News on this Friday……

Good Friday morning. With the football season winding down and now into the playoffs, our regular Friday preview and pick segment this week has come to an end for the fall, but we’ll be bringing the thing back on a limited basis for basketball in the winter. We’ll have a busy morning of previews and picks for you tomorrow though so keep it here for that!

We do however have some news for you this morning and it comes from volleyball and soccer.

First, from soccer and the Kingco 4A Conference has announced all-league awards for girls’ soccer this fall. Three Wildcats earned second team recognition this fall from league coaches following their votes. Senior defender Joelle Buck, senior midfielder Sarah Creighton and junior forward Mia Campo all earned the honors from the league and their coaches. Four others earned honorable mentions – senior Carly Britton, sophomore Anna Simmons, freshman Paris Price, and junior Kylie Hunter.

A congrats to all of you on that recognition! News now from the colleges:

Western finishes undefeated league season with shutout of SPU: In an opportunity for Mount Si High School alum Karli White to play in front of family and friends close to home, Western Washington University’s ladies finished an undefeated regular season in league play as they got the job done in Seattle last night against Seattle Pacific.

The Vikings blanked the Falcons 2-0 at Interbay Stadium with White, a senior from North Bend and 2015 MSHS’er, starting and playing 66 minutes, recording three shots, none on goal with no goals scored. Western, as noted earlier, finished the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (NCAA Division II) regular season schedule undefeated at 12-0-0, which according to the school’s sports information folks is only the third time in the nearly 20-year history of the league that this has been done. They are ranked seventh in D-II nationally in women’s soccer and hold down a 16-2-0 overall record.

Western is now off this weekend and will play in the conference’s tournament, which is next Thursday and Saturday again at Interbay.

Volleyball: Mount Si’s Showalter wins share of league MVP
Mount Si High School sophomore outside hitter Bailey Showalter earned a share of Kingco 4A’s most valuable player award for volleyball this fall, with the conference making that announcement yesterday as part of their all-league team announcement.

Senior setter Dana Dolan and outside hitter Breana Fitzgerald earned all-league second team honors from league coaches, who also named senior Megan Underbrink and sophomore Jade Petrzelka as honorable mentions. Showalter shared the MVP award with North Creek’s Kyleene Filimaua.

The Wildcats are home tomorrow to open the Wes-King 4A district tournament. They host the winner of a 1:00 game also at Mount Si between Mount Vernon and Newport at 3:00. We plan on being there for both games.

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Teen mental health to be discussed at upcoming community events in lower Valley

As part of our continuing coverage of the healing process for Cedarcrest High School and the lower Valley community following recent tragedies at the school, the Riverview School District has announced several upcoming events to help assist in those efforts.

As you know and we have told you, the district has created a “Community Wellness Task Force” which has been tasked with developing solutions to the issues that came out of the recent CHS tragedies, most notably with teen mental health. Several events have been held over the past several days, with more scheduled in the coming days.

Those include a “Grief and Loss” workshop on Saturday. This event, from 10am-1pm at the Sno-Valley Senior Center in Carnation, is aimed to help parents and teens ages 13 and older learn about mental health concerns for teens, how to spot those issues and get help if that’s needed. Experts will be on hand at this event to help provide critical information to families about these mental health issues. You can get more information on Facebook here.

There are also two additional events coming up over remaining Saturdays in November. The “Youth Mental Health First Aid” sessions are on November 16 and 23, and are seminars designed to teach parents, educators and other concerned members of the lower Valley community about the warning signs for teen mental health or drug challenges, and how to address those issues if they arise. The event on the 16th is close to capacity in Carnation, while the event on the 23rd is in Duvall at the WRECK Center. More information on the Carnation event is available by email from the Snoqualmie Valley Community Network, who is sponsoring the events, at admin@svcn.info, and more information on the Duvall event is at this website.

The district-led task force is comprised of district and community leaders, including representatives from local police, fire and social service agencies, along with representatives from various school parent-teacher associations. Additionally, church leaders are also now involved in this response, helping better address these issues.

We’ll continue to provide coverage of this for you here at the Journal as a community service to our readers in the lower Valley.

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Mount Si, Cedarcrest fall in volleyball playoffs, plus college news on a Thursday…..

Good Thursday morning. Time now to wrap up Tuesday night’s playoff action from volleyball.

We first start with Cedarcrest High School, whose team’s season ended with a loss to Sammamish in the first round of the Northwest 2A District Tournament at Sammamish High School in Bellevue. Scores were 25-14, 25-14, 25-21 as the fifth-seeded Totems advanced. McKenna Cato led the way for CHS with 17 assists, three kills, three aces and four digs, while Caroline Tiffany added 16 digs for the Red Wolves. Selah Kuiken pounded six kills and two aces, while Chloe Bigleman added five kills and two digs as well, both pacing CHS.

Rounding it out for the Red Wolves, Anika Baumann had three kills and Katie Faccone had six digs. Cedarcrest will now move into the offseason, with players moving into club play for the coming season.

Mount Si routed in Kingco 4A title game: The Wildcats were blown out in four sets by North Creek Tuesday at Skyline High School in Sammamish 25-12, 23-25, 25-16, 25-13, as the Jaguars avenged their regular season loss to the Wildcats and did so handily.

Mount Si heads into the WesKing District tournament this weekend as the second seed from Kingco and will host a doubleheader of games on Saturday afternoon.

In Tuesday night’s loss, Bailey Showalter was the focus of the North Creek defensive efforts, and the Jaguars successfully shut down the Wildcat sophomore, holding her to just 10 kills, nine digs, three aces and an assist. Senior Dana Dolan also had a down match, with 18 assists, six digs, two aces and two kills. Dolan’s been running at around 20-25 assists in most of the Wildcats’ recent matches, so she’ll need to get her numbers back up to that level this weekend for Mount Si to be in good shape.

The matches Saturday start at 1:00, with Kingco sixth seed Newport taking on Wesco third seed Mount Vernon, then Mount Si will meet the winner of that match right after the first match concludes at around 3:00. Both matches are in the Mount Si gymnasium in Snoqualmie. We’ll preview and pick both matches for you Saturday right here!!

College Volleyball
Efforts of former MSHS’er not enough as Concordia-Irvine falls in barnburner: Former Wildcat player Patience O’Neal had a solid night for Concordia-Irvine’s ladies last night, but her efforts proved to not be enough in the end as the Eagles could not close out their match with Point Loma Nazarene, falling to the host Sea Lions in San Diego in a five-set thriller.

PLNU took the match 24-26, 25-21, 22-25, 25-14, 15-9 as the Sea Lions rallied from a two set to one hole by exploding down the stretch and getting the job done. O’Neal, a sophomore who played with Mount Si as a high school sophomore before transferring to, then graduating from, Tahoma High School in Maple Valley in 2018, had 12 kills, two digs and an assist for Concordia, who dropped to 13-10 on the season, 7-8 in PacWest (NCAA Division II) play.

The Eagles begin a four-match homestand Saturday night hosting Fresno Pacific. The match starts at 5:00 and is available via pay-per-view on PacWestDigital, a link to which is at right in our news links.

Other college news:

Basketball
Mount Si grad Williams makes college debut: Pacific Lutheran University men’s basketball freshman Brett Williams, he of North Bend and a 2019 MSHS alum, made his college debut Tuesday night for the NCAA Division III Lutes as they opened their season on the road in Seattle against NCAA Division I Seattle University. Williams played limited minutes and had one assist for PLU in the 98-64 loss to the Redhawks at the Connolly Center. The Lutes next play at a tournament in northern California this weekend.

Soccer
Moorhead ladies fall in Brownell’s final home game as collegian: Visiting St. Cloud State came into Moorhead, MN, yesterday and ruined the final home game for the Dragon seniors, including Fall City’s Lindsey Brownell, blanking Minnesota State-Moorhead’s ladies 3-0. It was a dominating effort, too, for St. Cloud, as they limited Moorhead to just two shots, one on goal. Brownell, a 2016 MSHS grad, started on defense and played 84 minutes with no stats of note. The game was a makeup from a postponed game earlier in the season. Brownell’s last college game comes tomorrow in South Dakota, as the Dragons wrap up the season playing Northern State University.

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CHS girls soccer headed to state after a pair of goals from “Mad Dog” and outstanding work in net from goalie Berberich lift Red Wolves over Sehome

This season for Cedarcrest High School’s girls’ soccer team is becoming a very special one, that’s for sure. They made it even more special last night by locking down a return trip to state.

Madelyn “Mad Dog” Davidson scored two goals within three minutes of one another in the first half, then the Red Wolves defense and goalie Katelyn Berberich stepped up huge the rest of the way, as CHS held off Sehome 2-0 up in Bellingham to advance to the Northwest 2A District championship game this weekend and also get that state berth for the first time in two seasons.

“The girls are playing huge right now,” coach Alex Hickox told the SVSJ. Noting the team won its fifth straight game with last night’s win, he also noted, “This family is so motivated and determined and they are a fun bunch to watch play.”

The two goals from Davidson, in the 25th and 28th minutes, came as the result of good preparation. “We had a pretty clear strategy against them going in – some of that strategy was to look to play a little more direct and see if we could expose their back-line (they play three in the back). So, they give a lot of space on their sidelines on their back-line,” Hickox told us. “We knew that they would be susceptible to counter-attacks too since they also play a highline in the back. We do have speed on this team and so this was our attack plan.” And it worked.

Berberich then stepped up in the second half, making saves that, according to her head coach, she probably had no business making but make she did. “And this, from a player that was going to be a field player on the JV team this year – she has really improved and we owe a lot to our goalkeeper coach, Eric Berberich (father of Katelyn). If it hadn’t been for him and his passion to help Katelyn perform, we would not be where we are, really,” Hickox told us. We’re guessing father and daughter had a darn good ride home last night debriefing after the game.

“We’re excited with our opportunities and the girls are taking great advantage of them,” Hickox told us, and those opportunities now include a chance at a district title on Saturday afternoon, meeting an old friend and challenging foe in Liberty. Game is at 3:00 down at Liberty High School in Renton. “Great bunch of young women to be associated with – truth,” the coach added.

Good stuff and we congratulate all of you on this accomplishment!!

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Taking a look at a major behind-the-scenes issue impacting both MSHS and CHS sports this school year – reclassification and realignment

A major issue behind the scenes impacting Mount Si and Cedarcrest High School’s athletic departments this school year is the issue of state high school sports reclassification, and resulting league realignment.

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, the state high school sports’ governing body, is conduting student counts at all high schools in Washington state this fall, designed to help classify schools in various classes according to their student populations. The smallest schools will be in “B” classes on up to the largest schools competing in the “4A” class.

The classification announcement is also expected to shake up leagues around the state – we’ve already mentioned news on our Twitter feed this fall of one at the 2A level over in eastern Washington that could impact the state playoff landscape for Cedarcrest High School sports. And it is all of those moving parts that have caused administrators in the Kingco Conference to begin plans for what the league could look like next school year.

Kingco landscape not expected to change significantly
League athletic directors met about this topic October 21, according to minutes posted on the league website and which the SVSJ obtained. According to the numbers provided to the administrators, including Mount Si’s Darren Brown, by the conference, the makeup of the league looks to be status quo.

The primary item of note out of this was the dropping of all four Northshore schools – Bothell, North Creek, Inglemoor and Woodinville – out of 4A down to 3A, requiring all four to “opt up” in order to remain in the 4A classification. This has been expected by league administrators since North Creek opened three years ago in south Snohomish County between Bothell and Mill Creek to relieve student crowding at the other Northshore School District high schools, most notably Bothell. Aside from that, everything else remains pretty much the same, with six schools – including Mount Si – locked into the 4A classification, with the remainder all 3A.

What might result?: It has been mentioned to us in the past that the league’s current 2A and 3A schools, such schools as Bellevue, Interlake, Juanita, Mercer Island and Lake Washington, would prefer a full-on merge of the league meaning all schools could play one another in league competition. This, if it were to result in geographically-aligned divisions in most sports, could see Mount Si resume rivalries with such schools as MI and Liberty in league play. The 3A schools see a full-on merge as something that could help improve their programs’ preparation for postseason district tournaments, something which Kingco’s 3A division has struggled with in recent seasons in some sports.

But, there is also the possibility of keeping the two leagues split, in which case it would be expected the Northshore schools would all opt up and the league alignments which currently exist would remain such at least for the next couple of years.

How does this impact Cedarcrest?: It is way too early to tell at this point. As things currently stand, it’s very likely CHS, considering its relative success in most sports within the Wesco Conference, which they have been a part of for the past two seasons following the dissolution of the Cascade Conference, their former league, will be able to stay in the league, especially as it allows for the football team to play within the Northwest District’s consortium which was set up to allow for CHS to play like-sized schools in league play. However, a couple of issues cropped up this fall that could call into question future scheduling within that consortium.

First, there was the issue of league rival Anacortes High School not fielding a varsity football team this fall, due to low turnout for the team, then more recently, Bellingham High School, another league rival in football for CHS, having to forfeit its rivalry game with Sehome again for lack of available players, which could suggest trouble on the horizon numbers-wise for that school’s program. While the Northwest’s Lake Division was a solid league for CHS these past two seasons, the Anacortes situation – and that of Blaine, who was promoted this past offseason to the consortium’s higher-caliber Sky Division – resulted in there being only three league games for Cedarcrest.

Moving to Kingco, and a likely league schedule, could be more appealing for the school’s administration, especially with respect to the number of 3A schools they’d be able to play and perhaps beat improving the team’s computer RPI ranking, and also ensure stability in that league schedule moving forward. While playing Bellevue every year would be something that would not sit well with many at CHS, several other 3A schools in Kingco struggled this fall, and could be winnable games in coming seasons for the Red Wolves based on how their season went this fall were the school to move to Kingco.

The Wesco folks have not released minutes of their meetings similar to what Kingco has done, so it’s not clear as to what’s going to happen there.

What to look for: The numbers that have been released are preliminary numbers – the final numbers are not expected to be announced for a couple of more weeks at least then schools will have the ability to appeal their numbers and make other decisions, such as opting up, as a result, with final classification announcements expected sometime early in the new year. The classifications would be good for four years, meaning Mount Si will be a member of Kingco 4A for at least that period of time, and considering continued growth at the school, for many years after that. As for CHS, they are expected to remain a 2A school.

Posted in Basketball, College Sports, Football, News and Comment, On the Diamond, On the Links, Soccer, Tennis, Track/XC/Running, Volleyball, Water Sports, Wrestling/Gymnastics | Comments Off on Taking a look at a major behind-the-scenes issue impacting both MSHS and CHS sports this school year – reclassification and realignment