The plan was simple for the Issaquah volleyball team Monday night.
“We wanted to try and jump out on them, put a lot of pressure on them early,” head coach Todd Parsons said.
Mission accomplished for the Eagles.
Issaquah defeated Newport in three straight games — 25-14, 25-17, 25-18 — in a winner-take-all match for the KingCo 4A regular-season title.
“Our coach has taught us to always believe that the team we’re playing is ranked No. 1 in the state and we want to take them down,” senior outside hitter Rachel Roeder said. “We definitely had a good mindset going into (tonight).”
The Eagles, who moved to 10-0 in league and 12-0 overall, only trailed the Knights (8-2, 12-2) for a brief time in the first game before senior outside hitter Sarah Hanna’s powerful kill gave Issaquah a 13-12 lead. The Eagles never faced another deficit the remainder of the match.
Hanna led Issaquah with 17 kills, while Roeder threw down 14 kills, including the final point of the match.
“It feels good,” said Roeder, standing on the Newport court amongst a swarm of enthusiastic purple-clad fans. “In all of my four years on varsity, I’ve never been KingCo champ or been undefeated or anything.”
Issaquah, which will host the opening games of the KingCo 4A volleyball tournament Saturday, knows it can’t get too far ahead of itself.
“It’s great that we were undefeated, but now that means about nothing,” Parsons said. “I know that KingCo is deeper this year than I’ve ever seen it. Whether you’re one or two, or seven and eight … there’s no clear-cut favorite. We’ve all got to really go out there and earn it.”
Issaquah will face No. 8 Eastlake at 1 p.m., Saturday at IHS. No. 4 Inglemoor and No. 5 Roosevelt will also play at IHS, while No. 2 Newport will host No. 7 Garfield, along with No. 3 Woodinville and No. 6 Bothell.
“We definitely have some pressure on us,” Roeder said. “We never look at the big picture, we always look at one game at a time, one point at a time. If we can just keep the same mindset through the whole season good things will come.”
Eastlake locks up playoff spot in final match
Eastlake needed a victory coupled with a Skyline loss to get into the KingCo 4A tournament.
The Wolves received both Monday night.
Eastlake defeated Redmond in four games — 26-24, 25-23, 17-25, 25-22.
Anna Gorman led the Wolves (3-7, 4-10) with 14 kills, 11 digs and three aces. Sarah Pellicano added eight kills and 14 digs.
Eastlake, which locked up the eighth and final playoff berth, will face No. 1 Issaquah at 1 p.m., Saturday at IHS.
Skyline blanked by Woodinville
Skyline fell short of a trip to the league tournament Monday night, losing to Woodinville in three games — 25-17, 28-26, 25-17.
The Spartans needed a victory, or an Eastlake loss to Redmond, to get into the postseason.
Paige Haas had a team-high seven kills for Skyline, while Madison Stoa had 20 assists. The Spartans ended the season with a 3-7 league and 6-8 overall record.