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Scout Smith soars for a ball Thursday night. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

The Wolf spikers are 7-2 on the season, tied for second-place in the North Sound Conference.

Chelsea Prescott (left) and Emma Smith rise up and deny.

You can find the measure of a team in how it responds when it’s at its lowest moment.

With that in mind, the next few days will tell us a lot about the 2018 Coupeville High School volleyball squad.

Coming in to Thursday’s home match with Cedar Park Christian, the Wolves were flying high, their only loss coming at the hands of King’s, the defending 1A state champs.

Blessed with big hitters, strong servers and a nimble setter in Scout Smith, CHS had the markings of a team which seemed primed to make a run at a second-straight trip to the state tourney.

And the Wolves still could.

While it suffered a major stumble Thursday, falling in five sets to a school it swept 3-0 the first time around, and doing so by continually misfiring and having to fight back from deficits, this is still a very-talented team.

Now, these Wolves, led by seniors Ashley Menges and Emma Smith, will have to brush off their 25-18, 23-25, 25-18, 19-25, 15-5 loss to the Eagles and prove they are as mentally tough as they are skilled.

This weekend, Coupeville travels to Eastern Washington for the 14-team Wenatchee Invite, where the Wolves will get a chance to work out the kinks against much-bigger schools.

Monday, Oct. 15 brings a major gut-check, as CHS hosts South Whidbey, which it edged in five titanic sets the first time around.

The Wolves (4-2 in league, 7-2 overall) and Falcons (4-2, 7-4) are tied for second-place in the North Sound Conference, two back of King’s (6-0, 9-1) and a game up on Cedar Park (3-3, 7-4) with four to play.

Granite Falls (1-5, 3-7) and Sultan (0-6, 3-7) bring up the rear.

The loss to CPC was a largely self-inflicted one, as the Wolves piled up hitting errors, blunting their often-ferocious attack.

Emma Smith and Menges combined to stuff an Eagle spike in the early going, knotting things up at 3-3 in the first set, but things quickly spiraled out of control.

Coupeville’s only lead in the opening frame was at 2-1, and it fell behind by as many as eight points, allowing CPC to claim first blood.

The second set was better, if not a smashing success, as the Wolves never trailed by more than a single point.

Chelsea Prescott and Emma Smith brought out the big hammers, drilling winners which ripped holes through the fabric of time and space, while Hannah Davidson dropped a superb tip winner which froze all the Eagles in place.

The Wolves went ahead for good at 19-18, after Maya Toomey-Stout bounced a spike off of a girl’s elbow, then “The Gazelle” topped herself several plays later when she lasered a winner while hanging in mid-air at mid-court.

But, as quickly as Coupeville found its mojo, it lost it again, trailing from the first serve to the final aborted spike in the third set.

Toomey-Stout and Emma Smith delivered big kills in frame three, but the Wolves, normally a very-efficient team at the service stripe, struggled to sustain any runs.

The best play in set three was a desperation one, in which Menges, crashing to her knees, threw out an arm and kept a seemingly-dead play alive, setting up an eventual winner from Davidson.

Things turned really dark in the early moments of the fourth set, with CHS falling behind 7-1.

But Toomey-Stout came bounding down the middle, took a jack rabbit jump in front of the net and speared the ball for a winner, injecting a jolt of electricity through her teammates and the (unfairly) sparse crowd.

Scout Smith, mainlining some of her running mate’s energy, out-fought an Eagle as they both went for a tip winner at the same moment.

Flexing her biceps, the Wolf junior held her ground (while in the air), forcing the ball up and over her foe’s fingertips, then pumping her fist as it slapped down and skidded away for a winner.

Coupeville claimed its first lead of the set at 11-10 and never surrendered it, with Prescott tagging balls off of wayward Eagles, Emma Smith ripping off arms with her kills and Toomey-Stout going “Maya Oh My” on one nuclear detonation of a put-away.

But when you spend all night digging yourself out of holes, you burn through a lot of energy, and it showed in the fifth and deciding set.

Other than one nice kill from Emma Smith, the final frame was a series of balls hitting Wolf hands and shooting off to the side, and despite several time outs, Coupeville couldn’t put a halt to a final tsunami of Eagle points.

The final score, and the night as a whole, left CHS coach Cory Whitmore drained.

“We have things to work on, and we will,” he said as he rubbed his temples. “I’m excited we took it to five sets, when we weren’t headed that way, and, overall, we passed better.

“This weekend will be a good opportunity for us.”

Toomey-Stout paced the Wolves Thursday with 14 kills, nine digs and two aces, while Emma Mathusek went low for 13 gigs and Scout Smith passed out 29 assists.

Prescott (six kills, five digs, two aces), Emma Smith (11 kills), Menges (three aces) and Davidson (four kills) all chipped in, with swing player Zoe Trujillo firing off a kill on the first play she was on the floor.

 

To see everything John Fisken shot Thursday, pop over to:

https://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/Coupeville-Volleyball-2018-2019/VB-2018-10-11-vs-CPC/

And remember, purchases help fund scholarships for CHS senior student/athletes.

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Mallory Kortuem leads the charge Thursday as Coupeville and Cedar Park Christian waged a double overtime thriller. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Showing off their support for cancer research on Pink Night, the Wolves played under blue skies.

Ema Smith gets her head into the game.

Leaving the goalie in her dust, Anna Dion slaps home a goal.

Everything but the win.

Playing on a night when they raised awareness for cancer research, the Coupeville High School girls soccer team put together quite a show for the local fans.

Led by two more goals from rampaging sophomore sensation Genna Wright, the Wolves pushed visiting Cedar Park Christian to the very limit, before falling 4-3 in double overtime.

The Eagles slipped in the winning score with just over a minute left to play, averting a draw and keeping CHS locked in a tie for the final playoff berth out of the North Sound Conference.

With the narrow loss, the Wolves fall to 1-7 in league play, 2-10-1 overall.

Coupeville, which has two games left — Senior Night against South Whidbey Oct. 15 and a road trip to Granite Falls Oct. 17 — is tied with Sultan (1-7).

King’s (8-0) clinched the league title Thursday with a 2-1 win over Granite Falls (5-3), while South Whidbey (5-3) moved into a second-place tie with a 7-0 shellacking of Sultan.

With its win, Cedar Park Christian (4-4) sits in fourth-place.

Five of six teams from the North Sound Conference advance to the double-elimination district tourney, which starts Oct. 22, with the #5 seed drawing King’s in the first round.

If Coupeville and Sultan finish the regular season in a tie, they will meet Saturday, Oct. 20 to decide who will be the #5 seed.

The game will be on the turf in Sultan, thanks to a blind draw to determine tiebreaker hosts.

While the Wolves would have preferred a win Thursday, CHS coach Kyle Nelson was happy to see his team bounce back after a rough road loss earlier in the week.

“One of our best games, bringing things together,” he said. “It was an exciting back and forth game; we had more opportunities and they capitalized on some free kicks.”

Wright smacked a pair of goals into the back of the net to pace the Wolves, her sixth and seventh of her sophomore season.

That gives her 17 for her career, tying her with Lindsey Roberts for the lead among active players, and moving her halfway to the Wolf girls program record of 35 goals by Mia Littlejohn.

Coupeville’s other goal came from junior Anna Dion, who recorded her second score of the season.

 

To see everything John Fisken shot Thursday, pop over to:

https://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/Coupeville-Soccer-2018-2019/GS-2018-10-11-vs-CPC/

When you do, remember, purchases help fund scholarships for two CHS senior student/athletes.

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Jaimee Masters was electric at the service line Thursday, sparking the Coupeville JV volleyball squad to a comeback win. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Give your foes a glimmer of hope, then crush their dreams.

Using every player on the roster Thursday, the Coupeville High School JV volleyball squad stormed back from down a set to blitz visiting Cedar Park Christian, turning a tense match into a runaway win.

While the Eagles slipped away with the opening set 26-24, after blowing a seven-point lead and wasting two set points, it was all Wolves, all day, as soon as the squads switched sides of the floor.

Coupeville blistered the visitors 25-16 in the second set, then took the third set, and the win, with a 25-19 frame in which the Wolf freshmen carried the load.

The win, the team’s third-straight, lifts the JV to 3-3 in North Sound Conference play, 5-4 overall.

CHS coach Chris Smith mixed up his lineup a bit more than normal Thursday, used all 13 of his players, and got big-time plays from everyone on the court.

While the Wolves ultimately dropped the opening set, they displayed an admirable scrappiness, battling back from an 11-4 deficit to knot the set up at 19-19, 22-22 and 24-24.

After failing to win a point through its first four servers, Coupeville finally broke through on the wicked hot arm of Willow Vick.

Her first serve set up a roundhouse spike from Zoe Trujillo, then Vick ripped off a knee-buckling ace to start the comeback.

The Wolves fought all the way back to tie the set at 19 when Lucy Sandahl spun a ball off of her fingertips while on the move, dropping a tip winner between two flailing rivals.

From there, the opening set became a war of attrition.

Maddie Vondrak bounded to the ceiling to pound home a winner, Raven Vick scorched a nasty ace, but a truly awful call by the ref swung things back to CPC, which closed out the set.

From their demeanor, it was tough to tell the Wolves were down a set, however, as they bounced around, full of energy and ready to bring the pain.

Sandahl started things off with a nice run at the service line, then Jaimee Masters took things to another level, ripping off seven straight winners, punctuated by a  low, screaming ace which tore a chunk out of a CPC player’s toe.

Inspired by her teammate’s serving prowess, Vondrak got funky, dancing this way and that, blocking two shots in a row with just the top of her fingertips, before swinging the hammer on a spike that sealed the deal.

Riding the wave of emotion, Coupeville’s freshmen (Izzy Wells, Noelle Daigneault, Eryn Wood, Abby Mulholland, Kylie Van Velkinburgh and Anya Leavell) teamed with sophomores Ivy Leedy and Abby Meyers to do most of the damage down the stretch.

Wells opened the final set with eight consecutive points on serve, then, after a nifty kill from the middle of the floor by Leavell, it was time for Daigneault to get down and dirty.

Back-to-back aces from the freshman Homecoming princess blew the lead out to 11-1, with the Wolves eventually stretching the margin all the way to 22-9.

Van Velkinburgh sprawled out on the floor to keep one crucial rally going, while Mulholland froze two rivals with a tip winner, and things looked to be about three seconds from ending.

Give CPC some credit, though, as they closed on a 10-2 run with at least two winners catching the last flake of paint on the back line.

Smith never panicked, however, and neither did his youngest players, as he left them on the floor to close out the win. Which they promptly did.

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Playing in front of aunt Joli, a first-ballot Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Famer, Emma Smith helped lead Coupeville to a huge win in Bothell Tuesday night. (Konni Smith photo)

The louder you get, the better we play.

When the Coupeville High School volleyball squad strode onto the court in Bothell for its North Sound Conference opener Tuesday night, it faced numerous challenges.

The dangerous team across the net, Cedar Park Christian, was a solid 4-1 in non-conference play.

Toss in a rabid student section, and things might have seemed daunting for the Wolves.

If, and only if, you didn’t know the young women wearing the black uniforms don’t bend. They don’t break. And they will snap you in half.

Their mothers saw it coming. From now on, so might their private school rivals.

“The crowd of (CPC) boys were animals,” said one Coupeville mom. “And they fueled our girls fire as they heckled the crap out of us.

“I wanted to warn them that our kids live for the screams.”

By the time they were done, the Wolves had turned any razzing into screams of pure anguish, thrashing the host Eagles 25-20, 25-18, 25-23.

The win propels Coupeville to a pristine 3-0 on the season.

At 1-0 in league play, they sit in a tie atop the new conference, and have a full week before they travel to Langley for an epic clash with arch-rival South Whidbey.

While he’ll start planning for that rumble when his team returns to practice Wednesday, the bus ride home Tuesday was all about enjoying that first conference win for CHS coach Cory Whitmore.

“We’re very excited, of course,” he said. “Any time you can go on the road in this league and come back with the win is an accomplishment.

“We played with a lot of focus and very clean from the service line and then gradually put the pressure on, taking them out of rhythm.”

Not every facet of their play was flawless, but the Wolves made up for any small weaknesses by excelling in other areas.

“Our hitting was shaky at times, but the passing was pretty consistent, so our hitters could then settle in themselves,” Whitmore said. “Chelsea (Prescott) and Ashley (Menges) had great all-around games passing, serving and digging.

Emma Mathusek did a great job passing and digging as well and Emma Smith had a powerful six kills with no errors,” he added. “A skill that we’ve been pushing has been smart and strong blocking, and we showcased that well tonight.”

Coupeville picked up 10 blocks, with Emma Smith soaring above the net to collect six stuffs to match her six kills.

The stat sheet was nicely balanced, with Scout Smith doling out 23 assists and Mathusek going low to scrape 11 digs off the floor.

Ashley Menges (five kills, four aces), Hannah Davidson (four kills), Chelsea Prescott (three kills, four aces), Maya Toomey-Stout (seven kills, three digs, two aces) and Zoe Trujillo (one kill) all chipped in as well.

“Plenty to work on in practice,” Whitmore said. “But we’re of course excited about a big win.”

 

JV strolls to win:

Coupeville’s young guns crushed the Eagles 25-12, 25-8 in their league opener.

The win lifts the JV to 2-1 overall, 1-0 in conference action.

“Good team effort across the board,” said CHS coach Chris Smith.

The Wolves got big play from a number of players, something their leader always likes to see.

Lucy (Sandahl) flew all over the floor setting and feeding her hitters,” Smith said. “The Vick sisters (Willow and Raven) were very composed at the service line and swinging well in the front row.

Maddie (Vondrak) is playing all six rotations and has made significant improvements in serving and passing,” he added. “Zoe (Trujillo), as usual, gave us a lot of power swinging from the outside.”

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Genna Wright tallied her second goal of the season Tuesday, but Coupeville fell in a league game. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It was there, then it was gone, but they want to get it back.

Playing on turf in Bothell Tuesday, the Coupeville High School girls soccer squad had a close game slip away, causing the Wolves to fall 3-1 to host Cedar Park Christian.

The loss drops CHS to 1-2 in North Sound Conference play, 1-4-1 overall.

Coupeville came out strongly in the first half, with Genna Wright rifling home a goal to knot things at 1-1 headed into the break.

That tally, her second of the season, moves the Wolf sophomore into a four-way tie with Mallory Kortuem, Avalon Renninger and Lindsey Roberts atop the team scoring chart.

The Wolves scoring touch went cold after halftime, however, while Cedar Park broke through with a go-ahead goal and then an insurance score.

“We just were not able to convert on a number of chances in the second half,” said Coupeville coach Kyle Nelson.

The two teams will clash again Oct. 11 on Whidbey, and Nelson is already looking towards the match-up.

“Should be a good game when we host them later in the season.”

The Wolves, who are in the midst of a four-game road trip, return to action Saturday, when they face Mount Vernon Christian in a non-conference rumble.

After that, seven of the final eight games on the regular-season schedule are league affairs.

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