Players and fans were treated to a matchup of epic proportions when Issaquah and Mount Si invaded the volleyball court in the winner-to-state, loser-out contest.
The rallies were long, players jumped high, hit the floor to save balls and twisted and turned their way through the five-setter on Nov. 16 at Glacier Peak High.
Issaquah (21-3) emerged victorious with a 25-13, 19-25, 25-20, 24-26, 15-12 triumph that sends the Eagles to the 4A state tournament at the Yakima SunDome on Nov. 22-23. The Eagles will face Tahoma at 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 22. Mount Si finished its season with a 15-6 record.
It was the third five-setter between the teams this season, with Issaquah winning out, 2-1, in the most crucial game of the season.
Issaquah’s Sadie Bacon closed out the first set with a kill, Maya Patton and Sidney Cottrell blocked the final point in set three and Abby May notched a kill for match point to end the marathon see-saw session.
“We’ve been working on finishing the set, going through and powering through and keeping the momentum, so I just wanted to finish it quickly and just get us to state. And that happened, so I’m really excited,” May said.
Participating in the five-setters is a fun, bonding experience, May said.
“We’re all super close and we like to keep a positive energy, so after we lose a point, we just shook if off and get it right back.”
Issaquah head coach Tami Reese enjoyed the game just as much as her players by constantly moving up and down the sideline, clapping and encouraging her players. At one point, she chased down a ball that bounced out of bounds.
“It’s such great volleyball all year and Mount Si’s a great team and we battle every time we play them. You teach the girls how to win, you just keep talking to them and find a way to win. Find a way to finish it,” said Reese, adding that her motto is to get better each day.
“They kept fighting and they kept believing, and they work so hard every day,” Reese said.