Sports

Thunderous start

Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter Islander Liz Miller (11) hammers the ball into the Bothell side of the court for a kill on Thursday at Mercer Island High School. The Islanders defeated the Cougars 3-1 and opened the season with a 3-0 victory over Seattle Prep.  -
Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter Islander Liz Miller (11) hammers the ball into the Bothell side of the court for a kill on Thursday at Mercer Island High School. The Islanders defeated the Cougars 3-1 and opened the season with a 3-0 victory over Seattle Prep.
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Volleyball dominates Prep, Bothell

By Matt Phelps
Mercer Island Reporter

Islander Abby Trimble sat on the bench Thursday night cheering on the Mercer Island volleyball team to a 3-1 victory over Bothell. At well over six-feet tall, Trimble was noticeably absent from the court, despite no longer wearing the boot that covered her injury during the preseason.

Normally, one players’ absence, even one with game-changing talent such as Trimble, would not be a big deal during the first two non-league games of the year. But the Islanders’ domination during the two victories sets the standards high for the rest of the season.

“This just gives us confidence for the rest of the season,” said Islander junior Janelle Chow. “Everyone is giving a supreme effort.”

Trimble’s absence is giving younger athletes such as Sabrina Rasmussen and Kristine Fu a chance to show their talent, and both came up big against the Cougars.

Mercer Island got a fast start with a 25-14 victory. Two blocks and a tip-kill by Rasmussen accounted for three of her team’s final six points of the game. Rasmussen led the Islanders with seven blocks during the match.

Game two went back and forth with both teams trading leads. The speed of Mercer Island on defense made scoring consecutive points difficult for the Cougars, while senior Liz Miller supplied the offensive muscle. The thunderous spikes rained down on Bothell during a 6-1 run by the Islanders, as the home team took a 17-14 lead.

“I really worked over the summer with the trainer and played club to get better,” said Miller about her accuracy.

Fu stretched the team to four points with a tip-kill but the Cougars fought back to tie the game at 20. Neither team could gain control until a laser-like kill by Bothell gave the visiting team a 27-26 lead. An unforced error tied the match at one game each.

The frustration of losing the second game gave Mercer Island motivation to put the Cougars away.

“We all know each other so well and we know how to pump each other up,” said Chow.

Mercer Island hammered the ball into the hardwood for a dominant 25-11 victory with their offense looking like a well choreographed dance number. The rotation and movement of the team seemed effortless as good defense gave way to Bothell mistakes.

The Islanders put the Cougars away with a close 25-23 victory in game four as Miller again showed her power with four thunderous kills in the final seven points of the game.

“We had the middle distract the blockers and it gave me some good opportunities,” said Miller, who led the Islanders with 16 kills.

Chow finished the game with four aces while Amanda Nield had 39 assists.

The win came on the heels of a 3-0 victory over Seattle Prep, 25-17, 25-10, 25-14, on September 4 as Chow and Miller led the team with seven kills each.

The Islanders traveled to Garfield to take on the Bulldogs Tuesday (after Reporter deadline) and will host Woodinville Friday at 3:45 p.m. before traveling to Inglemoor on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

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