Not even a lopsided 73-22 loss in the season opener could dampen the spirits of Mercer Island Islanders head coach Dennis Black.
Black, who is in his first season leading the program, believes everything will come together as the season progresses. The Islanders have six seniors on the roster consisting of Angelina Barokas, Rio Beutelspacher, Sarah Gest, Emma Pfeiffer, Anna Swanson and Hannah Wainwright.
“I’m glad the seniors decided to come out for the team this year. Having that experience is going to be a big difference this season. Tonight was the first game and the kids are trying to learn right now. I’m not really concerned (with the loss to Newport). We are thinking positive going forward. The pieces will come together,” Black said.
Barokas echoed Black’s sentiment following the game against Newport on Nov. 27 in Bellevue.
“Having all six of us (seniors) is really powerful. I’m really excited and I think that everybody is looking forward to the season. We have a great mentality and are going to keep things positive no matter what,” Barokas explained.
Barokas is impressed with Black’s coaching style.
“He has pushed us really hard and I think that we’re going to get a lot out of this year with him as a coach. He really sees the potential in every single player, not just one person, and that is making us a great defensive team,” Barokas said.
Barokas was part of the Islanders Class 3A state championship squad as a sophomore reserve player during the 2016-17 season and wants to see her team return to the Tacoma Dome this March.
“It is something I really want to do again this year. I want us to at least make it to the Tacoma Dome (site of Class 3A state tournament) again. The last time we went to state it was frustrating for me because I was injured. Even though I wasn’t playing, it was an incredible feeling just being there and I really want our team to go there this year and make it far,” she said.
Dec. 7 at Mount Si, 7:15 p.m.
Dec. 12 JUANITA, 7:15 p.m.
Dec. 14 INTERLAKE, 6:30 p.m.
Dec. 19 at Sammamish, 7:15 p.m.
Dec. 21 at Lake Washington, 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 5 at Shorecrest, 7:15 p.m.
Jan. 9 BELLEVUE, 7:15 p.m.
Jan. 11 LIBERTY, 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 14 at Shelton, 7 p.m.
Jan. 18 at Juanita, 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 23 at Interlake, 7:15 p.m.
Jan. 25 SAMMAMISH, 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 30 LAKE WASHINGTON, 7:15 p.m.