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Islanders win District 2 3A KingCo Tournament | Prep volleyball
After surviving a scare from their matchup with Eastside Catholic earlier in the day, the Mercer Island High School volleyball team rolled past Seattle Prep 3-1 to win the District 2 3A KingCo Tournament Saturday, Nov. 9.
"That was a mentally huge win going into the state tournament," Coach Susan McKay said in a phone call. "We definitely learned from our match against Eastside Catholic, and it gave us a huge amount of confidence and excitement."
Despite being down 2-1 to Eastside Catholic after three sets and trailing 12-11 in the deciding fifth set, the Islanders stormed back to close out the Crusaders 15-12, advancing to the championship round. Sarah Lindquist had 25 kills and 3 blocks for the Islanders, and Jemma Yeadon had 22 kills and 3 blocks. Natalie Robinson had 47 assists while pitching in 3 aces. Brooke Behrbaum had 7 kills and 4 blocks, and Olivia Hughes added 3 blocks and 5 aces.
McKay said the Islanders' primary focus for the district finals was to block well, something she said the Islanders didn't do against Eastside Catholic. Mercer Island adjusted quickly, with 15 blocks against Seattle Prep, their highest total all season.
The Islanders came out firing, winning the first two sets 25-14 and 25-20. The Panthers responded winning the third set 25-20 before the Islanders pulled away, winning the fourth set 25-20 and securing the district title.
The Islanders will face Kennedy Catholic in the first round of the state tournament. Like the Islanders, the Lancers finished their season undefeated in their conference, going 14-0 in the Seamount league and 18-2 overall on the season.
While McKay called the Lancers "a good strong team," she also said that the Islanders have unfinished business when it comes to a state championship.
"The girls know that last year, we went into state ranked no. 1 and matched up against the state championship team in the first round," McKay said, referring to last year's first-round loss to eventual champion Prairie. "There's a sense of a second chance, and the players are ready to finally accomplish this goal that we haven't been able to before."
McKay said blocking and defense will continue to be the team's primary focus, as well as staying resilient and minimizing mental errors.
"I think that we have the best outside hitter combination with Sarah and Jemma," McKay said. "If the defense plays well and we can eliminate our own errors, I'm confident that we can beat anybody."
Mercer Island will play Kennedy Catholic in the first round of the 2013 3A State Volleyball tournament at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15 at St. Martin's University in Lacey, Wash.