Bellevue Takes Down Rival Islanders!
Bellevue had their toughest week yet with games against the district’s third place and long-time rival Mercer Island High School and the second place Liberty Patriots.
The stands were packed for the Mercer Island match-up as the varsity team took the court. The Wolverines had a slow start with a series of hitting and passing errors that forced Bellevue into a 3-11 deficit early in the first set. A kill by middle hitter Jenna Keenan gave the Wolverines the ball back after a great dig by libero Carly Burns. Strong serves by setter Meghan Weber and a series of kills helped turn the tide and pull the team up to a 13-13 tie. The teams were evenly matched from there, but Bellevue was never quite able to pull ahead. Jenna came out with three more kills, along with some great defensive and offensive plays by the whole team to get the ball back at 21-24 with setter Mia Vong up to serve. Two serving aces and a massive combined block by outside hitter Naomi Chen-Mallouk and middle Katie Sorrell had the score tied again at 24-24, but they just couldn’t pull ahead and dropped the first set to Mercer Island 24-26. Mercer Island started off the second set but immediately lost any momentum as Bellevue pounded out kill after kill on the front line. The Wolverines were ahead 13-3 early in the second set and just dominated the court to win 25-8. However, momentum quickly swung again in the third set as Mercer Island starting putting up a strong block and Bellevue had another slow start finding themselves down 6-11 early, and eventually lost the third set 22-25. Bellevue suddenly found themselves down two sets to one with the match on the line, but they came back with a vengeance as Katie dominated the middle of the net and Naomi hit a series of kills to hold onto an early lead. Amazing defense by libero Carly Burns and strong serves gave Bellevue the set at 25-14, forcing a fifth set. Naomi hit two kills in a row early in the set and, when combined with some great serving, gave Bellevue the early lead at 6-2. Strong hitting by Mercer Island had them nearly tying the game before some great serves and two clutch tips by setter Mia Vong at the net sealed the match 15-10 and giving Bellevue the win! Bellevue really showed their strength attacking the ball from the first serve to the last and coming out on top in this epic match-up. They tackle Mercer Island again for the last game of the season in Mercer Island on October 25th and will surely be another great match!
Bellevue continued to play strong in their second game of the week against the Liberty Patriots on Thursday night, but were plagued by errors early in the first set and lost an 11-6 lead to Liberty with Liberty serving seven unanswered points to pull ahead of Bellevue 11-13. Liberty continued to play strong and won the first set 23-25 despite a great come-back rally by Bellevue late in the set. Setter Meghan Weber served five unanswered points early in the second set to continue Bellevue’s momentum, followed quickly by hitter Julia Bray serving strong for another four points giving the Wolverines a 13-9. A clutch block and more strong serves by Hannah Geffe and Carly Burns finished out the set quickly with a 25-14 win. Set three, however, turned the tides against Bellevue where serving errors and some tough passing had them down most of the set until Meghan stepped back up to the serving line and led the team with nine points straight to pull ahead 23-17. Julia Bray then killed the ball at the net and had the final serves to win the set 25-20. Down two sets to one, Liberty came back strong and gave Bellevue some the best (and longest) rallies of the season, but Bellevue just couldn’t hold the lead and lost the fourth set 22-25 putting the match on the line again in the fifth set. Bellevue started slow and dropped 0-5 early in the set. Strong serving and some great defense helped Bellevue close the gap, and kills by Julia Bray and Jessica Buxton along with another clutch block by Naomi pulled the team to within two points as setter Meghan Weber went back to serve. Five straight serves and a clutch kill by Jenna saw the team with its first lead of the set at 13-12 but they couldn’t hold the momentum and lost the fifth set and match 13-15. It was a tough loss, but probably one of the best match-ups and longest rallies of the season. Serving remains one of Bellevue’s most dominating weapons with Carly Burns leading the team so far this season with a total of 30 aces and Mia Vong following close behind with 29. Meghan Weber and Julia Bray both have over 20 aces this season as well. Naomi Chen-Mallouk leads the team in kills with 68 so far this season. Julia Bray and Jenna Keenan are nearly tied for second with 49 and 48 respectively, while Katie Sorrell dominates the middle of the net with 20 blocks, showing just how great an all-around team Bellevue has this year!
The JV Team moves up to second place in the league with a win against Liberty High School, but lost to Mercer Island. Middle blocker Mason Mukhar and setter Anastasiya Polyakov both had tough serves with a number of aces between them, keeping the score close and making a big impact in both games. While the C-Team lost their games this week, Adora Wu had a lot of great swings from the front row and Kiana Amini-Naieni had some good digs in the back grow. Angela Suppipat led the cheers on the bench to rally the players on the court, keeping the energy up for a lot great rallies throughout both games.
The loss is Bellevue’s first of the season for the varsity team, but with an 9-1 overall record and 6-1 in the league, they remain in first place for the 2A/3A division as they head into this week’s games against Juanita, Sammamish, and Eastlake. The Sammamish and Eastlake games are at home this Thursday and Friday, October 11th and 12th. The C-Team and JV start at 5:15pm and the Varsity starts at 7:00pm.
Mercer Island Match, Varsity