to remember. This was a nail-biter for sure, with all of the players mentioned on both teams making big plays throughout the frame. Mount Si appeared to have control of this thing, up at one point 21-14, but saw the Eagles rally to make things real tight. Fitzgerald had match point with the score 24-23 Wildcats, but had a service error to give Issy the ball back, then they got a set point which was quashed by a kill from the other senior we wanted to see step up, Megan Underbrink, and she, too, did that – yes, she only had five kills and two digs but like her senior teammate Fitzgerald, she played overall a very solid game despite the lack of numbers. Mount Si got the ball back and thanks to a Showalter kill ended up with another match point which Issaquah fought off again. The Wildcats ended up with another match point later, but saw the Eagles fight that one off again, but this time came very close to losing as the ball came within inches of the back wall in the Mount Si gymnasium. Issy then took command and on set point at 29-28 got a kill to force the fifth. Oh so close and yet so far, but little did Issaquah know they were in control.

Well, they were as they handled their affairs in the fifth, with Mount Si having expended every ounce of energy they had in that extra-long fourth, and the Eagles slammed the door shut with a Sadie Bacon kill; she had 14 of those along with nine blocks aiding the purple and gold.

Mount Si retreated back to the locker room with coach Bonnie Foote visibly emotional after the loss; this one was in her team’s grasp several times but they couldn’t close the deal in what perhaps was the most painful loss a Wildcat team in any sport has suffered in competition in several years. But, for the program to return to the glory days of 2007-2013 under Foote in which state appearances were the norm and many of the team’s top players from that time went on to have successful NCAA college careers, it needed to endure something like this. Well, they now have and now the question will become how does this team respond moving forward. Players like senior Dana Dolan will also be key; she had a tremendous match and finished with 44 assists and 13 digs.

The Wildcats are at Newport Monday then host Senior Night on Wednesday against Inglemoor. Game time for the Wednesday match at MSHS is at 7:00, with the senior ceremonies, recognizing Fitzgerald, Dolan, Underbink and other members of Mount Si’s class of 2020, happening prior to the match.

Issy JV fights off early charge from Wildcats, takes JV match with ease: After a hard-fought first set, the Eagle junior varsity crew dominated down the stretch to take the JV match over Mount Si’s JV’s, 26-24, 25-4, 25-12.

Schlotfeldt had 21 digs, two aces and two assists pacing the Wildcats, while Peyton MacKenzie, another JV’er who made a couple of key contributions with tough serving in the varsity match, had eight digs, three kills and two aces. Lexi Niehaus added six kills and 10 digs to round out the top efforts for Mount Si, who plays the Knights at 5:15 Monday prior to the varsity match at 7:00 down at Newport High School in Bellevue.

Wildcat “C” team falls: The Eagles also took the “C” team match from Mount Si, scoring the 25-21, 25-21, 25-10 victory. Emma Smith led the way for the Wildcats with an assist and 16 digs, while a number of others also contributed in an overall balanced effort for Mount Si. Ananya Banjeree had three kills, four assists and six digs, while Ella Moore (dig and ace apiece) and Eden Coleman (assist and dig apiece) also pitched in to help support things. The Wildcats are at Newport Monday and will play their match at 5:15 prior to the varsity match.

Cedarcrest playoff hopes take hit with loss to Mountlake
The playoff hopes for Cedarcrest, which have been operating on a bit of a tightrope all season with just one league win, took a big hit Wednesday as they fell to Mountlake Terrace. The Hawks swept the Red Wolves 25-16, 25-19, 32-30.

Natalie Vanderwal had 11 kills, seven digs and three aces pacing CHS, while Caroline Tiffany had two kills and 20 digs. Hannah Winston added 18 kills and four digs.

As noted, the loss hurt the Red Wolves’ playoff chances. They still are in the hunt, seeded 12th, but really need another league win of some kind in order to make themselves feel a little more comfortable about things, because the 13th-place team, Lakewood, is currently winless in league. Were the Cougars to find a league win somewhere down the stretch, considering the quality of the opposition in the Northwest Conference, that win would likely leapfrog Lakewood past CHS into that 12th and final spot into the postseason.

The Red Wolves will have a pair of opportunities this coming week against beatable teams to get that second league win. They play a 2-8 (2-7 Wesco) Shorewood team for Senior Night at CHS next Tuesday, then head to Lynnwood to meet the Royals next Thursday. Game times for both matches are at 7:00.

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It’s Week 7 of high school football, and we have a little home cookin’ in the rain tonight with CHS Homecoming and Mount Si Senior Night. Previews and picks now!!

Good Friday morning. We’ll try to get some of last night’s news to you shortly, but we start the morning with another round of Friday high school pigskin previews and picks. It’s a week seven of home cooking on the gridiron with both Mount Si and Cedarcrest High Schools hosting football games this week both of which have 7:00 p.m. kickoffs. It’s homecoming in Duvall and Senior Night in Snoqualmie. We went 1-1 last week with Mount Si winning as we predicted while Cedarcrest lost (we had them beating Sehome). 10-2 on the season. Previews and picks right here, right now. First, CHS’ homecoming.

Cedarcrest Red Wolves vs. Lindbergh Eagles, Cedarcrest HS, Duvall – Homecoming tonight for the Red Wolves with rain and wind in the forecast and CHS welcomes in a nonleague foe from Renton in Lindbergh, part of the SPSL 2A league.

Cedarcrest went into Sehome last Friday looking to continue their ascent they had through their short two-game win string but got a dose of reality about who’s the dominant power in the Northwest District – the Whatcom County/Northwest Conference teams – as they fell to the Mariners 35-14. But the Red Wolves still come in at 4-2 and still hold some good cards for postseason.

QB Cameron Kohlruss was a modest 10-18 (completions/attempts) for 122 yards and two interceptions last Friday off two 200-yard plus efforts the previous two weeks in wins over Bellingham and Renton. With the weather that’s expected, this probably is not a week where we’d expect him to try to bump this up, but if he does, he’s got plenty of options to throw two, chief among them receivers Nathan Gerde and Dawson Cairns, both of whom caught three passes each in last week’s game, one of Gerde’s going for a touchdown on a halfback option play from passer Luke Amble.

But the rain means the ground game will be the factor, and there of course you watch senior Sean Shannon. 11 carries for 39 yards last week and he’s probably getting close to 200 or so on the season. Shannon’s going to be a focal point tonight we’d expect.

Lindbergh comes in winless at 0-6, but to their credit, their offense has been improved a bit the past two weeks, as the Eagles have scored a combined 37 points in their two October games, losses to Renton and Evergreen, after a September in which the Lindbergh boys scored a combined 22 points in the four games during the first month of this season. So, Cedarcrest, at least initially, should not take this team for granted. Even though Renton beat Lindbergh last week 40-21.

Junior quarterback Kayvon Kaeodala and senior receivers Lam Ta and Justin Flye lead the Eagles, who will look to continue their improved play tonight.

Considering that it is Homecoming for CHS, with the requisite distractions, the first quarter will be key. The Red Wolves need to take command of this thing as quickly as possible, which is definitely doable. But if you let this Eagle team stay around too long, their confidence potentially improves then the chances of them pulling the upset grow. This is a game that could go one of a number of different ways. You have the aforementioned upset possibility on one end, and you have a blowout on the other end of such a margin that it allows coach John Fiala to bring in a lot of second and third-string players late, and give them a chance to play. And with it being Homecoming, that would certainly be a great thing, giving those younger kids a chance as well to play in front of their friends, family, alums and the entire lower Valley community, a lower Valley community that should feel comfortable and confident in the future direction of this program under Fiala, both on and off the field.

Their football Instagram has throughout the season offered examples of this – and they did so again yesterday, with a photo of the team in the CHS library listening to a presentation from the folks from the Snoqualmie Valley Community Network and a group called Influence the Choice regarding the current issues surrounding the use of so-called “e-cigarettes” and other drugs, issues which have been very much in the news lately as you all know. Fiala is showing everyone every day he is on top of everything, and regardless of the end result of this season, or seasons in the future, this Valley community should know the kids this program produces will be excellent representatives of our community at the next level and beyond in whatever career fields they choose to pursue, whether that’s within athletics or outside of it. The community gets a great opportunity to say “Thank you” tonight, and the team we expect will return the favor with a win. Cedarcrest 31, Lindbergh 10

Mount Si Wildcats vs. Skyline Spartans, Mount Si HS – The weather will be a story tonight as these two teams clash in a pivotal game for Crest Division seeding into the upcoming Kingco playoff crossovers. Rain and wind are expected, and that will be something to look at this morning.

It was a great night last week for Homecoming as the Wildcats shut out Issaquah 34-0. QB Clay Millen completed 19 of 26 passes through the air for 221 yards and four touchdowns – two of those that went to receiver Kevin Corder. Millen’s thrown for over 1,300 yards this season and 13 TD’s, with the four last week matching a season high for touchdowns in a game; he threw for four in the week two Wildcat win over Kentwood.

And Corder? Just three catches for 22 yards, but two of those as we just mentioned went for points, so he made the most of his limited numbers, that’s for sure. And that’s the thing about this offense. The depth. There’s four receivers this fall who have netted better than 200 yards on the season, led by seniors Colby Botten and Brayden Holt, the two of whom who’ve combined for around 550 receiving yards this fall and five touchdowns, but Corder and fellow junior Zach Soliday also have been great complimentary pieces for that air attack.

But as we talked about in the open, rain and wind are in the offing. This means the ground game becomes a focal point. RB Cole Norah had 67 all-purpose yards last week and a touchdown in the win, and while he’s still working himself back into the lineup following recovery from an off-season knee injury, Norah becomes a big key tonight.

Defensively, pay attention to junior defensive back Stuart DeMerit. He had two interceptions last week, one of which set up a Mount Si drive offensively that ended with a touchdown. If Skyline throws the ball in this weather – and we’ll talk about why that could be possible tonight in a moment – DeMerit will be ready.

The Spartans come in at 3-3 and off of what we would presume at least from their viewpoint was a bit of an embarrassing loss at home on Homecoming to their neighborhood rivals last week in Eastlake, who shut out Skyline in the game 31-0. Mat Taylor, a Valley resident, is the longtime head coach of the Spartans and will have his kids ready to play, but considering that loss last Friday and Mount Si doing something similar to Skyline last season (the Wildcats beat the Spartans at SHS last year 42-7), the kids themselves will be plenty motivated because they will have something to prove to themselves.

With the weather that’s expected, the ground game becomes key. Senior Cole Good is the guy to watch. He’s run the ball 54 times for 193 yards and three touchdowns this fall, so look for Good to get a lot of work tonight. Especially if the rain and wind shuts down the bread and butter of this Spartan offense, which is through the air.

There’s a lot of balance there among the receivers, with six netting themselves either a touchdown or over 100 yards this fall through the air. Leading the group is senior Daniel Wieburg, who’s caught 31 passes for 277 yards and a touchdown, and junior Timothy Jo, who’s scored three TD’s and caught 16 passes for 154 yards this season.

They’ll be catching passes tonight from a good QB in junior Daniel Buxton. He went 18-29 for 168 yards last week in their loss to the Wolves and has thrown for over 1,000 yards this season. So with this in mind, they may defy Mother Nature, and take their chances in the air.

We think tonight’s game comes down to focus and intangibles. Both teams know a win puts them in a good position for seeding for the crossover game in two weeks, with an eye on the playoffs. Both teams also remember last year – especially Skyline. We suspect this will be a fired-up bunch of green, silver and white jerseys coming into town tonight, and that’s not a good thing if you’re Mount Si. This is a program that, throughout Taylor’s tenure – and even his predecessor Steve Gervais’s – has prided itself on high expectations and the resulting success from that. Anyone remember Jake Heaps? Kasen Williams? Peyton Pelluer? Guys from this SHS program that saw a little bit of that success at the high school level and translated it to success post-high school. Wildcat coach Charlie Kinnune told us this after last Friday’s game. “Mat Taylor is an outstanding coach and they’ll be ready to go, but so will we,” the coach said. Barnburner in the offing perhaps. This will be close, but we’re taking Mount Si. Mount Si 28, Skyline 27

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Duvall’s Kuehn gets it done for Linfield women’s soccer in win

Time to take a look at the pitch this morning. College women’s soccer is in full swing, and a Valleyite is once again having a special season for her team.

Senior Sydney Kuehn, from Duvall and a 2015 Cedarcrest HS grad, transferred from Northwest Nazarene University in Idaho after her freshman season to Linfield College in Oregon, and the results have been, shall we say, nothing short of spectacular. She has been among the top offensive threats on the Linfield squad the past three seasons, and is leading her team in scoring this fall, with that lead strengthening a bit last night.

Kuehn had a goal and assist for Linfield as they held off conference and regional rival Pacific University of Oregon 3-2 down on the Boxers’ pitch in Forest Grove, outside of Portland. Kuehn scored in the 37th minute off feeds from teammates Laney Green and Michayla Sponsel to take the Wildcats into the locker room up 2-0, then assisted on what turned out to be the game-decider in the 82nd, a goal scored by teammate Baylie Cameron and also assisted by Green.

Kuehn started and ended up logging around 75-80 minutes of playing time, which is fairly usual for her as she is such a key player for Linfield. She recorded five shots, two on goal with that goal and assist. Kuehn now has eight goals and three assists on the season, the goal total matching the one she had last season and also putting her in the Northwest Conference (NCAA Division III) lead in that stat category.

The win lifted Linfield to 6-6-1 overall, 5-3-1 in conference play. They are in fourth place with 16 points (three points for each win and one for the tie), three points behind both Puget Sound and Willamette, both of whom are at 6-1-1 in league and have 19 points apiece. Pacific Lutheran is well ahead in first place, unbeaten in league at 8-0, so Linfield has some work to do if they want to make it to the top of the league standings. A big game awaits the Wildcats Saturday as they host the Bearcats at noon on NWC Digital, which you can access at right in our news links.

Also:

Hawaii Pacific 3, Fresno Pacific 1: The Sharks are having a solid season, moving to 6-3-1 overall and 3-1-0 in PacWest (NCAA Division II) play last night with a home win in Waipahu, HI, over the visitors from central California. Senior Camryn Buck, from Ames Lake and a 2016 MSHS’er, started and worked the full 90 on defense for HPU as is her normal custom, with no stats of note reported.

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Mount Si boys’ tennis season finishes solid despite season-ending defeat to Newport

Good Thursday morning. We’ll get to volleyball a little later and the night that was for Mount Si and Cedarcrest as both teams played key league matches last night.

Mount Si High School’s boys tennis program celebrated Senior Day earlier this week, recognizing their seven seniors for their efforts in the program. L-R: Seniors Pietro Gardino, Cole Price, Quinlan White-Aclain, Hayden Kirwin, Isaac Edson, William Spellman, & Kaidan Pop. (Photo courtesy Mount Si Boys Tennis/Coach Cassie Bomgardner)

We’re, however, going to talk a little tennis now, since we haven’t done that this fall. Mount Si High School’s boys’ tennis team is having a solid season. They posted a win over Sammamish Monday.

Mount Si took five of the seven matches that were contested in the overall competition. Singles winners were Nevada Simpson, who beat Totem Gavin Forac 6-1, 7-5, and Will Spellman, who rolled to a 6-0, 6-1 win over Tiger Nguyen. Spellman was one of several players honored Monday on Senior Day with it being the final home match at Mount Si for the regular season, and coach Cassie Bomgardner had nothing but positive words to say about her team’s co-captain.

“His pure natural athleticism amazes me. He is so calm and patient on the court and makes everything look so effortless while frustrating his opponents left and right. They blast what they think are winning shots and Will comes back with a better answer for the point,” Bomgardner told us by email. But Spellman isn’t just getting it done on the court, he’s getting it done in the classroom too. “Special shout out to Will for academically being at the top of his class (in high contention to be valedictorian of his senior class).” In other words, this means his GPA is at or very near 4.0, so a very gifted student for sure that will have a future anywhere it takes him.

Three doubles teams from the Wildcats also won their matches. The duo of Isaac Edson and Pietro Gardino handled Sammamish’s duo of Hunter Grimsted and Timothy Zeng 7-6, 6-2, while the Mount Si pair of Hayden Kirwin and Kaidan Popp took care of business with Totems Luke Tseng and Ashvath Prekumar, 6-4, 6-2. The third Wildcat twosome, Peter Riley and Will Harris, routed Sammamish’s duo of Aidan Adams and Courteney Blake 6-1, 6-2.

The Edson/Gardino duo has been a good one this year, and has a little international flavor to it as Gardino is a foreign exchange student from Italy. Both are seniors, with Edson already accepted to study at the University of Iowa next year. “These two players compliment each other so well and have challenged the top doubles teams in the league,” Bomgardner told us. “Together is the keyword. They have really grown this season as a doubles team which has been so fun to see this season.”

The whole team earned praise from their coach. “It has been such a pleasure watching these players not only grow stronger individually and improve but come together as one team,” Bomgardner told us. “Representing Mount Si proud.”

She continued, “What a special season showing amazing support and camaraderie for one another has been a wonderful thing to go through with these fine young athlete tennis players. Their sportsmanship not only with one another but with all other opponents has been top-notch. Win or lose, the thing that brings me the greatest joy is to see each and every one of them having fun this season.”

The squad finished the season Tuesday falling at Newport to drop to 4-5 in league, 5-5 overall. The team exchanged wins and losses to start the season, beating Woodinville, North Creek and Redmond but falling to both Inglemoor and Eastlake. Last Wednesday, the Wildcats beat Bothell before losing to both Skyline and Issaquah to close out last week.

The Kingco Tournament is next Tuesday and Wednesday at Skyline High School in Sammamish, then if any Mount Si players advance out of the first rounds of play there, then it picks up next Friday and Saturday at the Edgebrook Club in south Bellevue.

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Last night on the high school girls’ pitch…..

Soccer wrap from last night. Cedarcrest High School’s girls’ soccer team escaped with a quality 1-1 tie at Edmonds Stadium against host Edmonds-Woodway. Leah Cammarano scored the lone Red Wolve goal, in the 10th minute. E-W tied it in the 32nd minute and the game went to half at 1-1, then proceeded the rest of the way with the same score despite solid opportunities from both teams to break that tie.

“The girls played well and against a top four opponent – of course, we’d like to win games like this but we’ll take the point for an away match and hope the result keeps us at near the top of the RPI for Districts,” CHS coach Alex Hickox told us by email. “We look forward in returning home – we play Mountlake Terrace – and, it is our Valley Youth Soccer Night! Looking to lots of youth soccer players to join us!”

That game with Mountlake Terrace is tomorrow at home in Duvall at Cedarcrest High School’s stadium. Game time is 7:00 p.m. and more information on the youth soccer activities at the game is available on CHS’ girls’ soccer’s Facebook page.

JV blanks Warriors: Clarissa Cazares-Espinoza scored the game’s lone goal for CHS in the second half, and the Red Wolves beat Edmonds-Woodway 1-0 in the junior varsity game. Ellie Croshaw had the assist. CHS’s JV hosts Mountlake tomorrow at 5:00 prior to the varsity game.

Mount Si ladies fall to Spartans
The Wildcat girls fell to Skyline 5-1 at Skyline High School in Sammamish last night. Anna Simmons scored the Mount Si goal, their first since late September.

“Once again, this isn’t a score line that I think represented how we played. I’d say a 2-1 or 3-1 loss would’ve been more fitting for the performance,” Wildcat coach Sophie Rockow told us by email. “We didn’t play that poorly in this game, just couldn’t match up against the Skyline machine for this one. If we can continue to carry and build on how we’ve played these last two games (Inglemoor and Skyline), I’m looking forward to ending the season on a high note, regardless of our overall record or if we get into the post-season. It’s frustrating not having the results show this, but overall growth in terms of play for this Varsity squad compared to past years has been huge, and ultimately something these girls should be very proud of. I know I am.”

Mount Si hosts Newport for Senior Night next Tuesday needing to win out and get some help to advance to the postseason. Game time is 7:30 p.m. at Mount Si High School in Snoqualmie.

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