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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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   Cedar Park Christian, one of Coupeville’s rivals in the new North Sound Conference, has a great logo, and a little football-related angina. (Logo property of CPC)

Shenanigans! Sorta.

Cedar Park Christian, which will soon be one of Coupeville’s rivals in the new 1A North Sound Conference, is in the news, and school officials probably aren’t too thrilled.

The Eagles football program is being (very lightly) rapped on the knuckles, and faces a “one-year probation” after schools in its former league, the 1A/2A Cascade Conference, raised a mini-ruckus over how the CPC junior football program was marketed.

Why the quote marks around that probation? Because, as Cameron Van Til reported Tuesday in the Everett Herald, there will be “no impact on practices, games or postseason.”

Which leaves unclear what exactly the punishment might be.

Perhaps an assistant coach has to go sit in the corner for a few hours? Someone is getting a “Wet Willie?”

Color me confused.

Anyways, the violation in question was raised by Cascade Conference Athletic Directors at a meeting in late May, and CPC self-reported itself the next day.

From the outside, it seems like a fairly minor matter, though anything involving CPC football is quick to draw attention since the Eagles hired former Bellevue coach Butch Goncharoff before the 2017 season.

He won 11 class 3A state football titles at his former school, but was bounced from his position in 2016 after Bellevue was hit with charges of multiple violations of state rules.

Goncharoff went 4-6 in his first season at CPC.

So, what set off rival AD’s?

Marketing materials for the CPC junior football program, which is open to athletes from inside and outside the school, pushed the idea of it being a “K-12 program” in brochures, fliers and videos.

The brochures also included a photo of Goncharoff, while a video featured a middle school or high school-aged player.

The junior football program and the high school football program both fall under the guidance of the Cedar Park Church, but the two programs are supposed to operate separately.

Since CPC is a private school, it, like fellow league mate King’s, can accept athletes from outside its boundaries, something public schools Coupeville, Granite Falls, South Whidbey and Sultan can not.

The ability to recruit, or “offer scholarships,” or however private schools want to sugar-coat it, is a particular sticking point in the ongoing back-and-forth that keeps Washington state high school coaches, athletes and fans arguing.

And it could all be solved by splitting things up, with separate state championships for public and private schools, since they operate under separate guidelines.

Boom, you’re welcome.

Anyways…

There’s a very valid worry among many that private schools use youth programs to bring in athletes, then recruit them to stay with the school once they reach high school.

While CPC officials blame the marketing snafu on “new leadership in the junior football program” who were “gung-ho to build the program,” other AD’s preach caution.

“You’ve got to make sure that there’s a clear line (between the high school and junior programs),” Sultan AD/North Sound Conference President Scott Sifferman was quoted saying in the Herald.

“And the way that it was marketed, it really emphasized (it being) one program,” he added. “When you’re a private school and your boundaries extend beyond normal school districts, you can understand that there’s going to be concerns if something like that comes to light.”

CPC officials told the Herald the junior program has altered its marketing, and all future promotional material will be run past the high school’s athletic department before it hits the streets.

While the other four schools in the North Sound Conference are old-school rivals for Coupeville, the Wolves have never faced CPC.

The Eagles replaced Coupeville in the Cascade Conference in 2014, when CHS bounced to the Olympic League.

The two schools face off on the gridiron for the first time Oct. 19 at Juanita High School.

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