Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Volleyball’ Category

Ella Colwell, a volleyball, basketball and track star, enters Coupeville High School as a freshman this fall. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Colwell sinks a free throw during a summer hoops camp. (Photo courtesy Megan Wise)

Sports often build friendship.

That’s true for Ella Colwell, a three-sport star heading to Coupeville High School as a freshman this fall.

During her middle school days, she played volleyball and basketball, while rounding out the year with track and field.

Staying active and involved on a daily basis has paid off for Colwell.

“Being a part of something (is great),” she said. “It helps you find people that you maybe didn’t think you’d be friends with.”

While Colwell enjoys all of her sports, hard-court life is the life for her.

“My favorite sport is basketball, because I like how you can be aggressive in it and also I love how much of a team sport it is,” she said. “You really can’t have a successful team if you don’t work together.”

Colwell and her hoops teams, both in middle school and SWISH, have been winners, bringing home titles as they build a tight-knit bond.

A tall, strong athlete who could likely develop into a fearsome inside enforcer in the paint, she’s ready for the challenge.

“My strengths as an athlete would be someone who you can look for as help,” Colwell said.

“Like, in basketball, I’m a post/defender, so when a teammate needs help getting around their defender, I might go up and screen them, or yell “defender on your left” or “watch for screens.”

A strong math student (“it’s my favorite, because I love the satisfaction of when you’ve been trying to solve this hard question, and you finally get it right”), Colwell enjoys watching action/thriller flicks in her spare time.

“Movies that get your heart pumping,” she said. “And have you on the edge of your seat, waiting to see what happens next!”

But when it’s time to head to practice or games, Colwell is as committed as they come.

“My goals for my high school sports career would definitely be to make it on the varsity for basketball,” she said. “And to become a better overall volleyball player.”

Regardless of the sport or activity, she knows her biggest fan, mom Megan, will always be there for her.

“My mom has been a big impact because she was the one who first told me to play basketball,” Colwell said. “Actually, at first, I didn’t even want to play, but I’m glad I did, because it is my favorite sport.”

Read Full Post »

Wolf spikers put in a lot of work, and reaped a lot of benefits, at a four-day camp at Western Washington University. (Photo courtesy Cory Whitmore)

Having tasted big-time success, they want more.

Coming off the program’s first trip to the state tourney in more than a decade, Coupeville High School volleyball players want to keep the good times rolling.

While the Wolves lost seven seniors and jump into a new league this fall, the North Sound Conference, there is still talent to burn.

And, even better, those players who will be the heart of the team, are deeply committed.

CHS coach Cory Whitmore and 11 of his players spent the 4th of July holiday putting in work, refining skills, bonding as teammates and preparing for the season ahead.

Whitmore’s report from the front line:

We had a very strong and productive camp at Western Washington University this past week (July 4-7th).

Year-after-year, the coaches, staff and players of WWU put on a phenomenal camp for athletes of all skills levels and classifications.

Teams are pushed through rigorous individuals position drills, focused team games and practices and special attention from top level college coaches.

One of the facets about this camp that draws us every year is not only the level of intensity of various skills and tournament play, but also WWU’s emphasis on the “overall game.”

This includes a session with the team’s sports psychologist, a goal-setting session, and many different team mini-challenges.

These aspects of the game are crucial to the success of a team in season and few have better team chemistry and cohesion than WWU.

This group was a fun and eager group to travel with and watch grow over the course of four tiring days.

Ashley Menges was voted as a team captain at the end of Wolves Skills Camp in June and did a fantastic job of guiding the team through.

Emma Smith is taking on a heavier load, both physically receiving a strong number of sets at her position as well as becoming a vocal leader for the team.

Both seniors have the most experience and are very inclusive to their younger teammates.

I am really proud of this team’s versatility – team camp is a great time to try different lineups, different offensive and defensive systems and their ability to adapt as a unit was very impressive and encouraging to me as a coach looking forward to the 2018 season.

Sophomore Chelsea Prescott played two different positions over the course of camp and showed her ability to handle a variety of responsibilities and being her first time to this camp, this was especially promising.

Maya Toomey-Stout has worked incredibly hard in the off-season and received the coaches award from our WWU coach – she received accolades for her ability to play a six-rotation and fly around the court, no matter the fatigue or the drill.

Emma Mathusek, Lucy Sandahl, Raven and Willow Vick all played and worked incredibly hard at team camp – camp is a great chance for players to showcase their hard work from the off-season and begin to develop their role and responsibilities on the team.

Zoe Trujillo went down with an ankle injury on the first day, which was rough for her and the team, but she of course remained positive and contributed whenever possible (goal setting, team discussions, mini-challenges, etc.). She should be back at 100% come August.

Before having to leave, Scout Smith and Hannah Davidson too worked very hard and improved upon their respective positions – both received impressed comments from the players and coaches at WWU.

Overall, team camp was exactly was we needed it to be.

Losing seven strong seniors always leaves a large number of “question marks” up in the air. But this camp helped to answer some and challenge players to rise to the occasion presented before them.

This group works very hard and well together. They know the challenges that lay ahead and have great attitudes toward them.

I’m really looking forward to the fall season after a very strong showing this off-season.

Read Full Post »

Noelle Daigneault spends time with her beloved pet duck, Chandler. (Photo courtesy Irene Echenique)

Put Noelle Daigneault on the volleyball court and she never stops smiling.

The busy, talented Coupeville High School freshman is also devoted to heaving the shot put, surfing, listening to the sweet sounds of ABBA, painting, and playing her ukulele, but there’s something special about her time as a spiker.

“Volleyball is my favorite sport; I have played club volleyball these past two years and still can’t get enough volleyball!,” Daigneault said. “I love the sport because it is very exhilarating!

“And the feeling of smacking the ball as hard and quick as you can and getting a point for your team is a feeling of such joy I can’t describe.”

On the court, she’s the player always firing on all cylinders, chasing down every last ball with an expression of pure happiness gracing her face on every play.

“One of my bigger strengths in volleyball is, I always want the ball,” Daigneault said. “I will try my hardest to not let the ball drop.

“An area I need to work on is technique,” she admitted with a laugh. “Sometimes I’ll make up my own form, and it more often than not does not help me…”

Daigneault, who follows on the heels of older sister Bree, a standout soccer and tennis player during her time at CHS, attacks each new day with vigor.

“I enjoy being an athlete because I don’t like not doing anything,” Noelle said. “And when you’re on the court there is always something we need to be doing and you’re never standing still.

“One of my goals for my high school career is to always do more, meaning SST, or open gym,” she added. “Sometimes spending an extra half-hour on the court or track, practicing, can make all the difference.”

Daigneault can’t go wrong emulating her older sibling, as Bree was a fireball on the field, while also being one of the most genuinely kind athletes to ever rep CHS.

“My sister has had a very big impact on who I am as a person and a player,” Noelle said.

But there’s also another athlete, a fellow freshman-to-be, who plays a big role in Daigneault’s life, on and off the court.

“My best friend, Jaelyn Crebbin, has always inspired me as a volleyball and track player,” Daigneault said. “I always thought, if she could do it, I could too!

“Considering she has one arm, that does not stop her, and that’s always inspired me to do my best on the court.”

Read Full Post »

   Wolf spikers (l to r) Scout Smith, Emma Mathusek, Emma Smith and Maya Toomey-Stout work hard, and play hard. (Photo courtesy Cory Whitmore)

They clean the outside, and inside, of every car! (Maria Reyes photo)

Rain, what rain?

Dodging the liquid sunshine Saturday, Coupeville High School volleyball players held a fundraising car wash, while also finding time to test out the snazzy vehicles already on site at Ebey Academy.

 

Read Full Post »

Katrina McGranahan, a killer with a soaring spirit. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Already a star, even before she stepped into the hallways at Coupeville High School.

An athlete who enjoyed every moment she was given.

Katrina McGranahan entered as a star, and exited as a legend.

The Coupeville High School senior, who celebrates her 18th birthday today, excelled at every sport she played, even the one she didn’t really enjoy.

And, while she gave up basketball shortly into her high school career, after dominating in middle school, McGranahan embraced stardom and a role as a quiet leader in both volleyball and softball.

On the court, she broke through as a freshman, making her varsity debut late in the season and flashing signs of the big-time power hitter she would become.

For the next three seasons, McGranahan was front and center, an All-Conference pick, a league MVP, an invaluable contributor on squads which won back-to-back league titles and returned to state after a 14-year absence.

Her kills at the net were delivered with precise power, her blocks with high-flying grace and her service aces with an extra bit of zing.

As good as she was on the volleyball court, it is softball which holds her heart, and the diamond is where Killer Kat has truly soared.

A dangerous hitter who combines power, an ability to hit to all fields, speed and smarts, McGranahan has been Coupeville’s most consistent weapon since day one of her freshman campaign.

When she’s at shortstop, she displays a gun for an arm and a nose for always tracking down even the hardest-hit or weirdest-hit balls.

One of the best plays I have ever witnessed on the prairie came courtesy McGranahan, who, battling epic winds, started to retreat as a pop up corkscrewed over her head.

Then the prairie breeze slammed into the ball in mid-air like a runaway freight train, the ball came to a dead stop in mid-flight, made a little scream and pitched forward, careening towards the Earth.

McGranahan spun in mid-stride, launched herself face-first into oblivion and somehow, against all odds and most of the laws of the known universe, reached the ball with the tip of her glove.

That she touched the ball was a miracle.

That she somehow speared said ball was extraordinary.

That she held onto said ball, pulling it back into her body as she slammed into the unforgiving infield dirt, and completed the play, refusing to let the ball separate itself from her glove?

That made even the impartial umpire behind her scream like a little girl who has just gotten a pony.

And, you know, with all this talk of shortstop, McGranahan rarely played there.

Because, from day one to the final moments of her prep career, she was the young woman who reached out, game after game, took the ball and strode into the pitcher’s circle, ready to face whatever came her way.

Instead of easing into the role while being an understudy as a freshman, McGranahan was thrown into the fire right away as veteran hurler McKayla Bailey rehabbed an injury.

Katrina never blinked, never hesitated. She snapped off strikes as a 9th grader and was still snapping off strikes as a 12th grader, and all that changed was who was behind the plate to catch her pitches.

Over the past six years, in all of her sports, I have witnessed her deliver big moment after big moment, capture epic wins and fight to the final moment in agonizing losses.

I have seen her smile many times as an athlete, and I have seen her cry a few times as well, and the fact there was many more smiles than tears makes me happy.

If Katrina had never played a sport, her strength, spirit, warmth and class would have still made her stand out.

But she was an athlete, one of the best I have written about, a young woman who cared deeply for her teammates, a warrior who fought for every play but had the grace to accept the outcome, good or bad.

As she moves on to play college ball, my enduring image of Killer Kat will be of her pacing in the pitcher’s circle, her fingers kneading the ball, the game on the line, and yet, amid the tension, a huge smile on her face.

She was a killer, but one who was enjoying every moment.

So, today, we wish Miss McGranahan a happy birthday (and much cake) and we officially welcome her into the company of her fellow legends, inducting her into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

After this, you’ll find her name up at the top of the blog, under the Legends tab.

There was never a doubt she would end up here.

I knew it from the first time I watched her play in middle school, and the last six years have simply reinforced my first opinion.

Sometimes it’s nice to be right.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »