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   Tia Wurzrainer and Co. will host a soccer playoff game in Oak Harbor Oct. 28. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It hasn’t been close.

For the fourth straight season, the Klahowya girls soccer squad is beating the crud out of its opponents in the 1A Olympic League, and Tuesday night was no different.

Defending their home turf, the Eagles knocked off visiting Coupeville 5-0 in a win which both clinched a fourth-straight title for KSS and allowed it to tie the CHS girls basketball program with 27 consecutive conference victories.

Sitting at 7-0 in league play, 12-1 overall, Klahowya, whose only loss was to 2A Central Kitsap, has outscored its foes 67-7 as it chases another state title.

But, while the Coupeville booters absorbed another loss to the bane of their existence, there were a couple of bright spots.

The final score was radically reduced from the first time these two squads clashed in late Sept. — a 9-0 rout on Whidbey — and the five goals were the fewest Klahowya has scored in a league game this season.

“We did give them a tougher battle today than our first game with them,” said Coupeville coach Kyle Nelson. “We had a good defensive effort and some great saves by (goalie) Sarah (Wright).”

Plus, the Wolves (4-2, 6-7), who are well ahead of Port Townsend (1-5, 2-10) and Chimacum (1-6, 1-8-1) are guaranteed the league’s #2 seed for a fourth straight season.

That’s big in a year where only two teams make the playoffs, instead of three as in years past.

Coupeville, which plays two of its final three regular season games at home, starting with a tilt against Port Townsend Thursday, will “host” its postseason opener.

That comes Oct. 28, when the Wolves make the short trip to Oak Harbor Stadium to face the Nisqually League’s #3 team, which is currently Vashon Island.

   Ashley Menges doled out 12 assists Tuesday as Coupeville stayed unbeaten in league play. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The hunt for back-to-back league titles rolls on.

The Coupeville High School volleyball squad weathered a tough challenge on the road Tuesday, drilling host Klahowya in straight sets to stay undefeated in Olympic League play.

Escaping Silverdale with a 25-20, 25-23, 25-22 win, the Wolves improved to 5-0 in conference action, 8-2 overall.

That puts them a game-and-half up on the Eagles (4-2) in the league standings, while Port Townsend (1-4) and Chimacum (1-5) are hanging out in the cellar.

Coupeville hasn’t dropped a set in league play this year, cruising to a pristine 15-0 mark, while winning 80% of their sets overall at 24-6.

After finishing 8-1 in league play last season, the Wolves are 13-1 in conference matches since Cory Whitmore became coach.

His winning percentage of .929 in Olympic League rumbles is third-best among CHS varsity coaches, trailing just girls basketball guru David King (27-0) and girls tennis shaman Ken Stange (15-0).

Tuesday night, Whitmore’s spikers fought off the Eagles with a strong hitting attack.

“We took steps forward today, working to improve our hitting percentage, having all our hitters in positive numbers,” Whitmore said. “Very happy to see that.”

Klahowya came closer than it did the first time the two teams met this season, and, with a third match looming in Coupeville Oct. 25, the Wolves don’t want to let down their guard.

“We didn’t particularly adjust defensively to their attacks and they were a much improved Eagle team,” Whitmore said. “We will have to learn from this when watching film.”

High-flying, ball-crunching force of nature Mikayla Elfrank led the Wolf attack, tattooing the ball for a match-high 10 kills.

She received strong support from her teammates, with Katrina McGranahan pounding home seven put-aways and Payton Aparicio and Scout Smith recording five apiece.

Lauren Rose (21 assists) and Ashley Menges (12) spent the night setting up their hard-hitting teammates, while Hope Lodell (14 digs) and Aparicio (13) went low again and again to keep plays alive.

At the service stripe, McGranahan led the way with four aces. Aparicio added three and Maya Toomey-Stout racked up a pair.

Coupeville returns to action Thursday with a home affair against Port Townsend (JV 4:30/varsity 5:45).

That match will be a Dig Pink Night, with the Wolves raising money and awareness for the fight against breast cancer.

JV romps:

Coupeville’s young guns rolled to a straight-sets victory of their own Tuesday, winning 25-13, 25-20 in a match shortened by the need to catch a ferry.

Now 8-1 overall, 5-0 in Olympic League play, the JV spikers are meshing well under the direction of first-year head coach Chris Smith.

“We were very happy with the play,” he said. “The team demonstrated good ball control, composure and great communication.

“This team continues to develop in their ability to play together, improving their individual skills and cohesiveness as a unit,” Smith added. “It’s a lot of fun to watch!”

   Jaelyn Crebbin and her fellow 8th grade spikers will play an intrasquad scrimmage open to fans Wednesday afternoon. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Anya Leavell will be there as well.

   Coupeville’s 7th grade volleyball squad waits for a ride home Monday after playing on the road at Stevens. (Kimberly Bepler photo)

Making inroads, three hits at a time.

Facing off with the biggest of big school rivals Monday, the scrappy Coupeville Middle School volleyball squads held their own with ginormous Stevens.

While the Wolves eventually fell to a behemoth which feeds 2A Port Angeles, Whidbey’s best didn’t go quietly.

The CMS 7th grade varsity claimed a set from Stevens, rallying to win their finale 25-11 after being nipped 25-21, 25-18.

Since they were playing at a different location than the 8th grade squad was, and moving quickly, Coupeville filled its waiting time by getting some floor time for its JV.

Facing off with Stevens second-string varsity players, the Wolf JV came within 25-17.

It was a strong day for a group of Coupeville spikers staring down Stevens servers who, in the words of Wolf coach Kimberly Bepler, “could rally with our high school team.”

“We were able to return about half of the serves, which is a big improvement over the last time we played them,” she said.

When Coupeville had control of the ball, it got strong play from Allie Lucero (seven consecutive serves), Brynn Schmid (6) and Alita Blouin (6).

The Wolves, who are focusing on “three hits and over,” successfully nailed that concept 21 times in the 7th grade match.

8th graders nipped:

Coupeville’s older team, which earned praise from the Stevens coach for its serving attack, fought especially hard in the opening and closing set, before succumbing 25-18, 25-9, 25-19.

The Wolves 8th graders topped out with 23 “three hits and over,” earning a root beer float party promised earlier in the season by coach Casie Greve.

Wolf vs. Wolf:

Wednesday’s scheduled trip to the wilds of Forks has been called off, due to a lack of ferries.

No one is crying. No one.

To make up for the cancellation, the Wolves will host an intrasquad scrimmage in their own gym. The players will be in uniform and the bleachers will be out and waiting for fans to plop down and watch.

The CMS 7th graders will face off at 3 PM, with the 8th graders following around 4 PM.

   Joey Lippo and doubles mate William Nelson are a #1 seed entering Thursday’s Olympic League tourney. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Agony or ecstasy?

You take a look at Monday’s regular-season finale for the Coupeville High School boys tennis team and it could be read either way.

On the one hand, the Wolves fell 4-3 to host South Whidbey, in a non-conference match which essentially was decided by the slimmest of margins — a tie-breaker at #1 doubles which went the wrong way.

But, on the other hand, for Coupeville to come so close to knocking off an especially tough foe, after it got waxed the first time these two squads met this season, is a huge positive.

The Wolves, after surviving a brutal early-season schedule, finished the regular season strongly, winning five of their final seven matches.

Hopefully, that will serve them well as they progress into the postseason.

If the weather cooperates, Coupeville hosts the 1A Olympic League tourney this Thursday, with play kicking off at 10:45 AM.

If rain fouls things up, they’ll try again Saturday.

As the top two teams, Klahowya and Coupeville each get three singles and three doubles duos, while cellar sweller Chimacum/Port Townsend sends two.

The top four finishers on each side at the league tourney advance to districts Oct. 25-26 at the Sprinker Tennis Center in Tacoma.

Complete Monday results:

Varsity:

1st Singles — Pedro Gamarra beat Brent de Wolf 7-6(7-3), 6-2

2nd Singles — Jakobi Baumann beat Charlie Lewarne 6-3, 6-4

3rd Singles — Nile Lockwood lost to Joey Lane 6-0, 2-0 (injury retirement)

1st Doubles — William Nelson/Joey Lippo lost to Levi Buck/Ryan Wenzek 3-6, 6-3, 10-7

2nd Doubles — Nick Etzell/Mason Grove beat Aengus Dubendorf/Larsen Christiansen 7-5, 6-3

3rd Doubles — Drake Borden/Zach Ginnings lost to Michael Lux/Cormac Workman 6-1, 6-1

4th Doubles — Tiger Johnson/Jaschon Baumann lost to Jaden White/Ben Borson 6-1, 7-5

JV:

5th Doubles — Thane Peterson/Koby Schreiber won 6-2

6th Doubles — Harris Sinclair/Borden lost 6-4

   Cameron Dahl heads for the end zone Monday as the Coupeville JV walloped Vashon. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

   Jean Lund-Olsen ran for two touchdowns (one was called back on a penalty) and a pair of two-point conversions.

   Dawson Houston stood tall in the pocket, throwing for 205 yards and a touchdown.

Vashon’s offense sputtered under the onslaught of Gavin Knoblich (71) and Co.

Dawson Houston can kill you in many ways.

Whether he was flinging balls through the air or scampering for yardage on the ground Monday, the Coupeville High School QB was a man on a mission.

By the time he was done, Houston had rolled up close to 300 yards of offense, with more than 200 coming in the passing game, powering the Wolf JV football squad to a 16-8 win over visiting Vashon Island.

With both teams dealing with rosters which were already thin long before injuries started to further cut numbers, the game was played as a fast-moving, no-special-teams-play, eight-man game.

For a Coupeville JV squad which had gone seven weeks into the season before getting to play a game of its own, just hitting the field was a victory.

Once on the gridiron, the young Wolves seized the moment.

Brian Roberts blunted Vashon’s opening drive with a resounding sack, then Houston and the offense went to work.

Starting at the 50-yard line, the Wolves only needed one play to break the game open. Almost.

Houston hit Koa Davison on a pass over the middle which turned into a 35-yard rumble.

Unfortunately, a Vashon player coming from behind poked the ball free, forcing a fumble. As the Vikings converged on the ball, what had seemed like a sure-thing Wolf TD vanished as quickly as it was set up.

It turned out not to matter too badly, however, as Coupeville’s defense was in lock-down mode throughout the game.

Dewitt Cole recovered a fumble, James Vidoni and Trevor Bell drove the opposing QB batty and most of the Vashon possessions resulted in “punts.”

With no special teams play, teams could elect to go for it or have the ball moved a set number of yards on fourth down, surrendering without having players fly around on a kicking play.

Coupeville broke the scoreless tie late in the first quarter, getting a short touchdown run from Jean Lund-Olsen, who then added two more points on a conversion scamper.

Lund-Olsen ran unchecked most of the night, with another longer TD run, this one of the 84-yard variety, called back when one of his teammates got caught applying an illegal block way, way behind the speedy Wolf runner.

Picking apart Vashon’s defense, Houston peppered the Pirates, hitting Davison, Lund-Olsen and Gavin Straub, while saving his biggest heaves for the fingertips of Cameron Dahl.

The game-winner came late in the third quarter, with Houston double-pumping, then nailing “Rodeo” in full stride down the right side of the field.

Dahl, having beaten his defender, snagged the bomb as it dropped over his head, cut back inside and was off to score, with the cheers of Wolf fans ringing in his ears every step of the way.

Another two-point conversion run from Lund-Olsen, who shot around the right side and was untouched until he was three steps deep in the end zone, stretched out the final scoring margin.

Not that Houston and Dahl were done, as they connected on two more passes, a 35-yarder and a 25-yarder, before the final whistle blew.

That 25-yarder was Wolf JV coach Jerry “No Worries” Helm at his best.

Facing fourth-and-five with a little over a minute left to play, Coupeville got the first down when Houston faked a pass, then pulled the ball in and sprinted up field for seven yards.

The Wolves could have taken a knee on the next two plays and called it a win, but Helm was looking to get his young guns as much playing time as possible in what could be their only JV game of the season.

So, instead of a victory formation, Coupeville let it fly, with Houston pegging the ball in between two defenders to Dahl for a game-capping reception.

What if the pass had been picked, and heaven forbid, run back for a touchdown? And then, what if Vashon had gotten the two-point conversion?

“Well, then I guess we would have played overtime!,” Helm said with a big grin.

Week after week this season, the JV games have been cancelled, and, going forward, only one of the three remaining varsity foes is still on the schedule for a JV clash as well.

And that will depend on Klahowya’s willingness to play some 8-man football.

With that in mind, getting in as many plays as possible was first and foremost on the Coupeville coaching staff’s minds.

“You want to get the young guys reps,” Helm said. “To give them the chance to see what the difference in speed is like between practice and a game, to get them ready for those Friday Night Lights.

“I was very happy with how they played.”

 

To see more photos from this game (purchases help fund college scholarships for CHS student/athletes), pop over to:

http://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/2017-Coupeville-Football/2017-10-16-JV-vs-Vashon/