The Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal’s first weekly report on club volleyball in USA Volleyball’s Puget Sound region for the 2019 season

Good Wednesday morning. We have started another season of club volleyball within USA Volleyball’s Puget Sound Region, and that means once again this winter and spring, we’ll have a weekly look at local girls’ clubs and how Valley players and teams are faring as this season wears on.

Club volleyball has become an important component to the overall success of local high school girls’ volleyball teams and that is especially true with Mount Si High School’s program, who has seen some of their top athletes in past years compete for some of the best clubs in the region and once again this season appears to have that being the case.

The regional preseason seeding tournaments were held each of the past two weekends, and those tournaments helped establish seedings for the upcoming regular season “Power League” schedule, where teams compete against one another in local play. Here’s a quick recap of what happened.

Teams to watch with local players
Most of the teams with local athletes had their challenges in their seeding tournaments, but two stood out, and if you are a Mount Si fan, it’s good news as these squads feature the Wildcats’ top freshman duo of Bailey Showalter and Jade Petrzelka.

We’ll start with Showalter’s team, the Bellevue-based Sudden Impact 15’s Typhoon. SI is competing in the U-16’s division, so against older players, and they made their mark in seeding day action January 5 and 6, beating all three of their opponents to come out in a tie for first, which should land them a high seeding for the first weekend of regular season Power League play. Sudden Impact over the years has had a number of Mount Si players compete for them – Sara Kaitlyn Mitchell, Patience O’Neal, Harper Click in recent years among them – and this Bellevue-based club has been among the tops in the region. The organization trains at a facility in Bellevue’s Factoria area off I-90, which makes them a very convenient option for Valley athletes and their families. Look for Sudden Impact Typhoon to be among the top teams all season in that U-16 age division backed by Showalter.

Kent Juniors’ 15’s features the Wildcats’ Petrzelka and Kira Holmberg, and they, too, started out strong, going 3-0 in their seeding day action. Wildcat coach Bonnie Foote has been associated with KJ for many years, most recently of course last season with their 12’s team that featured daughter Isabelle, and several Mount Si players have ended up in that real solid program over the years, such as Sarah McDonald. This club is based in Kent and is where many of the top players from the high schools that are part of the North and South Puget Sound Leagues compete, so any wonder why those leagues are strong year in and year out look no further than KJ for that answer.

Local clubs from Valley View in Carnation both struggled in their seeding action, with the two teams combining to go 2-4 in U-15 and U-16 play. These teams likely have a number of Cedarcrest High School players competing for them, as this club is the primary off-season vehicle for the Red Wolve program. These teams finished with lower seedings in their age groups as a result of their results.

In younger age action this past Sunday, the future of Mount Si’s program was on display down in Puyallup at the Sunrise Courts as Snoqualmie-based Ridge Valley’s 13’s and 14’s teams faced off head-to-head. The matchup proved to be electric, with the two teams splitting the first two sets (each winning one of the sets 26-24) to force a third and deciding set, won by the 14’s crew 15-6 to give them a 3-1 record on their seeding tournament. The 13’s finished 1-3 on the day, with both seeded well in the back of the pack in the U-14 age group, but based on the strong start for the 14’s, it could be a good season ahead for them, we shall see. If anyone’s got stats or video from that match, we’d like to have that to post here; our contact information is at the end of this story.

This weekend
Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend is traditionally the first major tournament weekend of the club calendar, and that once again is the case this year. Two tournaments headline the schedule.

The bigger of the two events is down in Eugene, OR. The Matt Hartner Memorial tournament is back for another season and this features many of the top teams in the Northwest seeing each other in action for the first time this season at the University of Oregon-hosted event. Teams from Sudden Impact and another Bellevue-based club, Northwest Juniors, are among the clubs with locals expected to be down there. Showalter and fellow Wildcats Breana Fitzgerald and Megan Underbrink (17’s) will make up the local representation for Sudden Impact while Mount Si’s Emily Dann and Dana Dolan (17’s), former Wildcat Annaliese “A.J.” Jensen and Cedarcrest’s Hannah Winston (18’s) are expected to make up the Valley delegation for Northwest Juniors down there.

Meanwhile, locally, NWJ is hosting their own tournament, with their 16’s teams featuring Mount Si’s Lexie Niehaus and Cedarcrest’s Ava Mundy headlining the Valley athletes in that tournament.

We’ll have full coverage all weekend of both events and a full wrapup for you next week here. We anticipate to once again do this weekly segment for you each Wednesday time permitting and we’ll have this each week until the end of the season around Memorial Day weekend.

Also, we should mention, too, that we are still compiling a list of all of the local girls competing this season within club play locally, so if you want your daughter featured, let us know. Fire us an email at snovalleysports@gmail.com with all the pertinent information and we’ll go from there.

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Red Wolve girls struggle in road loss to Meadowdale

Cedarcrest High School’s girls’ basketball team was also in action last night, and they played Meadowdale. Unlike Mount Si’s boys, who we featured earlier, the Red Wolve girls were on the short end of a rout, falling 63-35 to the Mavericks in Lynnwood.

“We ran into a buzzsaw tonight.  I haven’t seen a basketball team shoot as well as Meadowdale did tonight in a very long time.  I’ll have to watch the game film, but I’m sure they hit 10 or more three point shots, most of their free throws and were very good in the paint.  Unfortunately, we were just the opposite….couldn’t buy a basket,” said Cedarcrest head coach Brad Knowles by email to the SVSJ.

Kat Townley and Helena Van Ess each had seven points for the Red Wolves, who play Archbishop Murphy Friday.

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On an especially big night for one of their seniors, Mount Si’s boys hoops team takes care of business on Senior Night

Mount Si High School’s boys’ basketball program played its final regular season home game last night, thus making it the final regular season game for their three seniors. And all three were keys to the win as the Wildcats handled Newport.

Mount Si High School boys’ senior basketball player Robbie Stevens (center) is seen here with his family and Mount Si’s coaching staff during last night’s pregame Senior Night ceremony before their game with Newport, won by the Wildcats. Stevens was one of three Mount Si seniors recognized for their contributions to the program. (Rhett Workman/SVSJ)

An early slow start for Mount Si was short-lived, and once they got things rolling, the Wildcats cruised to a 64-32 victory that put them a step closer to a Kingco 4A Crest Division championship. Not only was it a big night on the floor for their seniors, but it was a big night off the floor for one of them as well, as senior defensive specialist – and Mount Si football star -Jonny Barrett used the occasion to announce his college decision. He then proceeded to score 11 points to pace the victory.

“It’s been fun. Robbie and Brett I have had the opportunity to coach for three years and seen them make great strides on and off the court,” Mount Si coach Jason Griffith said of his other two seniors, Robbie Stevens and Brett Williams. He also offered praise for Barrett. “Getting Jonny to play the last two years has been special,” the coach said. “What he means to our program on the court, but just how loose he keeps the locker room, his leadership, his expectations to compete at a high level,” the coach said.

Tyler Patterson scored 19 to lead the Wildcats, who, after their defense held Newport to just two third-quarter points, threatened for much of the late stages of the final frame to turn this into a mercy-rule result (40-point margin) but saw the Knights do enough to keep from going over the edge. Jabe Mullins added 12, Williams pitched in eight and Stevens made a free throw late in the game for one lone point.

Griffith continues to remind the players the work’s not done, just yet. “I talked to the kids about that at halftime, just not being complacent, we’re not getting caught scoreboard watching, just making sure that we’re holding ourselves to a higher standard every possession,” he said.

Williams has been thrilled to be part of the growth of this program during his four years in it. “It’s been awesome to see just the development in the program over the course of my four years from going to not very good my freshman year to now my senior year we’re in contention for a Kingco championship. That’s an awesome thing to be a part of and Coach Griffith’s just got this program going in a great direction,” Williams said. “I’m excited that I got to be a part of the foundation.”

Stevens has also been very happy in the program. “It’s been great, it’s been a lot of fun,” he said. “I’ve made a lot of friends with these guys and it’s been great going to compete every night with my buddies.” He had this message for future Wildcats.

“It’s over so fast,” Stevens said. “Don’t take any moments for granted, just cherish every moment you’ve got.” Williams also had a message for future players. “Work your butt off in the offseason. It makes all the difference,” he said.

Mount Si senior football player Jonny Barrett (right) stands with coach Charlie Kinnune (left) following last night’s Wildcat basketball game. Barrett is wearing a T-shirt denoting the college he has committed to to play football for this fall, Dartmouth University. (Rhett Workman/SVSJ)

Barrett uses Senior Night to make major announcement about future
As we have been telling you, the football college recruiting process has become a pretty big story surrounding Barrett the past several weeks, especially as Ivy League schools were lining up to bring him aboard to their programs this fall. He missed this past weekend’s Wildcat basketball home games with Eastlake and Inglemoor doing what is known as an “official visit” to one of those schools, Dartmouth University in Hanover, NH, where he got to meet with the coaches and tour the campus and football facilities among other things. Well, we’ll let him tell you what he thought of the visit.

“When I got there, I fell in love with the place. Coach (Buddy) Teevens, their head coach, is one of the greatest guys on Earth and all their coaches are awesome,” Barrett said. “The family atmosphere made me feel like I was back at home in the Mount Si community.” So with that, prior to the game, Barrett, in front of the assembled spectators, took a T-shirt from one of his friends seated in the MSHS student section and put it on. On the front of the T-shirt it said “Dartmouth Football” and with that, he announced he had verbally committed to the school, with it beating out Yale and Harvard among others for his football skills this fall. He will be officially signing with them in a couple of weeks.

The announcement was met with tremendous praise from everyone in the gym. He told us he plans on majoring in business back there, so we wish him good luck. We are anticipating getting some comments from Wildcat football head coach Charlie Kinnune later about this so if we do, we’ll let you know.

On deck
Mount Si Friday is at Skyline. Tip is at around 8:00 p.m.

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Northwest District RPI rankings updated, with some changes for CHS basketball, plus our Athletes of the Week for 1-16

Good Monday morning. Athletes of the Week coming up, but we have some news for you this morning on Cedarcrest High School’s playoff situation.

The Northwest District last night did another run of their Ratings Percentage Index computer rankings which helps determine seedings for the upcoming playoffs. There are some changes to report for both Red Wolve teams in this latest run.

First, with the boys, the Cedarcrest boys are now ranked eighth overall with a rating of 0.45, well ahead of ninth-place Bellingham and just behind seventh-place Sehome. If this ranking holds, the Red Wolve boys will host an opening-round playoff game. As for the girls, Cedarcrest’s ladies dropped from the fourth to fifth slot this week, and that’s important because that means the loss of a first-round bye. Still, though, as we noted last week when we mentioned this for the first time, that fourth-place opening ranking provided the Red Wolves with a lot of cushion to work with as the season winds down in terms of getting a home game in either of the first two rounds of the tournament. Cedarcrest has a .5714 ranking, just ahead of sixth-place Liberty.

It’s a busy week this week for both teams as they meet Meadowdale and Archbishop Murphy, with the Friday double at home with the Wildcats potentially being huge for both Cedarcrest teams. 6:30 and 8:10 Friday night at Cedarcrest HS in Duvall for girls and boys respectively.

We should also add that the ScoreCzar ranking service which is among several who do rankings of Washington high school basketball is out as well this morning with another round of rankings. We have been tweeting those out to you so look for that this morning on our Twitter @snovalleysports. Mount Si and Cedarcrest are both represented in those rankings.

Time now for the Athletes of the Week. Boys this week.

CEDARCREST – We don’t have full results for you from their wrestling team’s King of the Mountain tournament action from this past weekend, but we thank their statistician, Christi Norris, for sending us word that five of their athletes won their weight brackets as the Red Wolves took second as a team in the event on Saturday. Four of those we will recognize here today. Austin Link (132 lbs.), Michael Norris (145), Preston Goodwin (152) and Matt Weinert (182) joined previous AotW Caleb Lay (195) on the podium with first-place trophies in their weight classes at the Darrington event. Cedarcrest took second overall on the strength of this tremendous showing from their athletes. The Red Wolves are at Archbishop Murphy for a dual meet Thursday.

MOUNT SI – We’re going to recognize the entire Mount Si High School boys’ basketball program and coach Jason Griffith today for helping spearhead the efforts which culminated last Friday in a strong community show of support for fellow Mount Si High School student Ryan Gerlitz. You all know the story by now, Gerlitz is facing a most difficult challenge – fighting cancer – and Mount Si’s program helped lead the way in supporting the freshman as he faces this challenge. The Wildcats this past week showed everyone they’re not just solid basketball players on the floor, but that they are also caring, supportive young men off it, and they learned valuable life lessons along the way as well. Their efforts took steam on Twitter, and resulted in opposing Eastlake’s boys basketball team also wearing the “Ryan Strong” T-shirts that were very much in force at last Friday’s game, and also attracted some TV attention, too, from KING-TV, providing the region an opportunity to see the best of our young people in action, always a good thing for sure. Mount Si faces Newport tomorrow for Senior Night at 7:00 at Mount Si High School. #RyanStrong #TeamRyan

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Mount Si girls, boys split hardwood twinbill, plus more hardwood news, and some from the ice, the diamond, the water and track and field on this Sunday……

Good Sunday morning. Mount Si High School’s basketball teams played again last night off their wins last Friday over Eastlake and it was a split result.

The Wildcat girls came out a bit flat last night off their signature win of the season over the Kingco 4A’s top dog Wolves and fell 59-30 to Inglemoor. The Vikings defense held Mount Si to just 18% shooting from the floor. Joelle Buck led the Wildcats with nine points as Mount Si dropped to 10-6 on the season, 5-4 in Kingco 4A play.

Mount Si’s boys then hit the floor with Inglemoor’s boys in what looked to be a Kingco 4A title preview, with the Vikings being the leaders in the Crown Division and only having lost one game all season. Well, thanks to a big night from Jabe Mullins, the Wildcats appear to have made themselves the favorites now to win it all thanks to a huge win.

Mullins had a double-double, with 29 points and 11 rebounds, also adding five assists, as Mount Si handled their business with the black and gold 68-51. Brett Williams had 14 and Bennett O’Connor added 12 with six assists. O’Connor seems to be getting into form finally after having some struggles earlier in the season, so now that the freshman appears to be on his ‘A’ game, that will be an added bonus for the Wildcats as the stretch run winds down.

Both teams host Senior Nights this coming week. Boys are on Tuesday and girls are on Wednesday, both against Newport. Williams (boys), Jenae Usselman and Abby Triou (girls) are among the players expected to be recognized in pregame ceremonies prior to their respective team’s games for their four years in the Mount Si programs. The games both nights tip at 7:15 p.m. with the ceremonies happening around 10 minutes prior to tip at Mount Si High School.

College Hoops
CHS alum shines in front of family, friends: Cedarcrest High School alum Mieke Van Ess played for the final time as a Skagit Valley College women’s hoopster in front of family and friends last night in Bellevue as the Cardinals took on Bellevue College and the sophomore put on a show for everyone, helping Skagit pick up a win.

Van Ess scored 11 points to pace the Cardinals’ 54-46 win. She was 3-8 from the floor but almost perfect from the foul line – five of six – as Skagit opened strong and closed with a flourish after Bellevue creeped back into the game in the second and third quarters.

The win moved Skagit into a first-place tie in the NWAACC’s North Division at 2-0 in league, and 9-7 overall. They play Peninsula on Wednesday.

Prewitt paces Puget Sound ladies once more: Senior Elizabeth Prewitt, from Snoqualmie, pitched in 14 points to help the University of Puget Sound’s ladies hoopsters pound out a 78-61 home win over struggling Lewis & Clark, from Portland, in a Northwest Conference (NCAA Division III) clash in Tacoma last night.

Prewitt, a 2015 Mount Si HS grad, was 6-10 from the floor including a pair of three-pointers, and she also collected three rebounds for UPS, who moved to 11-3 on the season, 4-2 in the conference.

Puget Sound heads east this coming weekend to do the eastern Washington swing. They’ll be in Spokane Friday night to meet Whitworth, then this coming Saturday, they’ll head down to Walla Walla to meet Whitman. The Friday game is being webstreamed on NWC Digital and that starts at 6:00 p.m. NWC Digital is at right in our news links.

Other news today:

Track and Field
Local athletes make college track debuts on home turf: The University of Washington’s season-opening indoor meet yesterday in Seattle saw a pair of local college athletes make their debuts in track and field. They were part of a small group of Valley athletes that competed in the meet.

Western Washington University freshman Sophie Paradis, from Duvall and a graduate from Cedarcrest HS last June, took a tie for fifth in her flight of the women’s pole vault. She cleared 10 feet, 10 inches in her inaugural college outing. Concordia-Portland’s Karlie Hurley, from North Bend and a 2015 MSHS grad, has shifted from soccer to track in her senior year of college and yesterday finished fourth in her heat race in the women’s 400m, clocking 1:02.78 which put her in the middle of the pack overall. Hurley, while a senior academically, will have two years of eligibility with the track program at Concordia.

Meanwhile, a pair of Mount Si grads competed in the women’s 3000m and both did well. UW sophomore Hannah Waskom was second (9:54.50) while WSU junior Melissa Hruska took fourth (10:17.10) in their respective heats of that race. Waskom, from Snoqualmie and a 2017 MSHS grad, competed in the second heat while Hruska, also from Snoqualmie but who graduated from Mount Si in 2016, competed in the third heat. Rounding it out, on the men’s side, University of Portland senior Logan Orndorf kicked off the indoor season with a fifth-place finish in his heat of the men’s mile. Orndorf, a 2014 Cedarcrest HS grad from Duvall, clocked 3:59.94.

Larson opens season strong: St. Martin’s University senior Liz Larson kicked off the 2019 track and field season in style yesterday, with a solid finish in her season-opening meet.

Larson, from Snoqualmie and a 2015 MSHS’er, took sixth in the women’s weight throw event for the Saints at the meet hosted by the University of Idaho at the Moscow, ID, campus’s Kibbie Dome. She tossed the weight 48 feet, nine inches.

Cosgrove makes college track debut: University of Montana freshman women’s distance runner Chloe Cosgrove, from North Bend and a graduate last June from MSHS, made her college track and field debut yesterday competing in the women’s 3000m at the Montana State University indoor season-opening meet in Bozeman, MT. Cosgrove finished 10th in that race, clocking 11:52.38.

CHS men’s alum makes college track debut: US Naval Academy freshman Grant Van Valkenburg, from Duvall, also made a college track debut, but it was last weekend at their dual meet with Princeton in New Jersey.

Van Valkenburg, a 2018 CHS’er, took third in the men’s 3000m, clocking 8:37.42. The Midshipmen are doing another meet today and we’ll be sure to let you know what happens.

Hockey
Snoqualmie’s Gross delivers for Totems to help them sweep weekend set: Snoqualmie’s Cam Gross was on the ice the past two nights down in southern Oregon, as his Seattle Totems junior hockey squad took on the Southern Oregon Spartans down in Medford.

Gross was a big factor in the opening game of the two-game set this past Friday, scoring a goal and assisting on what turned out to be the two deciding goals in the second period for Seattle in a 7-3 win. The 2017 Mount Si HS grad was on the ice last night as well, but had no stats of note as the Totems took the game 6-5.

The wins moved Seattle to 17-9-1-2 and 55 points in the Western States Hockey League’s Northwest Division, which has them very comfortably in second place in the division. They are home this coming Thursday-Saturday, taking on division cellar-dweller West Sound from Bremerton Thursday and Saturday, and division top-dog Bellingham Friday. All three games are at Olympic View Ice Arena in Mountlake Terrace.

Baseball
Another tough outing for Valley pitcher Boyce down under: It has been a struggle this season for Mount Si HS grad Jimmy Boyce on the mound in his first pro season with the Australian Baseball League’s Auckland Tuatara.

Boyce, who graduated in 2017, is winless on the season with the Tuatara, and that unfortunately continued today as Auckland (New Zealand) fell to Sydney (Australia) to close out a weekend set.

The Blue Sox took it 9-6 at home in Australia, with Boyce allowing four runs on seven hits in five good innings, walking two and striking out two. The ex-Wildcat drops to 0-6 on the season with a not-so-good 6.64 earned run average. Fellow MSHS alum Max Brown was 1-5 today for Auckland, who drops to 11-25 on the season.

Auckland next plays on Friday when they have two with Melbourne. They’ll have two again with Melbourne on Saturday.

Swimming
Mount Si alum Crumb wins for first time as collegian: It was a stellar day in the water yesterday for Snoqualmie’s Julia Crumb. The Pacific University-OR women’s swimmer, a freshman with the Boxers and 2018 Mount Si HS grad, was part of her first winning effort as a collegian.

Crumb was part of the Boxers’ 400 yard freestyle relay team that won that race, clocking 4:09.25 in the head-to-head meet with archrival Linfield College at home on Pacific’s campus in Forest Grove, OR. Crumb also took second in a pair of individual events: the butterfly (2:31.49) and breaststroke (2:47.44), and her Pacific 400 yard individual medley relay team took third in their race with a time of 4:24.54.

Linfield won the meet 124-74. Pacific is in action again next weekend at Willamette, down in Salem, OR.

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