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Tenley Stuurmans and her CMS volleyball teammates are here to rule the gym. (Scott Stuurmans photo)

She’s a terror.

Playing her best at crunch time Wednesday, Coupeville Middle School 7th grader Tenley Stuurmans penned another triumphant chapter in her family’s long, successful sports history.

Sparked by their wild child in the #1 jersey, the Wolf varsity volleyball spikers roared from behind to gut a Sultan squad that thought it was cruising to victory.

Spoiler alert: Coupeville’s first-string, all six players, is better than the 17 Turks piled up on the opposite bench.

The Wolves, especially on this day, were feistier, grittier, and far more cold-blooded when it came time to chop off heads (metaphorically…) and let their opponents bleed out on the hardwood.

Which is why Stuurmans, Lexis Drake, Capri Anter, Rhylin Price, Adeline Maynes, and the queen of the knee-buckling slicers, one Haylee Armstrong, won 14-25, 25-18, 15-10.

Now a pristine 2-0 on the season, with back-to-back three-set thrillers in the win column, the Wolves are on the prowl and ready to square off with King’s next Monday, Oct. 10.

It’ll be the team’s third-straight home match, then CMS hits the open road for treks to Granite Falls, Northshore Christian Academy, and a rematch with Sultan.

That should be a brawl, but one the Wolves are prepared for, knowing they have the ability to yank a win out of the jaws of defeat.

Wednesday’s tilt started as a back-and-forth affair in the first set, before Sultan used a stellar run at the service stripe to stretch a 9-7 lead out to 16-7.

Coupeville fought back, with Armstrong popping off a couple service winners before sliding face-first across the floor to save the ball on a defensive stand.

But it wasn’t quite enough, and the Turks had some strut in their step as the teams went to the bench between sets.

That soon evaporated, however, as CMS fought back, and fought back hard.

Maynes impressed her large fan base with an explosive ace, which dropped suddenly, bit a chunk out of the floor, then skidded away as two Turks swung and missed.

Add in a play where Stuurmans made a sensational save, pulling the ball out of the net with her back to the other team, followed by Price elevating for the put away, and the momentum had shifted.

Drake mashed a pair of winners on her serve, before Stuurmans went on an extended tour of duty at the same stripe, rifling seven straight points to push CMS ahead 18-7.

Coupeville’s biggest lead in the middle set came at 21-9, as a Sultan player slipped just as she went to return a shot.

Her leg went one way, her shoe departed her body and went the other way, screaming “Freedom!”, and the ball ended up somewhere in the rafters.

The play actually seemed to inspire Sultan however, with the Turks going on an 8-1 run after the wayward shoe was retrieved and firmly tied back into place.

The Wolves weren’t having it, though, and the splendid six bore back down, knotting things at a set apiece after Stuurmans froze the entire gym in place on set point, angling a tip one way while all the Turks went in the other direction.

With the match on the line, and Sultan’s fans having gone dead quiet, the ref pulled veteran linesmen Katie Kiel and Nathaniel Leavitt out of the stands for quality control.

Most of their job? Signaling the ball was in, as the Wolf servers dominated in the home stretch.

Stuurmans, twirling the ball and arching an eyebrow ever so slightly, went ballistic at the stripe, racking up seven of her team’s final 15 points on her serve.

An ace down the middle of the court.

A wicked ace which slashed over the net and dove like a submarine fleeing WW2 bombers.

And just for the thrill of it, an ace off the face is the gift which stings all night long.

Maynes and Drake hit winners on their serve, as well, with Maynes also offering up a gorgeous slice return which spun away from Sultan’s defenders and staked Coupeville to a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

The victory, and the way it was achieved, left CMS coaches Cris Matochi and Raven Vick with satisfied smiles on their faces.

“We worked a lot in practice on moving to the ball, and doing so with commitment,” Matochi said. “Do everything with a purpose and play big girl volleyball.

“I was very pleased with how we’ve improved already in this time.”

That’s something Vick agrees with.

“We’re seeing them apply the technical skills we’ve taught them,” she said. “That is very encouraging.”

 

JV stands tall:

Coupeville’s second unit got progressively stronger as the match went on, fighting for every point in a 25-16, 25-21 loss.

Now 1-1 on the season, the JV unit was as close as 14-13 in the opening set, before Sultan pulled away thanks to some underhanded, lob-heavy precision serving.

Cheyanne Atteberry paced the Wolves in the early going, netting two winners off of well-placed return shots, while Emma Leavitt, Willow Leedy-Bonifas, and KeeArya Brown all came up with big-time plays.

The second set was much like the first, though closer.

Coupeville played from behind most of the time, but never allowed Sultan to dominate, and eventually got within 21-20 late.

Leedy-Bonifas had the hot hand at the stripe this time around, picking up three points on her serve, while Isabella Bowder, Brown, and Leavitt also notched winners.

Alexis Hewitt and Olivia Martin rounded out the active roster, both seeing floor time and injecting an air of electricity with their hustle.

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Emma Leavitt was a terror at the service stripe Monday, peppering Lakewood with a series of aces. (Leann Leavitt photo)

Great coaches and great players make for great wins.

Opening a brand-new season of serves and sets Monday, the Coupeville Middle School volleyball squads swatted visiting Lakewood, rallying to knock off their big school rivals in a pair of three-set thrillers.

The match marked the return of spiker guru Cris Matochi and the coaching debut of Raven Vick, teaching the sport she loves to a new generation of girls in the same gym she once played in herself.

The 2020 Coupeville grad is now one-eighth of the way through her first season on the bench, and she likes the view.

“Overall, I think the girls played really well today,” Vick said. “It’s good experience playing against a much bigger school, and they were strong.”

Raven Vick, ready for her coaching debut. (Maria Reyes photo)

Vick’s sentiment was shared by fellow coach Matochi, especially on a day when the Wolves had 14 active players and faced Lakewood, which lists 54 spikers on its roster.

“Every one of the girls did their part for us,” he said. “They all filled their roles and had an impact. You like to see that.”

How the day played out:

 

Red Team:

Coupeville’s first six players battled back from a set down to win 21-25, 25-22, 15-10 in a barnburner.

The Wolves dug deep at the end, pulling off an 11-4 run to close the match, with Rhylin Price, Adeline Maynes, and Capri Anter coming up huge at the service stripe.

Tenley Stuurmans dropped in a dead-eye spike to kick-start the final run, with teammate Haylee Armstrong punctuating things with a ferocious winner, the ball slicing off a Lakewood kneecap or two as it skidded away from the Cougars.

The final stand brought the Wolves the W, but CMS battled with intensity all match.

The opening set featured eight ties, the final one at 21-21 after Coupeville fought back from five points down.

Armstrong and Price delivered big hits, while Lexis Drake hustled for every shot, but Lakewood managed to slip away at the end, thanks to some pinpoint serving.

The final point was agonizing, with a Lakewood serve slapping into the top of the net, then flopping over the obstacle at the last moment, dropping in for a surprise ace.

With all six Wolves on their heels, they were unable to counter the sudden reversal of fortune and could only watch in frustration as the ball limply smacked into the court.

It could have been a killer, but Coupeville’s six-pack of sluggers brushed the moment away and immediately fired right back up.

The second set was all Wolves, all the time, as Anter went on a torrid run to help spark her team to a 14-6 lead.

The CMS 8th grader blasted aces, one hitting a rival in the head, while also dropping a pair of note-perfect lob shots for winners while playing defense.

She got help from Armstrong, zinging winners, and Maynes, serving nuclear bombs which exploded, covering Lakewood hitters in shrapnel.

The Cougars were a tough team in their own right, however, and came all the way back to claim an 18-17 lead, despite losing one point when they served the volleyball directly into the ref’s crotch.

Faced with a deficit, Anter simply said, “Nope. Not today.”

Another run of points at the service stripe, with Armstrong soaring to flick a tip winner after a back-and-forth rally, and Coupeville headed back to the bench with the match knotted at a set apiece.

That set up the final frame, where the Wolves, drawing support from an enthusiastic crowd, swept the Cougars away.

 

Black Team:

Coupeville used a mix of players in the day’s second match, and again rallied from a set down, this time winning 9-25, 25-23, 15-8.

CMS 6th grader Emma Leavitt opened the match strongly, slamming a pair of aces on her first two serves, reminiscent of how older sister Jaimee once stalked the service stripe.

From there, Lakewood’s second squad, which featured a parade of under-handed servers methodically launching moonballs, got on a hot streak and ran away with the set.

Willow Leedy-Bonifas and Alexis Hewitt nailed drop-shot winners for the Wolves, with Leedy-Bonifas launching hers over her shoulder, but the Cougars were on a roll.

Which largely stopped in the second set, with Coupeville regaining control of the match at the service line.

Leavitt, Anter, Armstrong, Leedy-Bonifas, Maynes, and Stuurmans all collected points on their serves, while Isabella Bowder, Cheyanne Atteberry, Alyssa McGee, KeeArya Brown, and Olivia Martin scrambled on defense and made their coaches proud.

Plus, extra credit to Martin, who assisted the local media by matching jersey numbers up with player names pre-match.

She was the real hero, for me at least.

Trailing 2-1 in the third set, CMS grabbed the lead for good with Stuurmans twirling the ball and peppering Lakewood with aces.

Middle school rules limit servers to five points at the line, but that was enough, as Tenley staked the Wolves to a 6-2 advantage.

Lakewood fought hard, but to the horrified gasps of its fans, the Cougars were soon heading back to the bus with a two-loss day.

Leavitt drove the final stake in, closing the day with four straight aces to end the match.

Two of her service winners ripped off a chunk of the back line, earning a resounding “Yes!” from mom Leann, back in the gym, ready for another tour of duty as a volleyball mom.

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Arianna Cunningham (front) and Alexandra Lo pound the course at a recent meet. (Jackie Saia photo)

They stood tall at the Falls.

The Coupeville Middle School cross country program sent 25 runners to the line Thursday at a six-school meet in Granite Falls, with Olivia Hall and Beckett Green capturing team honors.

Both Wolves nabbed 8th place in the individual standings, while tangling with runners from powerhouses like King’s and Langley.

The 1.7-mile course tested the young Coupeville harriers, while still having a lot less hills than their most-recent meet.

The Wolves get back at it Friday, Oct. 7, when they compete at the Hole in the Wall Invitational at Lakewood High School.

Devon Wyman slices through the underbrush. (Jackie Saia photo)

 

Thursday’s results:

 

GIRLS:

Olivia Hall (8th) 12:38.46
Mikayla Wagner (12th) 12:54.18
Laken Simpson (13th) 13:07.31
Marin Winger (16th) 13:52.40
Allie Powers (19th) 14:34.94
Sage Stavros (29th) 15:41.91
Devon Wyman (37th) 16:24.56
Mary Western (38th) 16:26.66
Arianna Cunningham (41st) 17:05.64
Hailey Goldman (45th) 17:33.88
Amelia Crowder (50th) 18:34.21
Emma McFadden (51st) 18:51.60
Maci Wofford (53rd) 19:50.94
Camilla Wolfe (54th) 19:54.35
Alexandra Lo (56th) 20:05.70
Elizabeth Marshall (61st) 22:28.90
Savannah Niewald (62nd) 22:32.59

 

BOYS:

Beckett Green (8th) 11:08.23
Nathan Niewald (15th) 11:52.51
Roger Merino-Martinez (20th) 12:22.73
Cyrus Sparacio (24th) 13:09.94
Isaiah Allen (26th) 13:15.02
Ossian Merkel (28th) 13:24.94
Max Ohme (37th) 13:52.97
Avery Eelkema (46th) 15:02.59

“The day is done!” (Elizabeth Bitting photo)

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Hailey Goldman attacks every race with a smile. (Jackie Saia photo)

No fear, just joy.

Coupeville Middle School cross country runners tackled one of the tougher courses they will face this season Saturday at the 15th annual King’s Roller Coaster Trail Run in Shoreline.

To the delight of coach Elizabeth Bitting, her young athletes responded exactly the way she hoped on the 1.6-mile course.

“From the moment we arrived at King’s the air was electric!” she said.

“Music playing, schools walking the course, families eager to cheer on their runners, pumped coaches, the smile on my face and excitement in my heart couldn’t be diminished!

“The athletes were so nervous when we walked the course and they saw the roller coaster hills but during their races they ate those hills up!” Bitting added.

“Compared to last week’s times EVERY athlete set a PR! It was AMAZING!!!!!”

Coupeville placed seven runners — five girls and two boys — in the top 10, with both squads claiming second in the team title chase.

The Wolves get right back at it next week, with a trip to Granite Falls set for Thursday, Sept. 29.

 

Saturday’s results:

 

GIRLS:

Lydia Price (5th) 12:15.70
Mikayla Wagner (6th) 12:42.50
Olivia Hall (7th) 13:01.00
Laken Simpson (8th) 13:07.40
Tirsit Cannon (10th) 13:21.20
Marin Winger (11th) 13:23.30
Ivy Rudat (12th) 13:26.20
Allie Powers (16th) 14:08.10
Sage Stavros (17th) 14:17.20
Devon Wyman (25th) 16:19.90
Mary Western (28th) 17:25.60
Arianna Cunningham (29th) 17:40.00
Amelia Crowder (30th) 17:49.00
Hailey Goldman (31st) 17:56.40
Elizabeth Marshall (35th) 19:14.00
Camilla Wolfe (36th) 20:15.40
Alexandra Lo (37th) 20:17.00
Savannah Niewald (38th) 20:22.00
Maci Wofford (39th) 20:25.30

Coupeville girls captured five medals and a second-place team finish at Shoreline. (Duncan Wagner photo)

 

BOYS:

Beckett Green (5th) 11:23.28
Axel Marshall (6th) 11:23.87
Kenneth Jacobsen (12th) 11:45.02
Nathan Niewald (15th) 12:20.72
Roger Merino-Martinez (16th) 12:22.76
Cyrus Sparacio (17th) 12:50.80
Isaiah Allen (19th) 12:34.23
Johnathan Jacobsen (29th) 13:45.00
Ossian Merkel (31st) 13:51.62
Avery Eelkema (32nd) 13:51.76
Dylan Robinett (37th) 15:12.45
Zach Blitch (40th) 15:47.88

Axel Marshall (left) and Beckett Green cracked the top 10 Saturday. (Elizabeth Bitting photo)

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Myra McDonald (8) and Willow Leedy-Bonifas (18) are back for a new season of volleyball. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

So is Adeline Maynes.

Coupeville’s gyms are alive with the sound of volleyballs smacking into the hardwood.

The high school season is well underway, while the middle school spikers are gearing up to kick off their own campaign.

CMS coaches Cris Matochi and Raven Vick have 19 girls on their current roster, though that number may change going forward.

Whoever is still standing begins play Oct. 3 with a home match against Lakewood.

The young Wolves have eight tilts on the schedule, with the first three coming at home.

CMS plays Sultan and Langley twice each, while vying with King’s, Granite Falls, Northshore Christian Academy, and the aforementioned Lakewood once.

The early roster:

 

8th grade:

Capri Anter
Haylee Armstrong
Isabella Bowder
Lexis Drake
Myra McDonald

 

7th grade:

Cheyanne Atteberry
Isabella De Souza Oliveira McFetridge
Alexis Hewitt
Willow Leedy-Bonifas
Inara Maund (Manager)
Adeline Maynes
Alyssa McGee
Rhylin Price
Tenley Stuurmans

 

6th grade:

KeeArya Brown
Emmy Carlson
Emma Leavitt
Olivia Martin
Ashlee Wells

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