Posts Tagged ‘Emma Smith’

Prairie royalty Emma Smith reps the purple. (Photo courtesy Konni Smith)

The spike queen of the prairie needs your help.

Coupeville grad Emma Smith, who’s off being brilliant in the big city these days, is on the final leg of her journey as a member of the club volleyball program at the University of Washington.

Joli’s niece, and Steve’s granddaughter, practices three times a week with her Husky teammates and it shows on the floor.

Smith and her squad recently placed 3rd at a 24-team tourney, and now the U-Dub spikers are prepping for a trip to nationals, which will be held in Kansas City in April.

To get there, the Huskies need some financial help, and are conducting multiple fundraisers.

Smith (back row, center), still a spike-happy volleyball assassin. (Photo property University of Washington Club Volleyball)

Smith and Co. have set up a crowdfunding page, where fans can help out with money to help cover the cost of flights, hotels, and tourney registration fees.

The former Wolf ace, a four-year varsity vet who joined up with fellow captain Ashley Menges to spark CHS on a state tourney run in 2017, played at nationals in Phoenix last season.

“It was definitely a highlight in my college career,” Smith said. “Spending time with my team and playing teams from across the country was an awesome experience.”


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Emma Smith, back when she was tearing up the volleyball court at CHS. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

You can help send Emma Smith to the next level.

The Coupeville High School grad is currently playing club volleyball while attending the University of Washington.

Now the Huskies are looking to raise money to send two squads to the season-ending National Collegiate Volleyball Federation tournament in Phoenix, Arizona April 14-16.

U-Dub spikers need $15,000 to cover hotels, travel expenses, and entry fees, and have already topped $3,000 in a short time.

This will be the first NCVF tourney in three years, as the pandemic erased the last two national championships.

While the University of Washington funds its NCAA D-I volleyball program, club sports rely on the goodwill and bucks of Husky supporters who contribute to fundraisers.

The club volleyball program features two traveling teams, which compete in the Pacific Collegiate Volleyball Association, and a third squad which provides opportunities to beginners.

Smith, a four-year varsity player at Coupeville High School, is on the Husky B team, having been selected after tryouts which involved 150+ players.

During her time at CHS, she was an All-Conference pick and qualified for state tourneys in both volleyball and track and field.

A ferocious hitter from the middle blocker position, Smith was a team captain, a stat leader, and a ray of sunshine on the prairie.

An inductee into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, Emma kept her family’s proud athletic tradition in fine form, following in the large footsteps of aunt Joli, uncle Todd, dad Jesse, and Grandpa Steve.


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Prairie legend Emma Smith, back when she was smashing volleyballs as a high school player. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The former Wolf (fourth from right, back row), now plays for the University of Washington’s club volleyball program. (Photo courtesy Smith)

She’s still a prairie legend, just in a different uniform.

Emma Smith, who used to tear up the volleyball court at Coupeville High School, has returned to the sport, but at a higher level.

The former All-Conference spiker, who partnered with fellow captain Ashley Menges to lead the Wolves to the state tourney, is now playing club volleyball for the University of Washington.

Making a run at being selected for the program was a bit daunting, but Smith, one of three members of her family to be inducted into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, stepped up to the challenge.

“Trying out was pretty overwhelming,” she said. “There were over 150 girls that showed up for two travel teams and it was so exciting but nerve wracking at the same time.

“I hadn’t played in twoish years, so I was rusty, and there were so many really good players,” Smith added.

She made the cut, however, reclaiming her role as a middle blocker and once again running wild on the court.

Instead of making high school rivals like South Whidbey weep salty tears — as Smith did back when she helped crush the Falcons on her 18th birthday — she’s now facing off with foes like Boise State, Montana State, Gonzaga, Oregon, and Washington State.

The Huskies club program plays in the Pacific Intercollegiate Volleyball Association, and it has a creative schedule which is still unfolding for Smith and Co.

“Our schedule is all over the place because it’s pretty much a student run organization, but we play about one tournament a month in different locations,” she said.

Smith and her new teammates played a tourney in December at Gonzaga, where the Huskies claimed 2nd and 3rd place.

After a break, the U-Dub returns to action with two events in February, with one of those set to go down at Oregon State.

During her Coupeville High School days, Smith advanced to state in two sports, earning the trip in both volleyball and track and field.

During her senior track season in 2019, she went on a three-week tear, winning league, district, and bi-district titles in the shot put.

Once at state, Smith competed in both the shot put and discus.

Meanwhile, the Wolf volleyball team which went to the big dance her junior season marked the first time Coupeville spikers reached the promised land in 13 years.

A four-year varsity player in volleyball, Emma upheld a strong family tradition, following in the footsteps of her aunt, Joli Smith, a serene superstar from my Whidbey News-Times days.

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Maya Toomey-Stout opens a can of whup-ass. (Brian Vick photo)

This blog turns nine years old August 15, and to mark the occasion, I’m picking what I view as the best nine Wolf athletes from each active CHS sport.

To be eligible, you had to play for the Wolves between Aug. 2012-Aug. 2021, AKA the “Coupeville Sports” years.

So here we go. Each day between Aug. 2-15, a different sport and (probably) a different argument.


And this is already harder than I expected.

My first list had 33 volleyball players on it, and the cut-downs got increasingly brutal.

How do you decide between a young woman with superior skills, and one who played her heart out every step of the way? Both are valuable in their own way.

But cuts had to be made, and cuts were made.

Who was the last to fall, as I went from 10 to nine? I’m not saying, but I already want to say “sorry” to the player who fell last.

But I won’t, because then you start apologizing to #11 and #12 and on and on.

So, with that in mind, here are the nine girls I want on the floor, regardless of whether their positions fit together into a normal scheme.

One man’s opinion, and liable to change down the road, as younger players continue to develop. Never know.

And, yes, these lists are going to be in alphabetic order, and not ranked #1-#9, as I need to make at least one thing (slightly) easier on myself.

Payton Aparicio — a bright, shining star. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Payton Aparicio — A quiet assassin who could strike from any place on the floor, she morphed from a role player to a star, breaking records and winning MVP on a state-bound team.

Allie Hanigan — The epitome of grace, a tall (and lethal) weapon, who unleashed sizzling darts while stalking the net.

Hope Lodell — Perhaps the most-explosive server of the last decade, she bounded across the gym, firing off aces and ripping up chunks of the floor.

Katrina McGranahan — Big power, on her spikes and serves, and a leader by example. She was here to win, and she showed it on every point.

Chelsea Prescott — A prodigy, she was a star from day one, capable of controlling a match, or being the perfect complementary weapon.

Emma Smith — A big-hitting, big-game star who came up epic in crunch time, never more so than when she slayed the South Whidbey beast on her birthday.

Scout Smith — She had a feathery touch with her sets, and was one of the toughest athletes to wear the red and black, even playing through slamming her head off the floor, resulting in a black eye which covered half her face.

Maya Toomey-Stout — Seemingly everywhere at once, “The Gazelle” never met a volleyball she couldn’t mash the air out of, hanging in the air for an eternity before unleashing sweet Hell on her foes.

Valen Trujillo — No one sacrificed life and limb like she did, throwing her body in all directions and bouncing off the floor every other play, assuring no volleyball would get away from her.

Allie Hanigan, lethal weapon. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)


Next up: Baseball takes us to the diamond.

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Wolf mom Fawn Gustafson unleashes the bubbly as CHS baseball celebrates a league title. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Celebrations galore.

As we use the pandemic shutdown to continue our look back through the 23 million photos to run on Coupeville Sports, we arrive in the year 2016.

A mix of action, reaction, and, yes, celebrations galore, these are the 20 pics which I think best capture the year that was.

Sage Renninger eyeballs McKenzie Bailey.

Joey Lippo holds on to the ball with a death-grip during a collision at the plate.

Coupeville’s William Nelson (on right) gets his head into the game.

Stack ’em to the sky.

Booster Club shenanigans.

Yoinks! Emma Smith gets diabolical with her tip.

Brenden Gilbert is ready to settle down.

Megan DePorter (right) gives Kalia Littlejohn a victory hug.

Allison Wenzel, coiled like a panther ready to strike.

Abby Parker has taught her young protégé well. (Kathy O’Brien photo)

Clay Reilly stretches for the first down. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Sarah Wright is 5’9, or 6’4 with the hair.

Hope Lodell (left) and Payton Aparicio wait for the bass to drop.

Jae LeVine, scamp.

McKenzie Bailey responds to coach Ken Stange’s suggestion the team run wind sprints.

Hunter Downes (left) and Ariah Bepler frolic through the spring flowers.

Makana Stone gets tangled up.

Celebrate good times, come on!

Hunter Smith believes he can fly.

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