Kingco Tourney Coverage
Wolverines Take 2nd In Kingco
Fall to Mercer Island 3-1 in new take on "Big Dance"
A depleted but determined Wolverine squad put a serious scare into Mercer Island before dropping the Kingco 3A tournament final, 3-1.
Making it clear from the opening serve that they would not be distracted by Homecoming activities, the scrappy and enthusiastic Wolverines went back and forth with the Islanders in Game 1. A strong serving run by Hannah Geffe, punctuated by a series of kills by Callie Weber, gave Bellevue a slim lead nearing the middle point of the game. Two aces on the electric serve of Alexis Khuu, who was also on fire with her setting, also helped Bellevue's cause. Mercer Island hung tough, though, and took a 21-19 lead. That's when Bellevue decided game 1 would be theirs, and the team closed strong on a 5-point serving effort from Julia Bray.
The momentum carried into game 2, with the Wolverines jumping out to a 5-1 lead. Mercer Island hung tough, though, and quickly the game was knotted at 7. Long service runs from Weber and Carly Burns kept the match close, and Naomi Chen-Mallouk got on the board with a series of strong kills. It was a back-and-forth affair until MI pulled ahead 23-21. It looked like Bellevue might steal the game behind strong serving from Weber, but MI prevailed 25-23.
Game 3 was also a topsy-turvy affair, with Bellevue taking a 11-7 lead before relenquishing it to an 8-point Mercer Island run. MI maintained a 3-4 point lead late in the match, despite strong digging from Weber, Burns, and Bray and good serving runs from Weber and Khuu. Chen-Mallouk nailed a few kills, along with a block, and again it looked like Bellevue might come back and win. MI rode the strong hitting of Kelly Behrbaum and Tessa Fisk down the stretch, however, and won the 3rd game by the same score of 25-23.
The Wolverines stayed positive and strong in game 4, and gave MI everything they could handle. Jenna Keenan had a strong service run and a timely block, and the Wolverines kept it close. Geffe, Burns, and Weber dug some rockets from the MI front line. Julia Bray found a hole in the MI block and had six kills in fairly rapid succession. The Wolverines battled, but MI fed their stars Behrbaum, Fisk, and Adara Hamilton and it was just too much on this evening. Mercer Island took the match with a 25-21 game 4 win.
Statistically, Bray led the Wolverines with 12 kills, with Weber and Chen-Mallouk delivering 11 and 9 respectively. Burns anchored the defense with 12 digs, while Weber dug up 10 and Bray 9. Weber and Khuu had 3 aces apiece to lead the team, and Keenan and Jessica Buxton put a roof over MI with 3 blocks each. Khuu delivered a workmanlike 35 assists before slipping back into her heels.
The parents and fans of our Wolverine squad were proud of all of the players. Despite a very hectic evening, and sub-optimal Homecoming experiences, the Wolverines came to play. They fought hard, and despite the loss improved their already strong depth on the team. Congratulations on a strong 2nd place finish in Kingco, and let's get ready to rumble in Districts on Wednesday, November 1!
Wolverines Capture Semi-Final
Strong post-season start with 3-0 win over Redmond
The Bellevue Wolverines started the KINGCO playoffs on Monday at Mercer Island. As the #2 seed, BHS got a quick rematch against the #3 seed, Redmond. The Mustangs had just beaten Bellevue on Monday on their home court and BHS had revenge on their minds.
The Wolverines started with purpose in game one as a quick Alexis Khuu ace was followed with kills from Naomi Chen-Mallouk and Callie Weber to make the score 4-2. Weber finished off the give and go with Khuu for another kill to make it 7-4. Julia Bray got into the act with a kill that was shortly followed by a Jenna Keenan ace to keep the slim lead at 11-8. Redmond was up for the task and tied it up at 14-14 before Carly Burns got an ace. Keenan got 2 kills in the next stretch and it made it 18-17 giving herself the serve. Keenan slammed another ace to make it 19-17. After a side out, a Weber kill got the serve to Khuu up 20-18. Khuu had the magic working as she dealt triple aces to stretch the lead to 23-18. Weber finished off game one with a kill off a Khuu backset from the right side and then aced the game away with a score of 25-20.
Redmond started off strong in game two to take a 0-3 lead. A Weber kill was followed up by a Chen-Mallouk kill. Hannah Geffe then got kills on consecutive plays to take a 4-3 lead. Geffe kept the hot hand with a couple of more kills with the last one giving BHS a 9-4 lead. RHS fought back until a Weber kill stopped the run with a slim 12-11 lead. Keenan kept her hot hand behind the service line with a couple of aces and the lead was 15-11. Weber got her hardest smash of the night that was followed up with a NCM stuff block and a Khuu ace and BHS was showing RHS who was the boss tonight with a 19-13 lead. The Mustangs were able to close the gap to 22-18 but Weber dealt back to back aces and Katie Sorrell finished it off with a kill and a final of 25-18.
Game three started with a Sorell tip and a NCM block and after a Bray kill and a Keenan block the Wolverines had a 5-4 lead. A Burns ace prompted a Redmond time out with the score 8-4. Keenan kept the pressure on with a couple of kills and the score was 11-6. Redmond made a mini run and got as close as 18-15 before the tri-captains took over the match. Sophia Knapp, passing to Khuu, who was setting Weber, produced 4 straight points and the lead of 22-16 looked safe. The game ended with a Redmond net violation and the final in game three was 25-18.
The serving was hot on Thursday as Khuu lead the team with 6 aces while Keenan had 4. Knapp lead the defense with 12 digs followed by Burns with 9. Khuu had 30 assists to again lead the squad. Weber lead the attack with 18 kills and Chen-Mallouk patrolled the net with 2 blocks.