Issaquah Eagles sweep Liberty Patriots in volleyball rivalry

September 18, 2012

By Matt Carstens

Leanne Scott (left), Issaquah High School senior offensive hitter, puts the ball over the net for set and match point Sept. 12 as Melia Parilla jumps up to defend for Liberty. By Greg Farrar

With pounding music in the gymnasium as the setting, the cross-district rivalry was reignited as the Issaquah High School volleyball team swept Liberty High School, 3-0, Sept. 12.

The first set was point for point, ending in a 25-22 Eagle victory. Two of the things Issaquah head coach Todd Parsons has been focusing his team on is communication and letting go of mistakes.

“They carry all their mistakes very heavily,” Parsons said. “In the first game, they were carrying that baggage again and in game two, they finally started to let it go. In game two and three, they played like I know they can play and they were just out there having fun. That’s what we ask of them.”

Since volleyball is such a mistake-driven game, usually the team that commits the most mistakes loses. When teams constantly fail 15-20 times a set, Parsons said that failure can grind on a team’s mentality.

“Most of the time they carry it themselves more than I carry it,” Parsons said. “They did a much better job in game two and three of just shaking it off.”

Issaquah has 12 of its 14 varsity players from last season returning this year. After a slow start to last season, they got hot toward the end, missing the state tournament by only one match.

“They learned a lot of lessons last year and they’re finding their identity,” Parsons said. “They’re learning how to have fun on the courts.”

On the Liberty side of the net, new coach Trina Christensen’s girls are still settling in with the new coaching staff.

“I think we just need to gel together and become comfortable and confident with the people that you’re playing with,” Christensen said.

Christensen, a Liberty alum, said she loves the rivalry between Liberty and Issaquah and also thinks it’s good for her girls to play a league above before the season starts.

“I’ve always liked the Issaquah versus Liberty game,” she said. “I like this cross-town rival. Good matches against teams like Issaquah that are 4A will really help us step it up.”

As far as goals for the season go, Christensen is just focused on keeping it simple.

“I want to just go out there and play well every single time we hit the court,” she said. “Obviously we’d love to make league, love to make districts, but right now the goals are open. We’d love to make it to state but right now it’s just playing as a cohesive unit and playing well.”

Up next, Issaquah will host Newport on Sept. 17 and Roosevelt on Sept. 19. Liberty will head to Juanita on Oct. 4.

Skyline’s newcomers look to help

Skyline head coach Callie Wesson’s team went 16-6 last season, which was good for fourth place in KingCo. The Spartans earned third place in districts and made it to sixth in the state tournament.

The team will be led this season by senior captain Halle Erdhal and junior Molly Mounsey, but freshmen Kate Richardson and sophomore Meghan Wedeking will bring something new to the table.

“We have a lot of great talent returning and as well some great newcomers that will make our team very well-rounded,” Wesson said. “Our league is very strong and I am excited to see what some of the younger kids have done in the off-season.”

The Spartans are 2-2 overall this year and will visit Roosevelt on Sept. 26 to start league play.

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