Photo courtesy of Debby Wilson
                                The Mercer Island Islanders girls water polo team will compete at the state tournament from May 24-26 at Curtis High School in University Place.

Photo courtesy of Debby Wilson The Mercer Island Islanders girls water polo team will compete at the state tournament from May 24-26 at Curtis High School in University Place.

Islanders girls water polo team earns berth at state tournament

Mercer Island defeats Puyallup in regional playoff game.

Mercer Island Islanders girls water polo head coach Calvin White is throughly confident in his team’s chances for success at the state tournament from May 24-26.

The Islanders, who put together an overall record 6-2 in league play during the 2018 season, defeated the Puyallup Vikings 11-6 in a winner-to-state, loser-out regional playoff game on May 19.

“Our defense led the way. We just played really smart. We had a couple of quick goals, had a couple of steals and were able to press them. Our plan was very effective,” White said.

Mercer Island players Annie Ritcey and Annie Pearse, who both captured first-team all-league honors, anchored the Islanders defense not only against Puyallup but throughout the entire season.

“They’re studs and they’ve led us defensively,” White said. “Annika Jorgenson our first year sophmore goalie has played phenomenal.”

Jorgenson earned second-team all-league honors for her play between the posts. Laine Hooper earned second team all-league honors as well. Tess Ritcey earned a third-team, all-league nomination.

The Islanders captured fifth place out of eight teams at the state tournament during the 2017 season. This year, the Islanders are determined to place higher than they did exactly 12 months ago. White said a heartbreaking loss to Newport in the 2017 state tournament prevented his squad from placing in the top three slots.

“That game will haunt me forever. We had a one goal lead. We had a turnover in the last 17 seconds and Newport tied it up to force overtime and then we lost in overtime,” White said. “We’re hoping to overcome that heartbreaking loss from last year.”

The Islanders will face the Gig Harbor Tides in the first round of the state tournament at 5 p.m. on May 24 at the Curtis Aquatic Center in University Place.

“They’re the four-time defending state champions. We’ve got our work cut out for us. Even if we lose our first game we can still come back around and get third place which would be a great goal for us if we are unable to beat Gig Harbor,” White said. “We are banking on our defense this coming weekend.”

White said the Islanders program continues to ascend each season. The Islanders are a youthful squad featuring four juniors and six sophomores on the 2018 roster.

“This isn’t a one year deal. For these sophomores and juniors this is going to be their show next year. They’ve really stepped up for us,” White said.

More in Sports

Mercer Island player Oliver Schaaf, (No. 5), plays defense against the Newport Knights in the season opener on Sept. 6. Photo courtesy of Michelle Kavesh
Islanders boys water polo team is striving for excellence in the pool

Mercer Island defeats Newport in season opener.

Mercer Island volleyball players Anika Iverson, left, and Quinn Casey, right, leap into the air against the Skyline Spartans in a non-league contest on Sept. 12 on Mercer Island. Skyline defeated Mercer Island 3-1 in the matchup. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
Spartans defeat Islanders in nonleague volleyball contest

Mercer Island head coach Samantha Marziello is in her first season leading the program.

Mercer Island Islanders running back Jack Clayville scored two rushing touchdowns against the Issaquah Eagles on Sept. 7. Mercer Island improved their overall record to 2-0 courtesy of their 13-0 victory against Issaquah. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
Stingy defense propels Islanders to a victory

Mercer Island running back Jack Clayville rumbles for two rushing touchdowns.

The view from the Little Si hiking trail summit. Photo courtesy of James Martin
Aspiring for the pinnacle on the trail

Sportswriter Shaun Scott goes hiking on Labor Day weekend.

The Newport U18-U19 girls select soccer team captured second place at the Starfire Extreme Cup on Aug. 19 in Tukwila. The Newport squad lost 6-5 in penalty kicks to Kent United in the title game. Mercer Island athletes on the roster pictured consisted of Isabella Mancusco, MaKena French, Lucy Cleator, Lilly Pruchno, Caitlin Liang and Haley Selman. Photo courtesy of Dana Pruchno
Local soccer team earns second place at tournament

The Newport U18-U19 girls select soccer team captured second place at the… Continue reading

Thunder Sports Network takes the sports world by storm

Rich Hallstrom and Chris Brown co-authored Thunder Sports Network, but it’s friendship that counts.

Cecilia Sommerfield, left, and Emily Guedel, right, competed at the USA Water Polo National Junior Olympics from July 26-29 in San Jose, California. Sommerfield and Guedel will be freshman during the 2018-19 school year at Mercer Island High School. Shaun Scott, staff photo
Competing against top-caliber competition in California

Mercer Island athletes compete in water polo Junior Olympics.

Mercer Island Islanders senior boys lacrosse player Donnie Howard competed on the Russian National lacrosse team at the 2018 FIL World Lacrosse Championships from July 12-21 in Israel. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Howard partakes in an experience of a lifetime

Mercer Island senior Donnie Howard competes in 2018 FIL World Lacrosse Championships.

Andrews soars onto the national stage

Brooke Andrews, 13, is looking to compete at the 2018 USA Diving Junior National Championships.

Sound Publishing sportswriter Shaun Scott poses for a quick picture with members of the Bellevue Christian Vikings football team following a weight training session on July 19 at Bellevue Christian School in Bellevue.
                                Photo courtesy of Todd Green
An undoubtedly memorable experience

Working out with the Bellevue Christian Vikings football team was formidable test.

Mercer Island senior football player John Majewski hauls in a pass during a player led team workout on July 18 on Mercer Island. The Islanders, who finished with an overall record of 7-4 during the 2018 season, are looking to build on last year’s sensational season on the gridiron.
                                Shaun Scott, staff photo
Islanders looking to build on a stellar 2017 season

Mercer Island football team is putting in the preparation.

Photo courtesy of Tim Bauman
                                Mercer Island boys soccer players Reis Kissel and Hunter Bauman were named to the Washington High School first-team all-state boys soccer this past May.
                                It was the third consecutive season Kissel and Bauman received first-team, all-state honors. Reis, who played defender for the Islanders, will be attending Vassar College this fall. Bauman, who played midfielder for the Islanders, will be attending the University of Washington. Bauman (left), Islanders head coach Colin Rigby (center) and Kissel (right) are pictured in the above photo.
Islanders soccer stars earn coveted honors

Mercer Island 2018 graduates finish sensational high school soccer careers.