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Coupeville freshman Nezi Keiper anchored a strong defense Thursday, but the Wolf booters were nipped 1-0 by host Sultan. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The net showed no mercy.

Despite several strong scoring opportunities, including a handful in the game’s final moments, the Coupeville High School girls soccer team came up scoreless Thursday at Sultan.

Playing on their home turf, the Turks popped in an early goal, then senior goaltender Amanda McKay made it stand up in a narrow 1-0 league win.

The loss, coming in Coupeville’s third-straight road game, drops the Wolves to 0-2 in North Sound Conference play, 0-4 overall.

That puts them two games off league leaders King’s (2-0, 3-1) and South Whidbey (2-0, 4-0), and a game back of Granite Falls (1-1, 2-3) and Sultan (1-1, 1-3).

Coupeville is currently tied with Cedar Park Christian (0-2, 2-2), a team it hosts next week.

Having played 3.75 of its four games without its main offensive weapon, Genna Wright, who was injured early in the season opener, CHS has been held scoreless twice and has just three goals on the season.

The Wolves crashed the net hard, however, keeping the ball on Sultan’s side of the field for huge chunks of time.

Avalon Renninger had several nice runs up the left side of the field, and had one shot late in the second half which took off like a rocket, only to be speared by McKay, who read the incoming ball perfectly.

Coupeville’s defense, anchored by veterans Mallory Kortuem and Tia Wurzrainer and freshmen Nezi Keiper and Carolyn Lhamon, held up well, turning the Turks away consistently.

The few shots Sultan managed to get off after its goal were promptly snuffed out by rookie goaltender Katelin McCormick, who was playing in place of injured starter Mollie Bailey.

With the game in stoppage time, Coupeville launched several final strikes on the Turks, only to have the ball take a bad bounce here, a slight curve there, denying what could have been an overtime-forcing score.

As he reflected back on the game, CHS coach Kyle Nelson saw two evenly-matched teams, with one just getting a break the other didn’t.

“Last night’s game was just one of those games,” he said. “We were the better team on the field, but they scored on the first of two or three shots the whole night and we just could not get it to happen even though we probably had double-digit shots.

“We controlled the ball in their half for the majority of time,” Nelson added. “But give credit to Sultan for playing some good defense.”

The Wolves play at home Saturday, their first appearance at Mickey Clark Field in two weeks, when they host 2A Kingston (0-3) in a non-conference tilt.

Varsity kicks off at 1 PM, with JV scheduled to follow.

It’s the first of four straight home games for Coupeville, which plays seven of its final 11 on its own field.

 

JV benched:

What was supposed to be a two-game evening Thursday turned into a one-game affair, as Sultan didn’t have enough players to field a JV team.

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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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Thane Peterson, playing singles for the first time, won Wednesday to help propel Coupeville tennis to its first team victory this season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Can’t stop them when they have all their guys.

Playing with a complete varsity lineup for the first time this season, the Coupeville High School boys tennis team bounced The Bush School 3-2 Wednesday, notching its first team win of the season.

With the road victory, the Wolves improve to 1-3 in Emerald City League play, and now head home to host Overlake Friday afternoon.

Play starts at 3:30 PM.

Coupeville was down a man through its first three matches, and had to forfeit #2 singles each time out.

That changed in a big way Wednesday, as Miles Davidson, having reached the magical number of practices, made his season debut.

With the sophomore teaming up with Koby Schreiber to play #3 doubles, Thane Peterson went solo, playing singles for the first time in his prep career.

And he made quite the auspicious debut, rolling to a 7-5, 6-1 win which proved to be vitally important to the team cause.

It was a performance which made longtime CHS tennis guru Ken Stange do a little dance.

“I was very proud of Thane,” the Wolf coach said. “He was a bit nervous, but we discussed playing one point at a time, as opposed to looking at the match as a single entity.

“Breaking it down to just playing points allows a player to shed some nerves. It makes it more like practice,” Stange added. “After a close first set, I gave him a few tips. He put them into play and romped in the second set.”

Coupeville also got big wins at #1 singles (Drake Borden) and #1 doubles (James Wood/Mason Grove) to seal the deal on the conference win.

It was the second victory this season for the Wolf tandem, and the first for Borden, who has had to face a murderer’s row of sluggers at the top of the roster in the state’s toughest 1A tennis league.

Mason and James were outstanding,” Stange said. “They too played a close first set before blowing the doors off in the second.

“They hit with easy power and were able to find the proper angles.”

Borden, who worked extensively on his game in the off-season, has been highly-competitive in his matches, while facing tournament-tested pros, but Wednesday it all came together as he won a three-set thriller.

Drake muddled through the first set,” Stange said. “He was playing someone he knew he could beat, but he was tense. He took a few deep breaths, released some muscle tension, and proceeded to play a dominant second set.

“He built a commanding lead in the third set tiebreaker before coughing up a few points to make things close,” he added. “When it came down to crunch time, Drake picked up the match point, the individual win, and clinched the team win.

“All in all, it was a good day.”

 

Complete Wednesday results:

1st Singles — Drake Borden beat Quinn Chow 4-6, 6-2, 10-8

2nd Singles — Thane Peterson beat Arman Bali 7-5, 6-1

1st Doubles — James Wood/Mason Grove beat Griffin Murch/Anselm Aguerra 7-6(7-3), 6-2

2nd Doubles — Zach Ginnings/Andrew Aparicio lost to Dominic Lizardi/Drew Groel 6-2, 6-2

3rd Doubles — Miles Davidson/Koby Schreiber lost to Parker Holloway/David Nagai 6-2, 6-2

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Maddie Vondrak smoked seven kills Tuesday as 1A Coupeville toppled 2A Anacortes in volleyball action. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Lucy Sandahl (8) and Zoe Trujillo both played strongly for a Wolf team which got big contributions from everyone on the roster. (Brian Vick photo)

When you’re knocking down big trees, you bring your best axe.

Big 2A Anacortes High School features six players on its varsity volleyball roster who stand behind 5-foot-10 and 6’1.

Lil’ 1A Coupeville … does not.

But it mattered not Tuesday, as the Wolves carved up their taller foes, heading back to the bus with a 25-18, 22-25, 25-18, 25-17 victory.

The non-conference win lifts Coupeville to a pristine 2-0 heading into its home opener Saturday against Chimacum.

Its the fourth-straight season, all under the guidance of Cory Whitmore, that the Wolf spikers have opened a season with multiple wins.

Coupeville has gone 2-0, 2-0, and 5-0 to start the previous three campaigns.

The key to knocking off Anacortes for a second-straight year was showing no fear.

“We aren’t strangers to being the shorter of two teams on the court, but the height difference between us and Anacortes these last two seasons has been noticeable,” Whitmore said. “I’m really proud of the way that this team didn’t let something like taller players kill their tenacity and heart.”

What the Wolves might lack in height is more than made up for in talent and desire.

Embrace what you are, instead of worrying about what you aren’t.

“It was important for us to start to build and develop on our identity tonight,” Whitmore said. “We served very tough, which pushed their strong hitters off the net and it was our stable defense that allowed us to transition points our way.”

“All six of our serving rotations were strong and that was important for us to rack up some aces, or at the very least push their hitters off the net turning defense into offense.”

Coupeville spread out the love at the service stripe, with Lucy Sandahl and Scout Smith leading the way with three aces each.

Raven Vick (2), Maya Toomey-Stout (2), Hannah Davidson (1), and Chelsea Prescott (1) all chipped in to the ace parade as well.

That style of play, of each Wolf on the floor doing their part to form a powerful nucleus, left their coach wearing a smile.

“Tonight was especially fun, because we had huge contributions from a lot of different players,” Whitmore said.

“We expect a lot from Maya, Hannah, and Scout, both offensively and defensively, so for them to perform is always huge,” he added. “But I was especially impressed with Chelsea, Zoe Trujillo and Maddie Vondrak’s offensive efficiency.

“All three took advantage of their opportunities and it will be big for us to establish them as offensive threats.”

Mixing and matching players, the Wolf coach hit pay dirt with almost every lineup.

Lucy and Raven Vick (also) came in and played very key roles, serving and defense,” Whitmore said. “I’m really proud of the balanced nature of this win.”

The stat sheet was bursting by the end of the match, with Smith (35 assists) and Toomey-Stout (13 kills and 21 digs) pacing their squad.

Emma Mathusek went low for 15 digs, while Prescott (nine kills, seven digs), Trujillo (eight kills), Davidson (eight kills), Vondrak (seven kills), and Sandahl (five digs) all played at the top of their games.

The Wolves controlled the net, with Smith, Prescott, and Vondrak collecting solo blocks.

As Coupeville heads back to Whidbey to start a three-game home stand, Whitmore and crew are ready for the challenges ahead.

“Plenty that we need to tighten up and situations we’ll need to prepare for,” he said. “But this was a big team effort and a confidence booster.”

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Freshman Ryanne Knoblich had seven kills Tuesday as Coupeville’s C-Team spikers demolished Anacortes. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The stars of the future, supporting their older teammates today. (Brian Vick photo)

They kicked the season off with a bang.

The Coupeville High School C-Team volleyball players exited Anacortes Tuesday night flush with the thrill of victory.

Having dismantled the 2A Seahawks 25-15, 25-13, 25-10, the Wolves and new coach Krimson Rector sit at a flawless 1-0, with their home debut set for a week from tonight.

Getting production across the board, Coupeville came out strong and never took its foot off the gas pedal.

“It was great to get the first game jitters out and start our season strong,” Rector said.

The Wolves set up their success with pin-point accuracy at the service stripe, peppering Anacortes with nasty balls that were often nonreturnable.

Allie Lucero recorded a team-high 11 aces, while Maya Lucero, Vivian Farris, and Jordyn Rogers chipped in with five apiece.

When the ball did stay in play, the Wolves were efficient at the net, with Ryanne Knoblich (seven kills), Gwen Gustafson (six kills), and Jill Prince (four kills and three blocks) dominating play.

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