Mercer Island volleyball third at 3A state tournament

The Mercer Island volleyball team brought home a third-place trophy from the 2016 3A state volleyball championships Saturday at the Toyota Center in Kennewick. Photo courtesy of John Fisk.

The Mercer Island volleyball team ended its season just like it began and just like it so often conducted business this year: with a sweep.

The Islanders defeated Capital High 25-13, 25-16, 25-20 to bring home a third-place trophy from the 2016 3A state volleyball championships Saturday at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.

Mercer Island went 3-1 at the state tournament, not dropping a set in the team’s three wins, and came one five-set match away from reaching its second state championship final in four years.

The Islanders opened the tournament on Nov. 11 fighting for every point in a 27-25, 25-20, 33-31 win over Ferndale, followed by a 25-22, 25-18, 25-21 win over Gig Harbor.

Mercer Island’s winning streak came to a halt in the semifinal round against the Mt. Spokane Wildcats. Though pushing Mt. Spokane to the limit, the Wildcats survived the Islanders 25-17, 25-27, 25-21, 15-25, 17-15.

Mt. Spokane would go on to finish second at the tournament, with Seattle’s Lakeside defeating the Wildcats in straight sets in the championship final for the program’s first state title.

Mercer Island finished 2016 with an overall record of 22-3. The Islanders went undefeated in KingCo 2A/3A competition with a league record of 14-0 and boasted the league MVP in senior setter Natalie Robinson.

Head coach Susan Rindlaub also earned KingCo 3A Coach of the Year recognition.

Photos courtesy of John Fisk and Willy Paine.

Tessa Fisk blocks a Mt. Spokane shot, assisted by Lindsey Lovsted. Photo courtesy of John Fisk.

Natalie Robinson sets up for a kill shot for the Islanders. Photo courtesy of John Fisk.

Tess Hendelman goes in for the dig against Ferndale. Photo courtesy of Willy Paine.

Adara Hamilton crouches low for the defensive save. Photo courtesy of John Fisk.

Natalie Robinson sends a shot over the outstretched arms of Capital’s front line. Photo courtesy of Willy Paine.

Kelly Behrbaum follows through on a spike against Capital. Photo courtesy of Willy Paine.

Photo courtesy of John Fisk.

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