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Gwen Gustafson helped spark the Coupeville JV to a come-from-behind win on opening night. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Third quarter for the win.

Bouncing back from a seven-point halftime deficit, the Coupeville High School JV girls basketball squad blew the doors off the gym in the second half Tuesday.

Sparked by a 19-4 run in the third frame, which accounted for half their points on the night, the Wolves held off host Darrington 38-34.

The non-conference victory, coming on opening night, was the first at the high school level for new JV coach Megan Smith.

The #4 scorer in Wolf girls varsity basketball history, the 2010 CHS grad bounced up from a middle school coaching gig to replace the retired Amy King.

One game in, things are looking good for Smith and her young squad.

“We started out pretty flat, but came out swinging in the second half!,” Smith said. “I’m very proud of our girls, how we played, and how we handled ourselves in adversity.

“A pretty solid way to start out the season, and excited to see where we go from here!”

Playing after the varsity Tuesday night, the Wolf JV fell behind early, trailing 13-8 after one quarter and 19-12 at the half.

At that point, Coupeville had hit just a single basket from the field, thanks to freshman Gwen Gustafson, with the rest of its points coming at the free throw stripe.

The third quarter was a different story, however, as Gustafson and fellow fab frosh Alita Blouin lit up Darrington, combining for 14 points in the frame.

Blouin tossed in nine of her 11 in the third, including hitting a three-pointer, while Gustafson netted five of her team-best 12.

CHS got scoring from all directions, with Ryanne Knoblich banking home four of her six points in the quarter, and Ella Colwell slipping a free throw through the net to round out the offensive explosion.

Samantha Streitler, Morgan Stevens and Colwell finished with two points apiece, while Jessenia Camarena chipped in with three.

Whether they scored or not, all 11 girls in uniform had strong performances.

Heidi Meyers, Natalie Castano, Lily Leedy, and Savana Allen also saw floor time for Coupeville, which returns to action Wednesday with a game at Oak Harbor.

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Coupeville freshman Alita Blouin had a strong high school hoops debut Saturday at a jamboree in Sedro-Woolley. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

A new era begins.

The 2019-2020 hoops season officially kicked off Saturday, with new Coupeville High School girls basketball coaches Scott Fox and Megan Smith making their debuts.

The Wolves played four games at a jamboree in Sedro-Woolley, with the varsity fighting strongly against two high-powered squads, while the JV romped to big wins.

The regular season begins Tuesday, when Coupeville travels to Darrington.

That starts a busy first week, as the Wolves also travel to Oak Harbor Wednesday, then host Orcas Island Saturday afternoon.

Saturday’s shortened games were a way for Fox and Smith, who replace the retired David and Amy King, to start to implement their style of play.

But only partially, as the Wolf coaches kept things close to the vest, knowing their upcoming foes were likely scouting them.

How it played out in Sedro:

 

Varsity:

The Wolves top squad rumbled with 2A Bellingham and Meridian, which went three games deep into the 1A state tourney a season ago.

In both games, CHS fought back from deficits, claimed the lead, but couldn’t quite hold on, falling by five and four points, respectively.

Fox praised the play of senior point guard Scout Smith, who “was driving to the basket for multiple and-ones,” while also noting Hannah Davidson and Izzy Wells spent the night “crashing the boards.”

Toss in strong work by Chelsea Prescott, who “made multiple shots off of drives and cuts,” and the new Wolf head man came away pleased with much of what he witnessed.

“Everyone played hard, and we’re ready for the season to start,” Fox said.

 

JV:

The young Wolves decimated their 2A opponents, thrashing Bellingham by 16 and Sedro-Woolley by 15.

A pair of freshmen making their high school hoops debut caught the eye of the veteran varsity coach.

Alita Blouin was spectacular running the offense, stealing and distributing,” Fox said. “Ryanne Knoblich slashed to the basket and everyone played great.”

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Heidi Meyers delivered a run of winners at the service line Tuesday, as the Coupeville High School JV volleyball squad scorched visiting Cedar Park Christian. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It started with a bang and ended with a bang.

In between, the Coupeville High School JV volleyball squad dominated play Tuesday against visiting Cedar Park Christian, rolling to a straight-sets win.

The 25-20, 25-21, 25-16 victory lifts the Wolf young guns to 1-0 in North Sound Conference play, 2-1 overall.

The match was fairly evenly played, but Coupeville time and again did what it had to do at the exact right moments to carry the day.

Things got off to a nice start, with Maddie Georges ripping off four service points to open the match, thanks to some help from Lucy Tenore and Taygin Jump.

Like a Viking warrior stalking the net, Tenore struck first, rising up into the rafters on the opening point, then lashing a solid kill that scattered her foes in all directions.

Not to be outdone, the multi-talented Jump finished off the next three points by herself, and all with different shots.

The first was a little bump on the run, as she dropped the ball into a small gap between two Cedar Park players.

After that, Jump ripped a spike which singed the top of the net as it slid over, followed up by a slicer which caught the back line for another winner.

CPC fought back, and actually took the lead for a bit in the opening set, overcoming wicked winners from Tenore and Kylie Chernikoff.

But, eventually, the Wolves turned the flow of the tide for good, thanks to strong serving from Heidi Meyers, an artful winner or two off of the fingers of Anya Leavell, and then some highlight reel work from the pumped-up Chernikoff.

She crushed one winner to knot the set up at 18-18, then put CHS ahead for good with a run of sizzlin’ aces at the service stripe.

The second set was almost a mirror image of the first, with the two teams battling in the center of the ring, exchanging body blows, until Coupeville flipped a switch.

Tenore and Chernikoff were a two-woman wreckin’ crew at the net, spraying nasty kills in all directions, while this time around it was Jaimee Masters who had an impressive run on serve.

While the win was already in the bag for the Wolves after taking the first two sets, the teams opted to play a third frame for extra floor time.

Alita Blouin opened the set with a gorgeous spike for a winner which she delivered while hanging out in midair in the back half of her side of the court.

After that, Chernikoff decided to see how many heads she could crack by peppering balls at any Cedar Park players in her way.

With Georges flipping perfectly-placed sets, and Ivy Leedy chipping in with a couple nice hustle plays, the Wolves eventually had everything clicking in the final set, strolling in for the sweet sweep.

Cedar Park put up a fight on a couple of intense rallies, but deflated after Jump flicked a tip for a winner and Chernikoff smashed a hole through the center of the universe on her final kill.

Just to make sure the visitors knew they had been fully and completely beaten, the hometown Wolves closed the match with back-to-back service aces from Masters, which sent her great-grandparents home happy.

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Kylie Chernikoff racked up 10 digs and eight kills Tuesday, as Coupeville’s JV battled nearly evenly with 2A Anacortes. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Never give in, never give up.

Coupeville High School JV volleyball coach Chris Smith is all about improvement and fighting until that last moment, regardless of the score.

So, while his Wolf squad fell in three sets Tuesday at Anacortes, evening their early-season record at 1-1, he departed the gym with a positive attitude still in place.

“We started off a little slow, but made progress every set,” Smith said. “The key for me is progress, and they are lucky it wasn’t a best of seven contest!”

Facing off with a “tough-serving” 2A team which “did an excellent job of keeping the volleyball off the floor on their side of the court,” the Wolves fell 25-11, 25-16, 27-26.

“Overall, we survived to play another day,” Smith said. “We will learn and move on!”

One particular bright spot was how the Wolves shared the load, with multiple players filling up the stat sheet.

Freshman Maddie Georges doled out nine assists while running the attack as Coupeville’s setter, adding two digs and a service ace to her line.

Kylie Chernikoff was a two-way warrior, pounding a team-high eight kills to go with 10 digs, while Taygin Jump and Alita Blouin chipped in with two kills apiece.

The fab frosh duo were equally as impressive when it came time to pull the ball off the floor, with Blouin notching a team-best 11 digs and Jump picking up seven of her own.

Jaimee Masters (three digs), Anya Leavell (a kill), and Heidi Meyers (a dig and an ace) also penned their names in the stat book.

The Wolf JV returns to action next Tuesday, Sept. 24, when they host Cedar Park Christian in their North Sound Conference opener.

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Taygin Jump and her Coupeville JV volleyball teammates blistered Friday Harbor with powerful, precision serving in a season-opening win. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Friday Harbor had no answer for the lasers headed its way.

Powered by blistering service games from freshmen Maddie Georges, Taygin Jump, and Alita Blouin, the Coupeville High School JV volleyball squad cruised to a win Thursday in its season-opener.

Playing after the varsity, the young Wolves claimed the first set at Friday Harbor 25-8, then were up 18-2 in the second when the siren call of the ferry sent everyone scrambling to exit the gym.

As he cruised the waters of Washington state on his way home, Coupeville coach Chris Smith did so with a contented smile on his face.

“This was a very one-sided win that consisted of dominant serving from Maddie, Taygin and Alita,” he said. “All of our serving was on point, but those three did so well in both matches that the later rotations didn’t get a chance to serve much.

“Friday Harbor’s JV had no answer for our pinpoint barrage of serving aces.”

The few times the host team was able to return Coupeville’s offerings, the Wolves emphatically ended the play soon afterward.

“In the off chance they were able to get the ball back to our side of the net we took care of the ball quickly, with clean passing, beautifully-dispersed setting and our front row taking care of putting the ball away,” Smith said.

Stalking the net like the spike-happy assassins they are, Kylie Chernikoff, Jill Prince, and Ivy Leedy led the way, each collecting a handful of kills.

All in all, it made for one very happy coach.

“I am extremely pleased how the JV played for each other, to make the team around them great!”

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