Archive for the ‘Volleyball’ Category

Coupeville Athletic Director Willie Smith, the hardest-working man in sports entertainment during the Age of Coronavirus, awaits the buzz of his phone signaling another schedule change. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Scritch-scratch, scritch-scratch, the pencil continues to mark up the schedule.

Pandemic concerns have erased three more games from the fall sports campaign, with Coupeville High School volleyball losing two matches, and boys soccer one game.

In the world of spikes and sets, both Darrington and La Conner have put their programs into two-week quarantines following positive Covid cases.

That means Coupeville x’s out a road trip to La Conner April 29, and a home match against Darrington May 1.

Over on the soccer pitch, the Wolf boys were scheduled to head to Grace Academy in Marysville Wednesday, but the Eagles announced Tuesday they couldn’t play.

From a quick look at the Grace Academy schedule, the school has eliminated its next three matches.

And we roll on, pencil in hand, eraser(s) at the ready, here in the Age of Coronavirus.

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Kylie Chernikoff set career highs in kills and digs Saturday against Mount Vernon Christian. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Maddie Vondrak (left) and Lucy Tenore (10) rise up to finish off a point.

Every kill, every dig, every hustle play.

They all count when it comes times to adding up stats, as shown in the numbers below.

Giving us a snapshot of the Coupeville High School varsity volleyball squad through April 20, the numbers reflect four matches having been played in this pandemic-altered season.

Coupeville’s most-recent match, a five-set thriller against Mount Vernon Christian, enabled the Wolves to rack up some big numbers.

Sophomore Maddie Georges set career highs against the Hurricanes, with 46 assists and 11 digs, while seniors Kylie Chernikoff and Chelsea Prescott also put up best-ever numbers.

Chernikoff went off for 24 spikes and 10 digs while rumbling with MVC, with Prescott racking up 23 kills and 14 digs.

“It was a fun match to be a part of and watch this team work through,” said Wolf coach Cory Whitmore. “They had to find it within themselves to dig deep and adjust, as well as find the emotional and physical energy within as well.

“Proud of this team and their resiliency and very much looking forward to continuing to grow.”


Season stats:


Player Sets Kills Digs Blocks Assists Aces Points
Alita Blouin
Ryanne Knoblich 14 2 22 0.5 2 4.5
Maddie Vondrak 14 29 8 1.5 1 31.5
Gwen Gustafson 2 1
Maddie Georges 14 2 22 0.5 108 2.5
Chelsea Prescott 14 47 42 1.0 1 16 64.0
Lucy Tenore 10 6 4 1.0 8 15.0
Jill Prince 9 10 1 2.0 12.0
Kylie Chernikoff 14 41 31 2 3 44.0
Jaimee Masters 13 1 29 5 3 4.0
Abby Mulholland 11 5 3 0.5 1 3 8.5

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Maddie Vondrak, comin’ right at you. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Let the spikes hit the floor, and the photos hit the internet.

Wanderin’ pic clicker John Fisken haunted the Coupeville High School gym Saturday, capturing the images seen above and below.

To marinate in everything his cameras caught, while pondering the possibility of purchasing some mementos, pop over to:

VB 2021-04-17 vs MVC – John’s Photos


Gwen Gustafson visualizes the ace she’s about to rip off.

Former CHS star Hope Lodell is back, but now she’s tracking the exploits of a new generation of spikers.

Kylie Chernikoff shows off her laser focus.

Isabel Johnson cranks up the power to 11.

One name, two legends. Emma Mathusek (left) and Emma Smith scope out the Wolf players trying to follow in their (large) footsteps.

Chelsea Prescott gets artful.

75% of the Kiel family follows their favorite sport. L to r, it’s Katie, Lanie, and Steve, while only Kacie is MIA.

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Abby Mulholland and her teammates showed grace under fire Saturday, rallying for a five-set win over previously-undefeated Mount Vernon Christian. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

“It’s about heart.”

“No, it’s about conditioning.”

“Well, if you have the heart, you’re going to go get the conditioning.”

As we headed into that most pressure-packed of high school sports situations Saturday night — the fifth set of a varsity volleyball match, where two teams make a wild dash to get to 15 points first — the debate raged in the stands.

And then, to the delight of the hometown Coupeville fans, it turned out the Wolf spikers had both heart and conditioning.


Capping a comeback from being down two sets to one, CHS pulled out a gut-wrenching 24-26, 25-21, 17-25, 25-11, 15-11 win over visiting Mount Vernon Christian, sending the faithful off to spend the rest of their weekend with smiles on their faces and an extra skip to their step.

Now 3-1 in Northwest 2B/1B League play, Coupeville sits solidly in second-place, a game off of two-time defending state champs La Conner, which is 4-0.

MVC, which entered the night unbeaten as well, left Whidbey at 2-1 after fading down the stretch.

The fifth and deciding set opened and closed exactly the same way — with Wolf senior Chelsea Prescott smacking the soul out of the ball for very-convincing winners.

In between those titanic spikes, she got a lot of help from her teammates, with Kylie Chernikoff, Lucy Tenore, and Abby Mulholland coming up big in the spotlight.

Chernikoff, who kept the positive chatter booming throughout the epically-long match, rose up once, twice, three times, tattooing the ball for winners as the Wolves surged.

The biggest roar, however, probably came when Mulholland stuffed Mount Vernon’s biggest hitter at the net, sending a would-be winner right back at her.

That staked the Wolves to a 13-5 lead, and all was well.

Until it almost wasn’t.

Finding their own inner spark, the tired but very-game Hurricanes put together a 5-0 run to get back within 13-10 and tighten the collar of everyone wearing red and black in the CHS gym.

But not to worry, as the aforementioned Prescott was flexing her biceps and taking names all evening, and she closed out things with two spikes which hit like the hammer of the gods.

The crunch-time theatrics capped a royal rumble where two pretty evenly matched squads went toe-to-toe and punched, jabbed, and parried in rapid succession.

The opening set seemed to belong to Coupeville, which led from 1-0 after a Chernikoff slicer, all the way up until 24-23, with Prescott giving the Wolves set point after blistering a spike off the back line.

But it wasn’t to be, as MVC won the final three points of the set, two of them thanks to CHS tips getting lost in the net.

If the Wolves were a bit nervous after that stumble, it didn’t show, however, as they basically repeated the first set in the second set — leading all the way — but this time clamping down at the end to close things out.

Prescott, Chernikoff, and Mulholland all came up big once again, with sophomore setter Maddie Georges alertly flicking passes from player to player, while Maddie Vondrak made her presence felt.

Playing in front of former Wolf volleyball greats such as Emma Smith and Valen Trujillo, Vondrak hit the ball so hard on one winner you could literally hear the ball scream “Mercy, Maddie!!” as all the air in the orb evaporated.

The third set started competitive, but then turned sour, as MVC went on an 11-4 tear to turn a one-point advantage into an eventual 25-17 win.

The highlights were few and far between in the set, but they were there.

Mulholland flicked a tip winner, after Prescott made a sensational running save to keep the ball alive, and sophomore Gwen Gustafson made her varsity debut.

But again, the Wolves showed a deep willingness to fight, and a refusal to give in, even when trailing.

Coupeville, after looking a bit disorganized in the third set, immediately jelled again in the fourth, with veteran leaders like Jaimee Masters and Chernikoff settling their team down.

Georges ripped off five straight points on her serve to get things flowing in the right direction, while Tenore and Vondrak were on-point as well when they rotated behind the stripe.

The biggest clue of what was to come in the finale came by watching the Hurricanes noticeably tiring, while the Wolves seemed to be growing stronger with each swing.

Young guns Gustafson and Ryanne Knoblich brought a big burst of energy to the floor during their shifts, while the grizzled seniors — Chernikoff, Masters, Vondrak, and Prescott — showed their protegees how to stay calm and cool under fire.

Coupeville’s previous wins — over Concrete and Darrington — came in straight sets.

Which is nice, but sometimes you need a five-set bar brawl like the Wolves faced Saturday to find out what kind of team you really are deep down.

If so, test passed.

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Grey Peabody dominated at the net as Wolf JV volleyball rolled to a win. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They found their groove.

After coming from behind to win the opening set Saturday, the Coupeville High School JV volleyball squad found a different gear, piling it on in a three-set sweep.

By the time the young Wolves were done, they had shellacked visiting Mount Vernon Christian 25-22, 25-5, 25-13 to run their record to 3-1 on the season.

And they did it by showcasing all the playing styles, going from being scrappy bar brawlers to dominating destroyers.

The afternoon opened with the two squads trapped in a down-and-dirty rumble, their first set featuring 10 different ties and a whole lot of mood changes.

Coupeville came out strongly, with nice service runs from Grey Peabody and Allison Nastali combining with strong work at the net from Jordyn Rogers and Isabel Johnson.

Up 13-6, the Wolves looked like they were rolling, but then the wheels got a bit wobbly.

The visiting Hurricanes not only rallied to catch up, they went ahead by as many as four points at 21-17.

Enter Allie and Maya Lucero, twins with sunny personalities and killer games, who lit a spark in Coupeville’s attack down the stretch, helping power an 8-1 close.

The biggest point in the rally came off the fingertips of Peabody, who went airborne and flicked a devastatingly-great tip for a winner which put the Wolves ahead for good.

Riding high on confidence after the first-set rally, Coupeville’s mighty mashers unloaded in the second set, with the Lucero twins combining to win 15 points on their serve as CHS shot out to a 16-1 lead.

Johnson delivered a gorgeous spike which hugged the line as it hit pay-dirt, then skidded away from a flailing Hurricane, while Peabody was at the top of her game at the net, dropping daggers disguised as tips.

Rogers closed out the set with a run of four straight points off her serve, including a screaming ace which used and abused a would-be returner, before Allie Lucero iced things with a tip which froze her foes in place.

With the win in hand, the third set was more for practice than anything else, but the Wolves never relented.

Nastali had a hot hand at the service stripe, Gwen Gustafson and Skylar Parker delivered nice hustle plays, and Olivia Schaffeld brought the heat with some nasty put-aways.

Johnson enjoyed an especially-strong finale, lacing winners which sliced ‘n diced the defense, while earning an enthusiastic “Yeah, baby!!” from her mom.

It was a reaction which fit perfectly on a day when the rising stars of the Wolf volleyball program brought their best effort to the floor for coach Ashley Menges.

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