Mercer Island High School volleyball players assembled and donated six bikes as part of a team bonding activity on Aug. 25. The bikes were donated to a Mercer Island family identified through Youth and Family Services. Photos courtesy of Elise Quinn

MIHS girls’ volleyball team bonds by building bikes

Mercer Island High School volleyball players had a special bonding and leadership training experience planned on Aug. 25, after a long week of tryouts and practice.

The volleyball booster club, with the team’s coach, Susan Rindlaub, had planned for the 34 girls on the team to put together six bicycles, which would then be donated to a Mercer Island family in need.

The family was identified and connected through Mercer Island Youth and Family Services, and the project was funded with a generous grant from the Mercer Island Community Fund, said the booster club’s Elise Quinn.

“We feel this training will be powerful in transferring leadership, problem solving and community bonding opportunities to the athletes and also help local families within our community that have been in need of bikes for local transportation,” Quinn said. “We would like the athletes to challenge themselves by bike building and then in turn, see that [their] efforts are worthwhile.”

When the players walked into the high school gym on Friday afternoon, they were told to split into six groups and sit around unopened cardboard boxes. They had to answer trivia questions about the sport of volleyball, and their teammates, to earn points before they could start the activity. When they looked inside the boxes, they found a bicycle frame, pedals and other parts.

With the help of some of their dads, who were volunteering for the afternoon, and some power tools, they worked together to assemble the bikes. Helmets were also donated and fitted by Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Rindlaub said that communication and teamwork are important on and off the court, and that she liked the community service aspect of the project. She is an MIHS volleyball alum, playing for four years and graduating in 2000. This year is her ninth as the head varsity coach at MIHS, where she teaches English and social studies.

The booster club has supported the girls’ MIHS volleyball team and their coaches with training, leadership, organizational efforts and fundraising since 1989, and became a nonprofit in 2014.

The Mercer Island Community Fund’s mission is to benefit and serve the residents of Mercer Island by receiving, investing and distributing funds to support community goals and interests. For more, see www.micommunityfund.org.

More in Sports

Going outside of the comfort zone

Sound Publishing sportswriter Shaun Scott discusses his affinity for hot yoga.

Mercer Island resident Anna Bolger (far right) earned a third-place finish in the 14-17 year-old age group at the Spartan Race Chicago Super and the Spartan Race Chicago Sprint on June 23-24 at the Richmond Hunting Club in Chicago.
                                Bolger clocked a time of 3:19:35 in the Spartan Race Chicago Super and a time of 2:08:57 in the Spartan Race Chicago Sprint. The Super, a Spartan Signature Race, included 8-10 miles of 24-29 obstacles for racers to tackle at the Richmond Hunting Club. The Sprint event consisted of 3-5 miles and 20-23 obstacles. The courses features miles of technical terrain, steep elevation and obstacles to push competitors to their limits.
                                Photo courtesy of Flora Goodman/Elevate Communications
Bolger takes third at Chicago races

Mercer Island resident Anna Bolger (far right) earned a third-place finish in… Continue reading

Dennis Black, who was an assistant coach with the Skyline Spartans boys basketball team during the 2017-18 season, is the new head coach of the Mercer Island Islanders girls basketball team.
                                Photo courtesy of Andrea Hegarty
Islanders girls basketball program has a new leader

Dennis Black is the new Mercer Island Islanders girls basketball head coach.

Avid swimmers spanning six states partook in the Mercer Island marathon swim on June 8. The distance, which covered 20 kilometers, saw 10 competitors complete the swim around Mercer Island in Lake Washington.
                                Participants included Daniela Klaz (Maine), Marcy MacDonald (Connecticut), Chris Greene (Georgia), Cindy Werhane (Oregon), Rijl Barber (Oregon), Wendy Van De Sompele (Washington), Jessi Harewicz (Washington), Suzie Dods (California) and Kim Rutherford (California). Klaz finished in first place with a time of 6:15.28.The swimmers (pictured) began their journey near the fishing dock at Luther Burbank Park at 8 a.m. on June 8 as they headed toward the east channel bridge. Photo courtesy of Liz Rosen
Swimmers partake in Mercer Island marathon swim

Individuals from multiple states make trip to Mercer Island for the event.

Gillian d’Hondt celebrates after watching her team win the Class 3A state basketball title in March of 2017 at the Tacoma Dome. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
State-champion coach resigns from position

Gillian d’Hondt departs after three seasons of leading the Islanders girls hoops program.

The Mercer Island Islanders girls water polo team earned fifth place at the state tournament on May 26 at the Curtis Aquatic Center in University Place. Photo courtesy of Debby Fry Wilson
Islanders girls water polo team earns fifth place at the state tournament

Mercer Island will return 10 varsity players to the roster in 2019.

Sparkle Squad. Katie Metzger/Staff photo
Mercer Island’s Sparkle Squad is here to cheer

The unified cheer group is made up of 13 mentors and nine students withintellectual disabilities.

Mercer Island Islanders junior boys lacrosse player Stew Vassau, who plays midfielder, was named to the 2018 Washington State High School All-American team.
                                Photo courtesy of Maryellen Johnson
Vassau named to 2018 Washington State All-American team

Islanders junior earns a coveted honor.

Mercer Island Islanders junior boys lacrosse player Glen Mahony, who plays the attack position, was named to the 2018 Washington State High School All-American team.
                                Photo courtesy of Maryellen Johnson
Mahony named to 2018 Washington State All-American team

Islanders junior earns a coveted honor.

The Mercer Island Islanders girls 800 relay and 1600 relay teams captured first place at the Class 3A state track and field meet on May 26 at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma.
                                The 800 relay team consisting of Maya Virdell, Maggie Baker, Gretchen Blohm and Kayla Lee earned first place with a time of 1:42.86. The 1600 relay team of Virdell, Baker, Blohm and Lee cruised to a first place finish with a time 3:51.56. Shorecrest finished in a distant second place with a time of 3:57.80. Lee (pictured in the 800 relay) ran the anchor leg on both relay teams.
                                Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
Islanders relay teams earn first place at state meet

Mercer Island 800, 1600 relay teams finish in first place at the state track meet.