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Islanders sweep Issaquah, stay atop KingCo standings
By Matt Phelps
Mercer Island Reporter
Momentum is everything in volleyball. The fact that the Islanders are undefeated gives the team a lot of momentum. Getting one of the team’s best players back may prove to be too much momentum for any KingCo team to overcome when playing the maroon and white.
The Issaquah Eagles found out just how much momentum and talent the Islanders have this year in a one hour and 20 minute 3-0 shutout on Friday at Mercer Island High School.
“This year we have so much talent that we feel like we can go all the way, so being undefeated is a big deal,” said Islander Carrie Williams.
Issaquah came out and took a 5-1 lead. But Mercer Island battled back and eventually took a 17-14 lead on an Ally Bray ace. The Islanders extended that lead to five points with a Janelle Chow ace and eventually won a 25-20 victory.
But the Islanders’ lackluster start during the first game came back. Issaquah held Mercer Island close and eventually took a 13-8 lead. But the Islanders blew past the Eagles with a dominating 12-3 run as the Islander faithful — overflowing the home team side of the stands — pounding the bleachers with glee.
“We knew from the last couple of years that they are a good team, and we were really stressed about the second game,” said Mercer Island setter Amanda Nield. “But after we got into the second game, we calmed down.”
The 25-20 win in the second game gave Mercer Island a commanding 2-0 lead.
The final game was all Mercer Island, as they jumped out to a 9-2 lead on a Shayda Sanii spike down the right sideline and never looked back.
Another Sanii hammer smacked the hardwood 13 points later for the Islanders’ largest lead of the night, 22-10. Issaquah made a charge for pride’s sake, scoring five straight points, before the Islanders finished the match with a tip kill by Sabrina Rasmussen and two kills by Liz Miller, winning 25-15.
Miller led the team with six kills, while Amanda Nield finished with 33 assists.
Although Abby Trimble saw limited action and had five kills, her shear presence on the hardwood gave Mercer Island momentum.
“It got everyone pumped up,” said Williams. “We are really happy to have her back.”
Trimble has missed the first eight matches of the year, thanks to an ankle injury that put her into a boot and onto crutches.
Although the Eagles now have two losses in league play, the team is still one of the premier programs in 3A KingCo.
“I was nervous to be out there,” said Trimble. “I am getting used to playing again, but this was a big game. I have never beat Issaquah on varsity, so it was big to beat the name [Issaquah].”
But one of the biggest elements of the Mercer Island momentum this season isn’t only their undefeated streak of eight straight matches but the fact that they have not lost a single game.
“We are really happy about that, and we want to keep it going as long as we can,” said Nield.
Mercer Island hosts Sammamish today at 6:45 p.m.