SeaKing Tourney Coverage
Wolverines Battle to the End
Beat Ballard 3-0; Drop State Tourney Play-In Match to Mercer Island 3-1
The Bellevue Wolverines took the court on Saturday with a daunting task ahead of them. They would need wins against the number one and number two seeds in the district as both Ballard and Mercer Island were upset on Wednesday.
At Sammamish High School, BHS tackled the Ballard Beavers at 1:00 pm. The Wolverines came out fast and strong and Ballard looked in shock as Bellevue smoked them in game one, 25-15. Bellevue roared out to an early lead in game two but the Beavers made a last gasp effort and were able to tie it up at 24 after trailing the whole match and by as much as 7 points. With momentum on their side they took the next point and looked to serve out the win. But, Julia Bray took an Alexis Khuu set and put it away and tie it at 25 giving Abby Harden the serve. Harden, who was just recently put into the starting line up, proved her insertion as she had a wicked serve and Ballard couldn’t return it once as she aced the game away, 27-25. With their will broken, Ballard had no answer as Bellevue was playing their best ball of the season and roasted the Beavers in game three, 25-13. Callie Weber lead the team with 20 kills while Khuu had 28 assists. Harden had 5 aces while Sophia Knapp lead the back line with 16 digs. Chen-Mallouk tallied 2 blocks.
After receiving a bit of a scare against Seattle Prep, the Wolverines went up against their old nemesis the Mercer Island Islanders. The winner moves onto the state tournament while the losers season would be over. A Naomi Chen-Mallouk kill had BHS out to a 11-7 lead, but that is when the worm turned and it was all MI the rest of the way taking game one, 17-25. Game two was tight throughout and after a Holly Huard kill the score was 16-18. A Callie Weber kill made it 20-21 prompting a MI time out. Weber did it again to make it 22-23 but Islander outside hitter, Kelly Behrbaum, took over and killed the game away, 22-25. With their backs against the wall things looked grim as MI took an early lead. Down 14-16, Coach Kalingo called a time out to rally the troops. The game was tied at 18, 19, 20, & 22 before BHS took the lead. A Jenna Keenan kill made it 24-21 and Bellevue saw the lead out and took game three, 25-21. Bellevue fell behind quickly in game four, 1-7. After a Chen-Mallouk block and a kill the Wolverines had closed it to 16-17. However, Behrbaum again took it over and BHS couldn’t stop her and the Islanders and the game was over, 17-25. Weber lead the attack with 20 kills while Khuu had 26 assists. Harden and Khuu each had 2 aces. Knapp had 25 digs while Weber had 22. Chen-Mallouk had 3 blocks.
With the season over we’d like to once again would like to thank all the coaches and volunteers that made this season so great. Our 8 seniors will be missed next year but they leave the program in great shape going forward. Thank you Abby Harden, Taylor Eide, Mina Dedijer, Jordan Meyers, Holly Huard, Sophia Knapp, Alexis Khuu, and Callie Weber. You are all wonderful volleyball players and even better people. We look forward to great things from you in the future.
SeaKing Pictures (Thank you, Eric!)
Wolverines Hold Seed Into Saturday
Beat Blanchet 3-1; Come Back But Lose Heartbreaker to EC 3-2
The Bellevue Wolverines started their quest to to return to the state tournament on Wednesday night at Lakeside High School. Their first opponent was the Blanchet Braves.
Bellevue came into this game as the favorite but in a loser out contest anything can happen. Blanchet played with purpose and with their season on the line came out of the gate strong. They carried the lead throughout game one as BHS played some uncharacteristic error-filled ball. Bellevue was able to tie the game at 23-23 and a Naomi Chen-Mallouk block made it 24-23. The point of the night, with it tied at 24, included a Sophia Knapp pancake and a Julia Bray kick shot that would have made Clint Dempsey proud. However, the Braves got the point and a 24-25 lead. Callie Weber got the kill to tie it up at 25 and after Blanchet’s third rotation error of the game Chen-Mallouk put away the game one winner and a score of 27-25.
Game two was all Blanchet as the Wolverines couldn’t get anything going and lost it, 17-25. Bellevue finally found their stride in game three and won it easily 25-17.
The Wolverines kept on the front foot in game four and after Alexis Khuu picked up a tip, a Knapp bump set Holly Huard, who was playing her first ball after suffering an ankle injury a couple of weeks ago, put it away and made the score 22-15. With their season on the line Blanchet made one last run and closed it to 23-22 before Jenna Keenan got a key kill. Weber finished off the Braves with a kill to take game four, 25-23.
Knapp lead the team with 4 aces while Khuu tallied 35 assists. Weber lead the team with 17 kills followed by Huard with 9. Weber had 24 digs followed by 17 by Knapp.
The Wolverines took the short walk to the other gym to take on Eastside Catholic in a contest where the winner wins a state bid. EC, which has spent most of the year ranked #1 in the state, was upset in the Metro playoffs by Ballard and came in as the #3 seed. A sizable crowd of students from EC made it a raucous environment. After BHS got their wake-up call, they stepped up their game in this match. After falling behind 5-0 early, the Wolverines found their stride and after back to back Weber kills were up 12-10. The game was then tied at 18, 21, 22, 24, 25, and 26. However, EC took the next 2 points and took the important game one, 26-28.
Bellevue breifly took an early lead in game two behind back to back aces by Abby Harden, but EC showed why they were ranked #1 for most of the year and controlled game two, 19-25.
Things looked bleak for the Wolverines as they fell behind 4-10 in game three. BHS slowly closed the gap and after Huard and Weber kills tied it up at 13. The momentum had turned as Bellevue played some of their best volleyball of the year and had EC rattled and after a Hannah Geffe ace took a 15-13 lead and it was a lead they wouldn’t relinquish as the stepped on the gas. A final Weber kill finished it off and BHS stayed alive taking game three, 25-21.
Game four was tied at 9 when the Wolverines took charge and played nearly flawless volleyball keyed by 3 Chen-Mallouk blocks and a Chen-Malllouk kill that knocked a Crusader to her backside and BHS wasn’t too be stopped and crushed Eastside, 25-13.
It was after 10 pm and Bellevue had played 8 games in just over 3 hours but a state bid was on the line. Chen-Mallouk and Weber started off the game with kills to take a 2-0 lead. Another Weber kill made it 3-1. Bray got a kill and then a block to tie it up at 6. A Weber ace made it 7-6 but that was when EC found a second gearing went on a 7-1 run to take a 8-14 lead. A Harden ace got it to 10-14 but that was it as EC took game five, 10-15.
The Wolverines will take on Ballard at 1:00 at Sammamish High School in a lower out game. A BHS win will give them one more game for a chance to return to state. The girls could really use your support on Saturday. Hope to see you all there.