Skyline Spartans nip Liberty Patriots in girls soccer

September 7, 2011

NEW — 11 a.m. Sept. 7, 2011

Nicole Candioglos scored a goal at the 72nd minute Tuesday as Skyline High School nipped visiting Liberty 1-0 in a nonleague girls soccer game.

Jordan Branch assisted on Candioglos’ goal. The shutout was shared by Tina Vargas and Sydney Martinez, who were Skyline’s goaltenders.

The contest was the season-opener for both teams, who each qualified for the state tournament last year. Skyline finished third at the 4A state tournament while Liberty made it to the first round of the 3A tournament.

In other action, Eastlake and Lake Washington fought to a 2-2 draw.

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Issaquah Triathlon returns June 4

May 31, 2011

For many athletes, the triathlon season begins with the Issaquah Triathlon. This year’s Issaquah Triathlon is June 4 and is again held at Lake Sammamish State Park.

More than 1,000 athletes are expected to compete in the 11th annual event. The Issaquah Triathlon actually includes a variety of races.

The first race, the sprint triathlon, starts at 7 a.m. The sprint triathlon appeals to veteran triathletes, as well as novices.

The sprint triathlon course consists of a quarter-mile swim, a 15-mile bicycle ride and a 3-mile run.

The sprint duathlon consists of a 15-mile bike ride and a 3-mile run.

Among the other events are the 5K and 10K runs, and the kids’ triathlon. The kids’ triathlon is broken down into two groups, ages 10-13 and 9 and under.

Call 206-914-4846 or go to

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Issaquah volleyball team overcomes Eastlake

October 19, 2010

The unbeaten Issaquah High School volleyball team overcame an upset-minded Eastlake squad Oct. 13 to win the 4A KingCo Conference match 3-1.

Eastlake entered the match at Issaquah having just one league victory. However, the Wolves gave Issaquah a tough time in two of the games.

Issaquah won the first game 25-15, but Eastlake took the second game 25-23. The Eagles held off Eastlake 28-26 in the third game and wrapped up the match by winning the fourth game 25-15.

Sarah Hanna led Issaquah with 28 kills, 18 digs and four aces. Sam Rogers contributed 13 kills and three blocks. Setter Riley Sorenson had 61 assists and 13 digs. Libero Alexa Batiquin had 20 digs.

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Liberty High Schools girls race to another win

October 14, 2010

NEW — 1:30 p.m. Oct. 14, 2010

The Liberty High School girls cross country team placed seven runners among the top 10 finishers Wednesday to gallop away to an easy victory in a 3A/2A KingCo Conference meet at Mercer Island’s Luther Burbank Park.

Amy Broska, of Liberty, finished first in the 3.1-mile race in 19 minutes, 16 seconds. Teammate Megan Chucka was a close third in 19:18. Allie Wood, Michaela Chucka and Rachel Shaw, all of Liberty, finished fifth, sixth and seventh respectively. Aimee Christenson was ninth and Megan Larson took 10th for the Patriots.

Liberty took first place with 22 points. Host Mercer Island was third with 43 points and Mount Si ended up third with 70 points.

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Issaquah, Skyline soccer teams post shutouts

October 8, 2010

NEW — 4 p.m. Oct. 8, 2010

The Issaquah High School girls soccer team maintained its lead in the 4A KingCo Conference on Thursday with a 1-0 victory against host Woodinville.

Rachel Wheeler, assisted by Margaret Rauch, scored at the 12th minute for the Eagles. Goalkeeper Brooke Miller recorded her sixth straight shutout.

Issaquah, 6-0 in league action, holds a three-point lead over Skyline. The Eagles are 10-1 for the season.

Skyline, scored twice in the first half, and blanked visiting Bothell 2-0. Michelle Bretl and Madi Barney scored Skyline’s goals. Goalkeeper Tina Vargas recorded the shutout. Skyline is 5-0 in league play and 10-0 on the season.

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Eastlake nips Skyline netters

October 5, 2010

Skyline’s Aman Manji returns a volley in the second set against Eastlake’s Vicente Varas Sept. 29. By Christopher Huber

Between Eastlake High School junior Vicente Varas and his Skyline opponent, sophomore Aman Manji, Varas was certainly a more experienced player on the No. 1 singles court Sept. 29. But in looking at Manji’s play in the second set of the cross-town 4A KingCo Conference match at Skyline, spectators might not have noticed.

“He uses my power and creates his own power,” Varas said after the match.

After losing the first set 6-4 to good friend Varas, Manji went up 5-2 in the second and nearly won it, to force a third set. He relied on Varas committing a few little mistakes, but eventually made too many of his own.

A visibly intense Varas combined Manji’s miscues with a powerful serve and accurate backhand to come back and win the second set 7-5. Varas continued his unbeaten streak this season.

The No. 1 singles match was also the deciding factor for the overall match. Varas’ 6-4, 7-5 win gave Eastlake its fourth point to beat Skyline 4-3.

“I just let up a little and he took advantage of that,” Manji said as the teams packed up to leave. “It felt pretty close. It was a fun match, but unfortunately I was not able to send it to here and keep it going.”

After winning the first game, Varas struggled to maintain control early in the second game. Manji placed shots well and played in stride. The two play enough club ball together to understand each other’s strengths and exploit their weaknesses.

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Liberty girls soccer team wins its sixth straight game

October 5, 2010

It’s been a while since the Liberty High School girls soccer team was one of the most dominant teams in the KingCo Conference and ranked among the best in the state.

However, the Patriots, under new coach Malia Arrant, have returned to their winning ways this season. Liberty won its sixth straight 3A/2A KingCo Conference game Sept. 30 by edging Mercer Island 3-2. Cassidy Nangle had a big night for the Patriots. She scored two goals and assisted on a goal by Kimi Fry.

The victory boosted Liberty’s league-leading record to 6-0.

Liberty also defeated host Juanita 2-0 Sept. 28. The Patriots scored both goals in the second half. Whitney Cain, assisted by Kailiana Johnson, broke a scoreless tie with a goal at the 60th minute. Nangle, assisted by Fry, scored eight minutes later.

Goalkeepers Macaire Ament and Jennifer Rucker recorded the shutout.

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Liberty stuns Mercer Island in volleyball

September 28, 2010

NEW — 10:45 a.m. Sept. 28, 2010

The Mercer Island Islanders have usually had their way with the Liberty High School volleyball team in recent years. However, the Islanders’ dominance came to an end Monday when the host Patriots prevailed 3-2 in a dramatic 3A/2A KingCo Conference match.

Liberty won the tie-breaking fifth game 15-5 to hand Mercer Island its first loss of the season. Mercer Island won the first game 25-12 but Liberty bounced back to win the next two games 25-19 and 25-22. The Islanders sent the match into overtime by winning the fourth game 25-22.

The Patriots, 4-2 in league play, received outstanding efforts from several players. Megan Tsutakawa had a team-high 32 assists. Katie Walsh had a team-high 12 kills and four aces. Kristy Braunston had a strong defensive game with a team-high 15 digs. Aspen Winegar had eight kills and 10 digs, Sarah Hewitt had five kills and five blocks, Molly Culwell had six kills and four aces, and Jessica Pickering had eight kills.

Mercer Island, which entered the match in first place, is 5-1 in league play and 6-1 for the season.

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Siblings play off rivalry to propel them in to state tennis tourney

June 1, 2010

Brother and sister Tyler and Alisa VanGrunsven, of Skyline High School, fed off their sibling rivalry to propel them both to the 2010 4A state tennis tournament. Photo by Christopher Huber

Alisa VanGrunsven hung a motivational poster in her room in summer 2009 to get herself thinking about a run at the state tennis singles tournament. She made it herself, complete with a Nike swoosh drawn on it. “State 2010 — You Can Do It,” the poster reads.

The budding Skyline High School singles player said she had struggled with consistency as of late and relied on the daily reminder during her sophomore season. She needed confidence going into the KingCo playoffs, she said.

“I wanted to quit a few times,” she said.

But rather than quitting, she pressed on, worked on her mental game, and in the KingCo 4A crossover match, overcame Skyview’s Brittany Ellingsen in dramatic fashion. VanGrunsven won the 2-hour, 45-minute match, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3, to make the cut for state.

“She played a very convincing match,” Skyline coach Bettina Gehle said. “She was strong with her mental game and also profited from her aggressive strokes.”

It was Alisa’s first state tournament birth. But what makes this year even more special for her and Skyline tennis fans is she joined her brother, senior Tyler VanGrunsven. Tyler, who played in the state 4A singles tournament this year, also participated in the 2009 state doubles tournament with Skyline graduate Ryan Clark. Tyler qualified for state after the boys’ fall season.

In the first round, both Tyler and Alisa faced two of the toughest and most experienced opponents in the state in Kentwood’s Max Manthou and Central Valley’s Leslie Ho, respectively. Tyler lost 7-5, 6-2 and Alisa fell in three sets 5-7, 6-3, 6-3.

Tyler and Alisa each lasted two rounds in the 2010 4A state tournament in Eastern Washington May 28 and 29. Tyler faced Manthou, who was undefeated in four years of high school and eventually went on to win state for the fourth year in a row. Tyler then lost 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 to Scott McConnell, of Shorewood. Read more

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NEW — Tuesday sports update

November 3, 2009

NEW — 11:05 a.m. Nov. 3, 2009

Eagles seek state volleyball berth

The Issaquah High School volleyball team finished the regular season as one of the hottest teams in the 4A KingCo Conference. Now, the Eagles hope the momentum continues a little longer as they pursue a berth for the state tournament.

The Eagles opened 4A KingCo Conference tournament play Oct. 31 at Bothell with a 25-12, 25-20, 25-12 victory against Ballard. Issaquah plays Bothell Nov. 3 in the second round. Earlier this season Issaquah lost a heart-breaker to Bothell 3-2. The winner will likely play Woodinville, the regular-season champion, for the KingCo championship Nov. 5.

Against Ballard, Issaquah received strong performances from Rachel Roeder, who had 11 kills and 14 digs; Stephanie Stoll, who had 12 kills and three blocks; Alssya Schultz, who had eight kills and three blocks; Riley Sorenson, who had 39 assists; Maddy Emerson, who had 19 digs; Alexa Batquin, who had 17 digs; and Sarah Hanna, who had seven kills.

Skyline lost to Newport 25-17, 25-18, 25-14 in the first round.

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