Posts Tagged ‘Ellie Marble’

First-year varsity head coach Megan Smith has Coupeville playing with grit and hustle. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They never backed down.

Facing off with the heavyweight of the Northwest 2B/1B League Tuesday, the Coupeville High School varsity girls basketball team put up a strong fight against visiting La Conner.

The final score — a 69-13 loss — was lopsided, yes, as the Braves improved to 9-0 overall, 5-0 in conference action.

Just as almost every game La Conner has played this season has been.

But the Wolves, who sit in third-place in the seven-team NWL, were still fighting for loose balls and rebounds until the waning moments.

Now 3-2 in league play, 4-3 overall, Coupeville will try and take that same attitude into a big game Thursday against visiting Friday Harbor.

The Wolves, who are a half-game off of 1B Mount Vernon Christian (3-1, 7-2) in the overall standings, need to finish in the top two of the three NWL 2B schools to make the playoffs.

La Conner may be tough to catch, but Coupeville could stretch its advantage on Friday Harbor (1-3, 1-6) with a victory Thursday.

The matchup against the Braves, who earlier whacked MVC by almost the same score (66-13), was going to be a tough one.

Led by senior Sarah Cook (24) and junior Ellie Marble (19), who combined for almost two-thirds of its points, La Conner relentlessly attacked on defense, then made pinpoint passes and precision cuts on offense.

Coupeville got on the board fairly early, with Carolyn Lhamon knocking down a running layup to cut the early margin to 6-2, but that would be the only first-half field goal for the Wolves.

Free throws from Audrianna Shaw and Izzy Wells provided the only other points before the halftime break, and La Conner triggered a running clock early in the third quarter when it breached the 40-point lead.

Maddie Georges did rifle home a three-ball midway through the third quarter, while fab frosh Lyla Stuurmans rippled the net on a late-game jumper.

The final points of the night came on Coupeville’s best offensive play, as senior Abby Mulholland ripped a rebound loose, then took the ball back up strongly.

Kissing the ball off the glass for a bucket, she earned three points the hard way, also draining an ensuing free throw as dad/PA announcer Moose Moran exulted in his daughter’s stellar play.

Georges and Mulholland paced Coupeville with three points apiece, while Lhamon (2), Stuurmans (2), Izzy Wells (2), and Shaw (1) rounded out the scoring attack.

Savina Wells, Alita Blouin, Ja’Kenya Hoskins, and Gwen Gustafson also saw floor time for the Wolves, with Blouin bringing considerable heat on the defensive end of the floor.

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Ellie Marble (8), in action against Coupeville’s Lucy Tenore (left) and Jill Prince, led La Conner to another state volleyball title. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They lost to the best.

The Coupeville High School volleyball squad only came up short against one other 2B school this fall, and that rival ended up once again ruling the state.

La Conner, which handed the Wolves three of their six losses — the other defeats came in non-conference tilts with 1A schools — clinched a third-straight 2B state title Friday.

The Braves, who finished 22-0, didn’t drop a set in sweeping through four matches at the Yakima Valley SunDome.

The 2021 title follows on the heels of similar wins in 2019 and 2018. There was no postseason in 2020, due to Covid.

La Conner previously claimed the crown in 2002, 2006, and 2007, all under current coach Suzanne Marble.

The Braves swept through their foes, knocking off Rainier (25-7, 25-13, 25-7) and Okanogan (25-18, 25-14, 25-7) Thursday.

Then came Friday wins over Manson and Walla Walla Valley (25-15, 25-13, 25-12) in the semifinals and final, respectively.

Manson beat Raymond in the 3rd/4th match, with Colfax (5th), Goldendale (6th), Liberty (Spangle) (7th), and Adna (8th) rounding out award winners.


Darrington has busy day:

While La Conner claimed the only ticket out of District 1/2 to the 2B state tourney, leaving Coupeville a match short, the third-place team in the Northwest 2B/1B League also advanced to the big dance.

Taking advantage of a more wide-open field in 1B, Darrington earned a shot and turned it into a three-match adventure.

The Loggers opened Thursday with a 3-0 win over Evergreen Lutheran, before falling 3-0 to #1 Oakesdale and 3-2 to Pomeroy to be eliminated.

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Grey Peabody faced off with the best hitter in the Northwest 2B/1B League, and didn’t blink. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Like gunshots going off.

That’s what it sounds like when La Conner’s Ellie Marble — the best player Coupeville will face this season — unleashes kills at close range while bouncing high off the volleyball court.

Once in awhile, you can blunt her attack, and that of her talented teammates, such as Olivia Schaffeld and Grey Peabody did on one impressive block Tuesday night.

But stop Ellie Marble once, and she’ll lash 10,001 more winners, almost invariably leading to the latest of the 500+ wins mom Suzanne has earned while in charge of La Conner’s high-flying spiker program.

The latest of those W’s came Tuesday, as the visiting Braves staggered Coupeville’s varsity 25-12, 25-9, 25-10.

The loss drops the Wolves to 8-2 in Northwest 2B/1B League play, 8-5 overall, while La Conner climbs to 10-0, 13-0 as it seeks a third-consecutive 2B state title.

Coupeville, a team with no seniors on its roster, has looked very strong in some matches this season.

But the Wolves have also struggled against hard-hitting, powerhouse teams, such as La Conner and non-conference foe South Whidbey.

It’s not that CHS doesn’t have players capable of unleashing big kills, as evidenced by Ryanne Knoblich launching a winner from the middle of the court which split the defense.

But the Wolves were unable to put together more than a point or two at a time, while the Braves lashed winners in great gobs.


Marble abused the volleyball in a manner rarely seen in the CHS gym, drawing a wary shake of the head from Wolf boys basketball coach Brad Sherman, who stopped by to watch a bit of the action.

After seeing Coupeville spikers like Lyla Stuurmans and Jill Prince attempt to stand strong against the incoming blasts from Marble and her fellow La Conner snipers, Sherman was impressed, yet cautious.

“Yeah, I’m not standing in her way when she hits like that,” he said while softly shaking his head. “That stuff would hurt!”

In the midst of balls raining down around them, the Wolves dug in and fought back with some scrappiness.

Peabody, moments after teaming with Schaffeld on the block, made a sensational running save on a ball heading for out of bounds.

Add in a couple of smokin’ aces from Alita Blouin, some ferocious work at the net from Schaffeld, Prince, and Savina Wells, and strong passing by Maddie Georges, and there were bright points to savor.

Georges finished with 12 assists on the night, and now sits with 202 on the season.


Tuesday stats:

Alita Blouin — 4 digs, 1 assist, 2 aces
Maddie Georges — 8 digs, 12 assists
Taygin Jump — 4 digs
Ryanne Knoblich — 1 kill, 1 dig
Grey Peabody — 1 block assist
Jill Prince — 5 kills
Olivia Schaffeld 
— 4 kills, 1 solo block, 1 block assist
Lyla Stuurmans 
— 2 digs
Lucy Tenore — 1 kill, 1 ace
Savina Wells 
— 3 kills, 1 dig, 1 ace

Jill Prince delivered a team-high five kills Tuesday, then accepted an invitation to the Homecoming dance.

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