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Ryanne Knoblich flies in for a winner. (Jackie Saia photo)

It was a milestone night.

Coming off of a “really good practice,” the Coupeville High School varsity volleyball squad jelled and dominated Thursday, crushing visiting Darrington in straight sets.

The 25-7, 25-17, 25-17 victory lifts the Wolves to 7-1 in Northwest 2B/1B League play, 9-4 overall, and hands coach Cory Whitmore his 75th win at the helm of the CHS program.

It also sets up a winner-take-all match for the regular season finale, which hits Tuesday, Oct. 25.

Coupeville hosts three-time defending state champ La Conner (7-0, 11-1), with the winner clinching the league title and the #1 seed from District 1 heading to the postseason.

The District 1/2 tourney goes down Nov. 2 in La Conner, with the NWL runner-up playing Auburn Adventist Academy in a loser-out match.

The victor in the opening rumble then plays the NWL champ in a loser-out, winner-to-state tilt.

Thursday’s match against Darrington, which fell on Wolf senior middle blocker Jill Prince’s birthday, allowed the CHS varsity spikers to cap a third-straight season in which they have never lost to a NWL team other than La Conner.

The Wolves were locked and loaded from the first point of the night, kicked off by a wicked Maddie Georges serve, and finished by a breathtaking slicer off the fingertips of a cartwheeling Lyla Stuurmans.

Georges staked Coupeville to a 6-0 lead, with Madison McMillan and Alita Blouin also peeling off strong runs at the service line in the opening frame.

Alita Blouin fires off a rocket. (Jackie Saia photo)

When Darrington did get the ball back in the air, the Wolf heavy hitters made short work of things, spraying kills and watching the Loggers run for safety.

Ryanne Knoblich, who finished with a team-high nine kills, was especially effective in the early stages, her blasts tearing holes in the hardwood.

The Loggers had pluck, however, and fought back to make their best stand in the second set.

Darrington led for much of that frame, dodging kills from Prince and Mia Farris to carry a 16-9 lead into a timeout.

That was where things changed, and changed big-time, with Coupeville closing the set on a 16-1 tear.

Georges was a spark, putting together a nine-point run on her serve while also flicking passes left, right, and every direction from her post as setter.

A ball went to Knoblich, who came flying in from the side to crunch things.

Then it was time for Farris to get dramatic, or Prince to paste the crud out of the ball, or McMillan to get medieval, or Stuurmans to launch lasers.

Pick your poison, and accept you’re about to die (metaphorically, at least) — that was the only option the Loggers had when the Wolves were in sync.

“They executed really, really well on defense,” Whitmore said. “I’m really proud of how, when we were down, we stuck to our game plan and didn’t look rattled.

“We were very disciplined on defense, and our communication never took a dip.”

Darrington remained ever plucky, and the third set was knotted at 10-10 before Coupeville decided to emphatically end things.

Georges, wrapping up a strong all-around evening of work in her next-to-last home match, fired off five straight points on her serve to push the Wolves ahead at 15-10, and the Loggers ability to resist finally faded for good.

There was still time for some “plays of the day” however, with Stuurmans tiptoeing down the sideline to flick a winner, and McMillan launching missiles from the other side of the floor.

Appropriately, the birthday girl got to put a cap on things, as Prince launched back-to-back kills right down the middle of the floor.

 

Thursday stats:

Alita Blouin — 10 digs, 2 aces
Mia Farris — 4 kills, 2 digs, 1 assist, 1 ace, 2 block assists
Maddie Georges — 4 digs, 23 assists, 11 aces
Taygin Jump — 4 digs
Ryanne Knoblich — 9 kills, 7 digs, 3 aces
Madison McMillan — 5 kills, 14 digs, 1 ace
Jill Prince — 3 kills, 1 block assist
Lyla Stuurmans — 4 kills, 1 ace, 3 block assists

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Welcome to the gun show. Chloe Marzocca and Co. thrashed Darrington Thursday. (Jackie Saia photo)

Right back in stride.

Bouncing back from a rare loss, the Coupeville High School JV volleyball squad drilled visiting Darrington Thursday night.

Rolling to a 25-12, 25-19, 15-6 victory, the Wolves improve to 7-1 in Northwest 2B/1B League play, 11-2 overall.

Coupeville’s young guns have one match left on the schedule, and it’s a doozy, as they host conference heavyweight La Conner Tuesday, Oct. 25.

The Wolves prepped for their furious finale by methodically swatting Darrington.

CHS actually trailed in all three sets for a hot moment, then found a different gear and seized control for good.

They key to the opening set was the serving of Taylor Brotemarkle, as the Wolf sophomore ripped off an 11-point run at the line to break open a 4-4 tie.

Mixing nasty aces with slightly softer serves, which the Loggers still couldn’t get back over the net, she was a lethal markswoman with a license to kill.

One of the few times Darrington staged a brief bit of resistance during Brotemarkle’s run of terror, teammate Jada Heaton soared at the net to smash a spike winner which tore off the arm of a Logger defender.

Toss in some nice work from fab frosh Teagan Calkins, both at the service line and rampaging around, dispensing spikes, and the Wolves were clicking.

Things took a brief detour into more dangerous territory in the second set, as Darrington led for a considerable amount of time.

Coupeville got big plays from folks like Aby Wood, who pumped up the Wolf faithful with a thunderous block, but the visitors proved to be resilient.

The Loggers staked themselves to a 17-12 advantage, before Coupeville — having received some slightly stern words of wisdom from coach Ashley Menges — regained its mojo.

CHS fought back to knot things at 18-18, before Katie Marti put things on ice with an extended run at the service stripe.

The ever excitable one popped an ace off a rival’s shoulder, while also slamming a serve which tore off the last flake of paint on the back line as it skipped away.

While the third set was for practice, Marti and Issabel Johnson took things deadly serious, peppering the Loggers with a string of aces to close out the night.

Katie Marti fires up the ace machine. (Delanie Lewis photo)

 

Thursday stats:

Taylor Brotemarkle — 2 digs, 12 aces
Carly Burt — 1 kill, 1 dig
Teagan Calkins — 6 kills, 2 digs, 1 assist, 3 aces
Jada Heaton — 1 dig, 1 ace
Issabel Johnson — 3 kills, 6 aces
Katie Marti — 3 kills, 2 digs, 16 assists, 9 aces
Chloe Marzocca — 1 kill, 1 dig, 1 assist
Grier Mooney — 2 digs
Aby Wood — 1 kill, 1 dig, 1 solo block

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Jada Heaton cranks up the ace machine. (Delanie Lewis photo)

The bus ride didn’t bother them.

Firing on all cylinders, the Coupeville High School JV volleyball squad shrugged off the 90-mile jaunt to Darrington Tuesday, crushing the Loggers in straight sets.

Winning 25-7, 25-11, 25-15, the young Wolves improve to 2-0 in Northwest 2B/1B League play, 3-1 overall, with a home match against Orcas Island Thursday next up on the schedule.

For third-year head coach Ashley Menges, the night was a long one, but also a very rewarding one.

“It was a very cohesive night, with everyone doing their job and just playing clean, which is usually our goal each game,” she said.

Aby Wood peppered Darrington’s defense, racking up four kills. (Delanie Lewis photo)

With star hitter Madison McMillan sitting out the third set so she’d be eligible to play up to three frames in the varsity contest, Menges shuffled her lineup in the finale and got the same great results.

“We switched some things around and even then, everyone just did their job and helped each other through the confusion,” Menges said.

“All in all, it was a solid game and a solid three sets, and I’m very happy to see that so early into the season.”

 

Tuesday stats:

Taylor Brotemarkle — 1 kill, 3 digs, 1 assist, 5 aces
Carly Burt — 1 dig
Teagan Calkins — 6 kills, 3 digs, 1 ace
Jada Heaton — 5 kills, 1 dig
Katie Marti — 3 kills, 1 dig, 19 assists, 9 aces
Madison McMillan — 3 kills, 3 digs, 9 aces
Grier Mooney — 2 aces
Aby Wood — 4 kills, 2 digs, 1 ace

Katie Marti knows her stat line looks sweet. (Jackie Saia photo)

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Sophomore Lyla Stuurmans pounded 11 kills Tuesday, sparking Coupeville to a win at Darrington. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They’re battle-tested.

Bouncing back from a slow start Tuesday at Darrington, the Coupeville High School varsity volleyball team roared back to chop down the host Loggers.

Paced by 11 kills apiece from big-hitting sophomores Lyla Stuurmans and Mia Farris, the Wolves eventually won 20-25, 25-18, 25-17, 25-15.

The victory lifts Coupeville to 2-0 in Northwest 2B/1B League play and evens its season mark at 2-2.

Both Wolf losses were tense affairs with bigger 1A schools.

Tuesday’s victory was a milestone, marking the 100th match for coach Cory Whitmore at CHS.

Now in his seventh season at the helm of the Wolves, he’s led his team to a 68-32 mark, accounting for the second-best winning percentage of any CHS program between 2016 and 2022.

And it’s a nailbiter, with Wolf softball going 83-38 for a .686 mark under Kevin McGranahan, nipping volleyball’s .680.

Though, with 10 more matches on the schedule, plus potential playoff rumbles, the spikers could be on top by season’s end.

Tuesday night Whitmore’s focus, as always, was firmly locked in the moment.

“Definitely another test for us tonight, but one with us coming out on top,” he said.

After bouncing across the countryside in a bus for 90 miles, then sitting through the JV contest, the Wolves needed a bit of time to snap into gear.

“We came out flat in the first set, trading points,” Whitmore said. “We took care of the ball pretty well but just didn’t come out firing and they did.

“After dropping the first we then got going a bit, finishing rallies and forcing them into tough hitting situations,” he added.

“It was fun to see a couple players kick it into high gear to help spark us to the win.”

Mia Farris (6) matched Stuurmans with 11 kills. (Jackie Saia photo)

Whitmore praised senior setter Maddie Georges for “serving up tough strings of points to push our gaps,” while the young guns all chipped in with strong work.

Madison McMillan came off the bench to serve tough and confident,” he said. “After a bit of a slow start, Mia Farris got going with high hard hits sparking our wins in the third and fourth in particular.

Grey Peabody struggled a bit in the first and second but found her rhythm in the fourth, especially with some strong connections,” Whitmore added.

“I was proud to see Lyla Stuurmans remain consistent all night on the attack and she ended up tying for kills leader.”

Showing the grit to turn a bit of a nailbiter into a solid victory, especially deep on the road, should benefit the Wolves going forward.

“All-in-all, it was a team effort to get out of there with a win,” Whitmore said. “And we are happy to be back at home Thursday.”

Coupeville hosts Orcas Island, with varsity tipping at 3:30 PM, followed by the JV in the night’s finale.

 

Tuesday stats:

Alita Blouin — 17 digs, 3 assists, 2 aces
Mia Farris — 11 kills, 1 block assist
Maddie Georges — 1 kill, 7 digs, 36 assists, 3 aces
Taygin Jump — 1 kill, 6 digs, 1 ace
Ryanne Knoblich — 6 kills, 4 digs, 3 aces
Madison McMillan — 2 aces
Grey Peabody — 7 kills, 1 block assist
Jill Prince — 9 kills, 1 solo block
Lyla Stuurmans — 11 kills, 4 digs

Senior supernova Alita Blouin continues to fill up the stat sheet. (Bailey Thule photo)

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Izzy Wells whiffed 12 in a six-inning no-hitter Tuesday in Darrington. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Level achieved.

Taking care of business Tuesday, the Coupeville High School varsity softball squad capped another perfect run through conference play with a 10-0 win at Darrington.

The victory lifts the Wolves to 8-0 in Northwest 2B/1B League play, 16-2 overall, but the season is far from done.

The current plan calls for Coupeville’s sluggers, the best in District 1, to twiddle their collective thumbs until May 21, when they’ll travel to Centralia for a winner-to-state, loser-out game against the #5 team from District 4.

That’s a long gap, made necessary by D-4, which has 20 schools playing 2B softball, holding its postseason tourney first.

Since teams can play 20 games before the playoffs, there is some hope Coupeville may be able to rustle up another non-conference game or two between now and then.

Otherwise, it’s practice, practice, and more practice as the Wolves prep for their state play-in game.

“We have to come out ready to go on the 21st in Centralia,” said CHS coach Kevin McGranahan. “Gotta treat every game from here on out like a loser-out game, because, as of right now, they are.”

While Coupeville might not have played its best game of the season Tuesday, the Wolves delivered another solid performance.

The 16th win is the second-most for a Wolf team in McGranahan’s six seasons as coach, trailing just his 2017 squad, which finished 19-5.

CHS was patient at the plate, drawing 12 walks off of Darrington’s pitchers, then delivering a couple of key base-knocks to keep everyone honest.

Wolf hurler Izzy Wells had the first big bash, smacking a double to left, while fellow senior Audrianna Shaw went yard, launching a solo shot over the fence in left-center.

“It was a no doubter,” McGranahan said of Shaw’s moonball.

Darrington had no chance at the plate. Like zip, zero, zilch.

Flinging liquid heat, Izzy Wells tossed a six-inning no-hitter, missing out on a perfect game by one batter, as she walked a single hitter in the second inning.

She struck out 12 and recorded another three outs on groundouts back to the pitcher’s circle, giving her teammates plenty of time to enjoy nature while largely standing around.

What Izzy Wells looked like to the Darrington hitters.

 

Tuesday stats:

Taylor Brotemarkle — 1 single
Mia Farris — 1 walk
Gwen Gustafson — 2 walks
Allie Lucero — 1 single, 1 walk
Maya Lucero — 1 single
Madison McMillan — 2 walks
Sofia Peters — 1 single
Audrianna Shaw — 1 single, 1 home run, 2 walks
Izzy Wells — 1 double, 2 walks
Savina Wells — 2 walks

One win from the state tourney.

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