Knights weathering loss of their state MVP | Volleyball

Other players have stepped up for King’s
By David Pan | Oct 11, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan King’s Baily McCutchen smashes the ball against Coupeville’s Ashley Menges  Tuesday, Oct. 2, at King’s High School’s Mike Martin gym.

The King’s volleyball sustained a heavy blow last month when reigning 1A state MVP Alli Hansen was lost for the season due to a back injury.

But the defending 1A state champions have adapted to the loss and continue to play at a high level with a 5-0 record in the North Sound Conference, including a 25-15, 25-14, 25-14 victory over Cedar Park Christian – Bothell on Tuesday, Oct. 9.

“Everything has gone as well as we can expect,” King’s coach Bart Foley said. “It’s been real encouraging to see the girls make the most of the opportunities, which is what has happened.”

The loss of Hanson, a standout outside hitter, meant that every player in the starting lineup has had to up her game.

The Knights have looked to their senior co-captains Baily McCutchen and Dominique Kirton to provide leadership on and off the court.

“They’ve shouldered most of the load at outside hitter,” Foley said.

Junior Katy Rettenmier and sophomore Noelle Alberda also have made significant contributions on offense.

“We haven’t skipped a beat in terms of what we’re expecting to do at this time,” Foley said.

The Knights didn’t have much time to dwell on the loss of Hanson (she is expected to make a full recovery for next season) as the diagnosis was quick.

“We talked about it,” Foley said. “Nothing needed to change. The expectations continue to be high. We’ve got a lot of talented kids. It’s the next one up mentality. We kind of knew relatively quickly (about Hansen). It was ‘let’s move on.’”

The Knights have not lost a set in any of their league matches. King’s nonconference schedule included mostly larger schools, such as Skyline, Redmond and Mercer Island. The Knights won all three of those matches 3-0.

King’s also took third place at the SunDome Volleyball Festival and the Linda Sheridan Volleyball Classic.

“Between those tournaments and our nonconference schedule, we’ve been battled tested,” Foley said.

The Knights begin the second half of their regular season schedule on the road at Granite Falls on Thursday, Oct. 11. Tough matches against South Whidbey (Wednesday, Oct. 17) and Coupeville (Tuesday, Oct. 23) follow.

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