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Posts Tagged ‘1A Olympic League’

   Former Coupeville JV volleyball coach Kristin Bridges (and son) popped in Thursday to watch the Wolves romp to a win. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

   Wolves (l to r) Maya Toomey-Stout, Emma Smith and Ashley Menges are part of a big-hitting, sweet-serving first-place team.

One win away.

After strolling past visiting Port Townsend in straight sets Thursday, the Coupeville High School volleyball program is super close to doing something it’s never accomplished in its long history — win back-to-back league titles.

Claim victory in just one of their final three conference matches next week, and the Wolves officially clinch the 2017 Olympic League crown, which will sit quite nicely next to the 2016 version.

Of course, Coupeville would prefer to sweep its final three tilts, then roar through districts with an eye on advancing to state for the first time since 2004.

And nothing we’ve seen so far would indicate any reason that can’t happen.

Thursday the Wolves improved to 6-0 in league play, 9-2 overall, using a 25-10, 25-15, 25-16 romp over the RedHawks to open a two-game lead in the standings.

Klahowya (4-2, 5-6) is solidly in second-place while Chimacum (1-5, 1-8) and Port Townsend (1-5, 3-10) are deadlocked for the league’s third and final playoff berth.

But there is little doubt who the hard-hitting, sweet-serving big dog is right now, as the Wolves continue to fire on all cylinders.

Not only has Coupeville won every league match this season, it hasn’t dropped a set, singing its rivals to a merry 18-0 tune. Overall, the Wolves have won 27 of 33 sets.

Facing a tall, and fairly feisty, RedHawk squad, CHS seized the momentum early and never gave it back.

The opening set stayed close, for a bit, with the Wolves clinging to an 8-7 lead and looking for that spark that would light the fire.

It arrived courtesy two players, one a newcomer to the varsity, another a seasoned pro.

Scout Smith, a smooth-hitting sophomore with deceptive power, scrambled and made a brilliant running save on a ball, poking it skyward a moment before the floor claimed it.

Given new life, Coupeville rallied to win the point on a booming spike off of the fingertips of senior Kyla Briscoe.

A key contributor since way back when she was just a raw freshman, Briscoe missed her entire junior season due to a terrible leg injury.

Instead of sulking, she became her team’s biggest cheerleader during their stellar run last year. Now, Briscoe has returned, the skip back in her step, to seize a sizable, and well-deserved chunk of the spotlight.

After pounding the crud out of the ball Thursday, she immediately went on her best service run of the season, spraying winners left, right, and every which way.

By the time she was done — stopped only by an over-eager ref who dinged her for violating a five-second rule on getting your serve in the air which few knew even existed — Briscoe had piled up 10 straight points on her serve.

From 9-7 to 19-7 in the snap of two fingers, and the RedHawks were done, emotionally, mentally and physically.

And, while Briscoe’s serves were crackin’ off elbows and fingers and slammin’ into the hardwood, she got plenty of aid from her hyped-up teammates.

Emma Smith unleashed a spike which peeled paint off the back-line (while scarring the psyche of the RedHawk who tried to stop it), and that was just one point on a non-stop aerial assault.

Payton Aparicio sliced a buzz-saw of a winner cross-court, while Scout Smith owned every inch of the floor.

One moment, she was dancing forward, using just her fingertips to spin a winner in between Port Townsend defenders.

The next, Scoutosaurus Rex scaled a stairway to heaven, then unleashed holy heck with a put-away which went from right to left, hitting the court like a grenade and spraying shrapnel in every direction as the ball skidded into the fifth row of seats.

All of that was the opening act for Mikayla Elfrank, who capped the first set with a spike which erupted from her fist with a sonic boom and left a crater where it landed just inside the end-line.

Port Townsend managed to keep some rallies going, but had little answer for Coupeville’s raw power, either from the service line or on the finishing kills.

Long service runs from Ashley Menges, Katrina McGranahan, Aparicio and (her again!) Briscoe kept the Redhawks back on their toes, while Elfrank’s burning desire to break some faces with each kill kept them wide awake.

In between their rain of terror, the Wolves mixed things up with some subtle, elegant winners, as well.

Emma Smith dropped in tips for winners on back-to-back plays, freezing the Port Townsend defense in place, while Menges continues to be the master of the fake-out.

The Wolf play-maker has perfected a play on which she makes everyone, including often times her own teammates, think she’s about to loft a set. Then, at the very last second, her fingers curve to the side, instead, sending the ball skidding over the net on a tip.

It’s a subtle thriller and an ice-cold killer, and it leaves its victims grasping at air, as the ball, which has arrived by surprise, plops neatly to the floor for another Coupeville point.

Seeing his team mesh together so well, with everyone stepping up at a different moment, puts a smile on Wolf coach Cory Whitmore’s face.

“I like to see a nice balance, and that’s what we’re getting,” he said. “We’ve been stressing communication and everyone doing their own little job at the right time.”

The Wolves filled up the stat sheet, with Briscoe dropping five service aces, pounding four kills and going low for five digs.

Aparicio and Scout Smith led CHS with six kills apiece, while Elfrank and Emma Smith each added five.

Whitmore was thrilled to see balance from his front-line players, while also giving a special nod of approval to Emma Smith.

Since she patrols the middle, the junior standout doesn’t get as many kill chances as the snipers playing on either side, but she worked with what came her way.

Emma really took advantage of her opportunities,” Whitmore said. “That is awesome!”

Coupeville’s setters doled out 21 assists, with Lauren Rose lofting 13 and Menges eight, while senior libero Hope Lodell paced the squad with 12 digs.

McGranahan (4), Aparicio (4) and Rose (3) joined Briscoe as Wolves racking up service aces.

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   CHS cross country runners (l to r) Henry Wynn, Sam Wynn and Danny Conlisk hang out Thursday at the Olympic League Championships. (Dawnelle Conlisk photo)

No raindrops on their heads, but plenty of water beneath their feet.

Competing on a soggy course in Sequim Thursday, Coupeville High School’s cross country runners survived and thrived at the Olympic League Championships.

While the Wolf trio couldn’t make a dent in the team standings, not having a full seven-man roster, all three CHS harriers stayed upright and finished the 5,000 meter course at The Cedars at Dungeness Golf Course.

Hitting that finish line was what mattered most, as that qualified Danny Conlisk, Henry Wynn and Sam Wynn for the district meet.

That goes down Oct. 28 at University Place.

While they can’t advance to the state meet as a team, if any of the Wolves finish in the top 14 at districts, they will punch individual tickets for the big dance.

After training and traveling with South Whidbey all season, Coupeville’s trio struck out on their own for the postseason.

The league championship, which pitted them against fellow 1A schools Port Townsend, Klahowya and Chimacum, as well as the conference’s seven 2A schools, was their first stop.

Led by individual champ Lucas Becker, Klahowya held off 2A rivals Sequim and North Kitsap to win the boys title. Port Angeles captured the girls crown.

Conlisk was the fastest Wolf on the afternoon, covering the course in 18 minutes, 8.67 seconds to claim 25th out of 64 runners.

Henry Wynn was 54th in 19:43.10, while Sam Wynn set a PR (20:19.50) to claim 60th.

Sam Wynn’s performance was nearly a minute better than his previous best in a 5,000 meter race, which was 21:15.

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   Nick Etzell and his tennis teammates do NOT get to skip school today for the Olympic League tourney. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Chimacum’s plot is working.

Attempt #1 at playing the 1A Olympic League boys tennis tourney was washed away Thursday, after rampant rain the day before left things too soggy in Coupeville for netters to safely take the court.

They’ll try again Saturday, when the weather forecast shows 90% humidity for Cow Town.

If it’s a go, things will get underway on Coupeville’s snazzy new tennis courts at 10:45 AM and pit the Wolves against the combined forces of Klahowya, Chimacum and Port Townsend.

But, if rain (or some other form of devious weather) takes out Saturday as well, then the tourney will change locales for attempt #3.

If it gets that far, the tourney would return to Chimacum Monday, Oct. 23 (with a 10 AM start), where it’s been played the first three years the conference has existed.

The change in venues is because Klahowya would have transportation issues that day.

Whenever the tourney is played, it will feature eight singles and doubles teams (three each from KSS and CHS and two from Chimacum/PT’s combined program) vying for four slots to districts.

That event, scheduled for the Sprinker Tennis Center in Tacoma Oct. 25-26, is played on indoor courts, something Coupeville players can only wistfully dream about while practicing on the windswept, waterlogged prairie.

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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.

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   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!”

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