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   William Nelson teamed with Joey Lippo Friday to knock off a top-level Overlake doubles duo. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

State or bust.

That’s the goal for Coupeville High School senior tennis players William Nelson and Joey Lippo, who came very close to punching their ticket to the big dance last year, and want to clear that last hurdle before graduation.

With that in mind, their performance Friday was sterling.

Bouncing back after suffering their first loss of the season a day earlier, the Wolf doubles duo knocked off a pair of top-tier talents from visiting Overlake in straight sets.

While the ritzy private school powerhouse won the non-conference match 4-1, Lippo and Nelson’s triumph was a big deal, as it came against a duo the Wolf netters are likely to face deep in the postseason.

Their win at #1 doubles also allowed Coupeville to post a better score against Overlake than South Whidbey did, as the Falcons, who had drilled the Wolves Thursday, were blanked 5-0 by the Owls earlier this season.

After struggling to a 1-5 record against strong competition, CHS wades into league play full-force in the next two weeks.

The Wolves play four of their next five matches against Olympic League rivals Klahowya and Chimacum.

Complete Friday results:

Varsity:

1st Singles — Pedro Gamarra lost to Reyhan Virani 6-0, 6-1

2nd Singles — Jakobi Baumann lost to Ananth Iyer 6-2, 6-3

1st Doubles — William Nelson/Joey Lippo beat Wesley Chan/Charlie Hill 6-2, 6-4

2nd Doubles — Nick Etzell/Mason Grove lost to Nachiket Karmarkar/Zander Gillett 6-0, 6-4

3rd Doubles — Nile Lockwood/Zach Ginnings lost to Evan Lauer/Lucas Gavrila 7-6(7-1), 6-2

JV:

4th Doubles — Tiger Johnson/Jaschon Baumann lost 8-1

5th Doubles — Thane Peterson/Drake Borden lost 8-7(7-5)

6th Doubles — Koby Schreiber/Harris Sinclair lost 8-5

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   Harris Sinclair teamed with Koby Schreiber for one of Coupeville’s three wins Thursday afternoon. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It’s a friendly rivalry, but largely a one-sided one.

South Whidbey has had Coupeville’s number on the tennis court more times than not in recent years, and that held true again Thursday afternoon.

Other than a strong victory at #2 doubles from Mason Grove and Nick Etzell, the Wolves had few answers for the Falcons, falling 4-1.

The non-conference loss drops Coupeville to 1-4 heading into a home match Friday against always-strong Overlake (3:30 PM).

Complete Thursday results:

Varsity:

1st Singles — Pedro Gamarra lost to Levi Buck 6-2, 6-1

2nd Singles — Jakobi Baumann lost to Larsen Christiansen 6-3, 6-3

1st Doubles — William Nelson/Joey Lippo lost to Hank Papritz/Ryan Wenzek 6-3, 6-0

2nd Doubles — Nick Etzell/Mason Grove beat Aengus Dubendorf/Michael Lux 6-2, 6-1

3rd Doubles — Nile Lockwood/Zach Ginnings lost to Brent DeWolf/Joey Lane 8-2

JV:

4th Doubles — Tiger Johnson/Jaschon Baumann lost 6-4

5th Doubles — Thane Peterson/Drake Borden won 6-4

6th Doubles — Koby Schreiber/Harris Sinclair won 6-4

7th Doubles — Lockwood/Ginnings lost 6-2

8th Doubles — Johnson/Jas. Baumann lost 6-4

9th Doubles — Borden/Peterson lost 6-2

10th Doubles — Sinclair/Schreiber lost 6-4

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   Pedro Gamarra teamed with Jakobi Baumann to pick up a win at #3 doubles Friday afternoon. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Ken Stange rolled the dice, and it almost worked.

Stacking his top players in the doubles slots Friday, the Coupeville High School boys tennis coach played the odds against Klahowya, but the Eagles slipped through his grasp.

Pulling out late wins at #2 and #4 doubles, KSS escaped with a 5-2 win on its home courts, putting at least a momentary ding in the Wolves shield.

The conference loss dropped Coupeville to 1-3 overall, 0-1 in Olympic League play and will force the Wolves to fight back if they want to stretch their run of league titles to three years.

CHS still has plenty of time, though, with two more match-ups against Klahowya (Sept. 29 in Silverdale and Oct. 5 in Coupeville) and three against league door mat Chimacum.

Friday afternoon the Wolves got another win from top doubles duo William Nelson and Joey Lippo, who remained undefeated, cruising to a straight-sets win a match after a titanic fight against a Kingston pair.

The other Coupeville victory came courtesy Jakobi Baumann and Pedro Gamarra, who dropped down from singles to play together for the first time.

The difference between a 5-2 loss and a 4-3 win hinged on the other two doubles matches, but the Wolves dropped #2 doubles after being up a set, and fell in a razor-thin pro set in #4 doubles.

Complete Friday results:

Varsity:

1st Singles — Nile Lockwood lost to Taylor Fite 6-0, 6-0

2nd Singles — Zach Ginnings lost to Jacob Kraft 6-2, 6-1

3rd Singles — Drake Borden lost to Drew Kraft 6-0, 6-4

1st Doubles — William Nelson/Joey Lippo beat Morgan Seidel/William Stewart 6-1, 6-2

2nd Doubles — Nick Etzell/Mason Grove lost to Joe Bowman/Nick Hytinen 3-6, 6-3, 6-3

3rd Doubles — Pedro Gamarra/Jakobi Baumann beat Parker Short/Carson Short 7-5, 6-4

4th Doubles — Tiger Johnson/Jaschon Baumann lost to Dominic Westland/Eric Lochis 9-7

JV:

5th Doubles — Thane Peterson/Koby Schreiber lost to Cameron Johnson/Dylan Jackson 8-1

6th Doubles — Peterson/Schreiber lost to Tyler Godsey/Dakota Johnson 8-3

7th Doubles — Harris Sinclair/Ginnings beat Aiden Adams/Joe Potter 8-5

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   Pedro Gamarra, well-dressed man about town, glides in for a shot. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Joey Lippo: “Aha, my old nemesis, we meet again!”

Mason Grove tests just how limber he really is.

   William Nelson takes a moment to calculate every possible outcome in his head in the millisecond before he beats the snot out of the ball.

Jaschon Baumann has his eyes firmly glued on the prize.

Clear skies.

That was the biggest difference Wednesday for the Coupeville High School boys tennis squad.

The thick, choking smog from Canadian forest fires which plagued the previous home match was long gone, and that benefited everyone, from players to the photographer working the sidelines.

The guy with the constantly-clicking camera is John Fisken, and the photos above are courtesy him.

To see everything he shot (purchases fund college scholarships for CHS student/athletes), pop over to:

http://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/2017-2018-Coupeville-Tennis/2017-09-13-vs-Kingston/

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   After opening the season with a pair of singles wins, Mason Grove teamed with Nick Etzell Wednesday to roll to a doubles victory. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

William Nelson is not prone to excessive on-court giddiness.

The Coupeville High School senior netter is a serene, low-key athlete, and he and his doubles partner, Joey Lippo, are the very epitome of the phrase “cooler than the other side of the pillow.”

So, when Nelson jumped a good six inches in the air after Wednesday’s match, it was equal to another player ripping all their clothes off, setting their hair on fire, then sprinting laps around the school screaming “We are the Champions” at the top of his lungs while being chased by a fire extinguisher-wielding Mr. Black.

In other words, you knew big stuff had gone down.

What inspired this show of emotion?

Nelson and Lippo had rallied twice, once from a set down, then from a 3-0 hole in the third set, to stun a very good Kingston doubles duo and stay unbeaten on the season.

Even better, their 3-6, 6-0, 6-4 victory proved to be the difference as lil’ 1A Coupeville (227 students) knocked off their visitors, sending the 2A Buccaneers (605 students) home on the losing end of a 4-3 contest.

The non-conference win, coming on the heels of a pair of razor-thin 4-3 losses to other 2A schools, lifts the Wolves to 1-2 and gives them momentum heading into an important match.

That comes Friday, when Coupeville heads to Silverdale to face Klahowya in the first league match of the season.

As two-time defending 1A Olympic League champs, CHS would like nothing more than to get off to a strong start with a win over their toughest league rival.

If the Wolf doubles teams play Friday like they did Wednesday, that shouldn’t be a problem.

Along with Lippo and Nelson, CHS also got wins from the duos of Nick Etzell/Mason Grove (who threw down a double bagel, then tried to explain to their parents how that phrase translates to a 6-0, 6-0 win) and Zach Ginnings/Drake Borden.

Grove and Ginnings are also 3-0 on the young season, giving Coupeville four unbeaten players.

Rounding out the Wolf winners Wednesday was #3 singles ace Nile Lockwood, who crawled off his death bed, ignored possible pneumonia and rolled to a straight-sets victory.

Complete Wednesday results:

Varsity:

1st Singles — Pedro Gamarra lost to Ian Schmidt 6-0, 6-0

2nd Singles — Jakobi Baumann lost to Ethan Griffin 6-4, 6-3

3rd Singles — Nile Lockwood beat Tyler Bates 6-2, 6-2

1st Doubles — William Nelson/Joey Lippo beat Ethan Sax/Dawson Clark 3-6, 6-0, 6-4

2nd Doubles — Nick Etzell/Mason Grove beat Preston Gunnell/Giani Nguyen 6-0, 6-0

3rd Doubles — Jaschon Baumann/Tiger Johnson lost to Tristan Schmidt/Eli Guedea 6-3, 6-1

4th Doubles — Drake Borden/Zach Ginnings beat Tyler Krantz/Thomas Brown 8-3

JV:

5th Doubles — Thane Peterson/Koby Schreiber tied Jacob Diehl/Skylar Beyer 6-6 (ferry)

6th Doubles — Harris Sinclair/Etzell trailed Riley Odell/Gunnell 5-3 (ferry)

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