The Mercer Island girls volleyball team made a statement in the first KingCo 3A matchup of the 2017 season on their home court in front of their hometown fans.
The Islanders cruised to a 3-0 (25-11, 25-15, 25-13) victory against the Interlake Saints on Sept. 6 at Mercer Island High School. Interlake tied the second set at 7-7 early on but the Islanders outscored the Saints 18-8, taking a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.
Mercer Island head coach Susan Rindlaub believes her team benefited from competing in the Emerald City Volleyball Invitational over Labor Day weekend. The Islanders faced Seattle Prep, Lynden Christian and Cleveland.
“It was definitely good to have a jamboree last week and play against some really good teams before having to go into our league matches,” Rindlaub said.
Rindlaub said Interlake was a challenging opponent in the season opener in league play.
“Interlake is always very scrappy and they always play well against us,” she said. “We usually open our season against them. They played us really well and they tested us. They have some great servers.”
Interlake head coach Eddie Guerrero, who is in his first season as head coach of the program, was impressed with his team’s intensity against a Class 3A volleyball powerhouse.
“Mercer Island is a great program and a great team,” Guerrero said. “This is my first season at the school (Interlake) and we have a whole new system that the team has never played before. I was expecting the girls to compete and do the things that we’ve been working on. I was really excited and happy with what I saw. The outcome was not what we wanted but it was a good learning experience for us. We are going to use what we learned tonight for the rest of the season. We know what we need to work on.”
Rindlaub was impressed with a plethora of her players performances against the Saints.
“Kelly (Behrbaum) and Adara (Hamilton) were both really consistent and really powerful,” Rindlaub said. “Stirling (Yeadon) played some really good defense. Both of our setters did a really good job. Our middle (hitter) Lindsey Lovestead had a 100-percent hitting average.”
Islanders’ senior Tess Hendelman was glad to be back on the court with her teammates again.
“We are very cohesive together. It has been awesome. We were so excited for the start of the season. Obviously it was a great game and we all played well. We have a lot to improve on, but there is nowhere to go but up from here,” Hendelman said with a smile.
The Islanders have an experienced roster consisting of six seniors, three juniors and two sophomores.
“They have very high expectations,” Rindlaub said. “They want to win league. They want to win districts and they want to win state.”