Issaquah rolls into state volleyball tournament with an 18-1 streak

November 18, 2008

By Ryan Piersol

The Issaquah volleyball team has embraced change all season. Come Friday, it’ll be hoping for it.

Despite jumping up a class to 4A this season, the Eagles were able to qualify for the state tournament for the third time in the past four years. They’ll begin state play at 9 a.m. Nov. 21 at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.

Because Issaquah opens against Kentwood, the Eagles will count on even more change. The Conquerors defeated Issaquah 3-0 Sept. 9 and have since rolled to an impressive 18-1 mark.

That match was the season-opener for both teams. Combine that with the Eagles having a young squad, and it’s easy to see why Issaquah expects a much different outcome.

“A lot of players we have in positions now were in completely different positions then,” Eagles head coach Todd Parsons said. “They’re one of the top 500 teams in the nation. But having played against them, we know them and their tendencies now, which should help in this match.”

Issaquah will play either the winner or loser of an Edmonds-Woodway versus Lewis & Clark match in the second round of state.

This is the Eagles’ fifth trip to state and second in Class 4A. Issaquah’s highest placement at state was third in 2005; it took fifth the following year.

Because the Eagles are so young, Parsons said he sees them as one of the more upset-capable teams in the bracket.

“We have a very talented group. We physically put a lot of challenges on teams,” he said. “We’re doing a really good job and we’re going to be ready for any team.

“Especially this year, there are really not any easy matchups for anybody. All of these teams are really good.”

Kentwood is entering on the heels of its only loss of the season, a 3-1 setback to Puyallup. No one else has come close to knocking the Conquerors off.

Issaquah also enters on a losing streak, having lost to Bothell, 3-1, in a district match Nov. 13. The Eagles had previously qualified for state with a 3-2 win against Skyline Nov. 6 and a 3-0 blanking of Eastlake Nov. 4.

Issaquah, 12-5 overall, is the third seed out of District 2 and one of only two KingCo 4A teams to make state. The Eagles have already faced four teams — Kentwood, Rogers, Roosevelt and Bothell — in the state bracket.

Reach Reporter Ryan Piersol at 392-6434, ext. 246, or rpiersol@isspress.com.

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