Posts Tagged ‘five set thriller’

Madison McMillan (14) gave Coupeville a huge emotional boost off the bench against Orcas Island. (Delanie Lewis photo)

Do you believe in miracles? Because that was a freakin’ miracle.

Trailing two sets to one and down 16-3 in the fourth set Thursday, the Coupeville High School varsity volleyball squad looked dead in the water.

The Wolves were about to lose on their home floor to Orcas Island, and it would have been the first time the CHS spikers fell to a Northwest 2B/1B League school that wasn’t three-time defending state champ La Conner.

It was signed, sealed, and all but delivered.

You could see it in the faces of many of the players, who had fought valiantly but also suffered through some crushingly bad stretches at times.

You could hear it in the mutters of the fans, as even the Wolf grandma endlessly hollering “I BELIEVE IN YOU!!!” had a notable strain in her voice.

But people believe in miracles because they do happen in sports, and often at the most unlikely of times.

Spurred on by sophomores Madison McMillan and Katie Marti, who roared off the bench and sent a jolt of electricity through a tired-looking Wolf team, Coupeville did the seemingly impossible.

It came back, all the way back, pulling out a 25-27, 25-19, 20-25, 25-23, 15-13 stunner to cap a night which was alternately brutal and beautiful.

The victory lifts the Wolves to 3-0 in league play, 3-2 overall, and leaves them alone atop the NWL standings.

It left CHS coach Cory Whitmore — in need of a nap and knowing a long bus ride to Forks arrives Saturday — looking bemused.

Happy to get the W, but well aware the Wolves largely put themselves in the hole they had to dig back out of against Orcas.

“They showed a lot of resiliency,” he said. “We found a way late to return to our identity, and were more efficient, with less service errors, and that was super important.”

The positive jolt offered by his super subs can’t be overstated.

“I am so impressed with how Katie and Madison stepped on to the court like they had being doing it for years,” Whitmore said.

“Also, Taygin (Jump) was strong with her jump serve and was tough when she needed to hit certain spots.

“She helped give us a lot of energy, which we needed.”

The match turned, though hardly anyone knew it in the moment, with a small flip of the ball, as Alita Blouin proved Coupeville still had some daggers with which to inflict pain.

Orcas had rung up 11 straight points to stake itself to that 16-3 lead in the fourth set, but Blouin finally stopped the bleeding, sliding the ball between two defenders to earn a side out.

From there, the comeback began, step by step.

Jump, McMillan, and Marti went on runs at the service stripe, with Grey Peabody, Ryanne Knoblich, and Jill Prince rising up at the net to smash winners.

Ryanne Knoblich made her mom proud with some thunderous spikes. (Delanie Lewis photo)

Coupeville ran off its own 15-2 surge to knot things at 18-18, but Orcas, a tough, scrappy team, didn’t break.

The Vikings, though pushed back on their heels, responded, reclaiming the lead and pushing it out to 23-21.

Two points away from losing the match, the Wolves had to find their inner mojo, and they did.

Knoblich and McMillan whacked back-to-back spikes, the balls skidding away from their Orcas rivals, before Coupeville’s defense closed out the set with a strong stand.

Given new life, and with a new buzz in their between-sets huddle, the Wolves claimed control early in the fifth, and final, set.

Jumping out to a 4-1 lead, CHS wasn’t out of the woods, however, as Orcas fought back to go up 7-6 as the two teams raced to see who could net 15 points first.

A revived Peabody was the difference down the stretch, coming up big at the net with three winners, while McMillan was dominant at the service stripe.

Clinging to a 14-13 lead and with Orcas serving, Coupeville held fast on the last rally of the night.

In a fitting finale, the two squads went back-and-forth, the ball skipping from hand to hand, before the Wolves forced the Vikings into a final, fatal error.

That set off a celebration which was equal parts joy and relief, capping a match which was the most-intense of the still-young season.

Things started hot in the first set, with big swings, both in intensity and the score.

Orcas went up by six points, Coupeville stormed back to build its own five-point advantage, and then things got dicey at the end.

The Wolves benefitted from some nasty slicers delivered by Lyla Stuurmans and a fantastic play in which Blouin scraped a thunderous spike off the floor, flicking it skyward to set teammate Mia Farris up to deliver a winner.

But it was Orcas, holding off two set points, which pulled away at the end, closing the set with a service ace which looked like it was long gone, only to suddenly drop and tear off the back line.

Coupeville scrambled back into contention in the second set but had to put out a lot of effort along the way.

The Wolves trailed for much of the frame, only going in front for good after Maddie Georges turned an 18-18 tie into a 23-18 lead with some artful slicing ‘n dicing from the service line.

Stuurmans, bounding to the ceiling, froze the defense with an artful tip winner for a punctuation mark at 25-19, knotting things at a set apiece.

CHS couldn’t hold on to a lead in the third set, contributing to that hole it eventually had to dig back out of, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort.

Marti and Jump made eye-popping saves on balls which should have been Orcas winners, with the former smashing into the floor and the latter running up into the stands.

Both of those track-down jobs were promptly converted into Wolf winners as Coupeville caught the Vikings in premature celebrations.


Thursday stats:

Alita Blouin — 1 kill, 15 digs, 1 ace
Mia Farris — 2 kills
Maddie Georges — 2 kills, 7 digs, 34 assists, 3 aces
Taygin Jump — 7 digs, 1 assist, 1 ace
Ryanne Knoblich — 14 kills, 7 digs, 1 solo block
Katie Marti — 1 kill, 3 digs, 2 aces
Madison McMillan — 2 kills, 6 digs
Grey Peabody — 9 kills, 2 digs, 1 solo block
Jill Prince — 8 kills, 1 dig
Lyla Stuurmans — 5 kills, 8 digs

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Coupeville’s varsity spikers played strongly Tuesday night but were nipped at Bothell. (Delanie Lewis photo)

They left it all on the floor.

Playing their second road match in as many nights, the Coupeville High School varsity volleyball squad opened like champs.

Unfortunately, the Wolves couldn’t hold off a late charge by host Cedar Park Christian-Bothell, eventually falling just short in a torrid five-set thriller.

The 20-25, 18-25, 25-23, 25-12, 15-11 non-conference loss drops Coupeville to 1-2.

The Wolves continue their road trip, but with a twist, as they head to Yakima for Friday’s SunDome Volleyball Festival.

Tuesday’s titanic tilt against a former league rival from back when Coupeville was a 1A school was a tale of two halves.

The Wolves, now a 2B franchise, were torrid early, only to lose the spark before being able to put the match on ice.

“Pretty tough one tonight, being on the other side of a reverse sweep,” said Coupeville coach Cory Whitmore.

“We played lights out in the first two sets, serving tough and attacking really well,” he added.

“In the third our errors began to fuel their fire and we got tentative on the attack which then allowed their offense to get rolling.”

Up two sets and leading 20-16 in the third, the Wolves were on the cusp of a major win.

But then the Eagles soared, and Coupeville, while not buckling, also could not put the finishing touches on a win.

“Our girls never gave in and battled, but having given them the momentum, we couldn’t put the ball down,” Whitmore said.

Maddie Georges flicks a pass to hard-hitting Jill Prince. (Jackie Saia photo)

As he bumped across the darkened back roads of America in a school bus on the long trek home, Coupeville’s spiker guru was able to pick out highlights which bode well for the future.

Alita (Blouin) was something else tonight – defensively she was all over the place and covered so much area in serve receive,” Whitmore said. “A lot of fun to watch.

Grey (Peabody) got up on so many attacks tonight, always available on Maddie’s (Georges) sets,” he added.

“And Ryanne (Knoblich) had a great all-around game; she had a ton of receptions, strings of serves, kills and only one error, all the while racking in 17 digs.”


Tuesday stats:

Alita Blouin — 1 kill, 30 digs, 1 assist, 1 ace
Mia Farris — 4 kills, 3 digs, 2 aces
Maddie Georges — 1 kill, 14 digs, 22 assists, 10 aces
Taygin Jump — 7 digs
Ryanne Knoblich — 6 kills, 17 digs, 4 aces, 1 block assist
Grey Peabody — 9 kills, 1 dig
Jill Prince — 7 kills, 2 digs, 1 block assist
Lyla Stuurmans — 2 kills, 8 digs, 1 ace

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Chelsea Prescott delivered another strong performance Saturday in a college volleyball match. (Photo courtesy Josie Prescott)

This one stings a bit.

Medaille College volleyball frittered away three match points Saturday, eventually falling in a five-set thriller in its home finale.

Despite another stellar performance from Coupeville grad Chelsea Prescott, the Mavericks were toppled 25-20, 13-25, 13-25, 31-29, 15-11 by visiting Mount Aloysius College.

The loss drops Medaille to 1-5 in Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference play, 4-15 overall.

Mount Aloysius improves to 3-3, 4-14.

After dropping the opening set, Medaille roared back to dominate the second and third frames, and held a 24-21 lead in the fourth.

Then, things slipped away from the Mavericks.

Even after being unable to close out the fourth set, Medaille had its chances in the final frame.

In the race to garner 15 points, the Mavericks led at 7-3 and 10-8, with the final tie at 11-11.

Starting and playing all five sets, Prescott hammered nine kills, doled out two assists, zipped four aces on her serve, recorded a block assist, and went low for a team-high 19 digs.

Her 13.5 points of offense was third-best on the day.

Prescott has played in all 62 of her team’s sets as a freshman, ringing up 104 kills, 154 digs, 22 aces, 12 assists, two solo blocks, 10 block assists, and 133 points.

Medaille wraps up the regular season with road trips to Penn State-Behrend Oct. 26 and the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg Oct. 30.

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Coupeville grad Chelsea Prescott played in her first five-set college volleyball match Saturday. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Another milestone.

After opening her college volleyball career with 10 straight three-set matches, Coupeville grad Chelsea Prescott got to play Saturday in a five-set thriller.

And it was a doozy.

Prescott and her Medaille College teammates had match point in the fourth set, thanks to a thunderous kill by the former Wolf, but couldn’t hang on, falling to host Wells College.

The 19-25, 25-20, 22-25, 32-30, 15-11 loss drops the Mavericks to 3-8 on the season.

Up two sets to one, Medaille claimed a 30-29 lead in the fourth frame after Prescott swatted a winner, only to see Wells escape by scoring the final three points of the set.

Forget about sets and just count the points, and it was still an amazingly close match, with Wells edging Medaille 113-111.

Prescott finished with nine kills, three assists, and 11 digs on the day, while Maverick teammates Halle Bogas (17 kills) and Haley Kennedy (38 assists) also filled up the stat sheet.

During her freshman season of NCAA D-III volleyball, Prescott has played in all 35 sets, racking up 53 kills, 83 digs, seven service aces, seven assists, a solo block, and six block assists.

Medaille returns to action Oct. 2, when it travels to Penn State-Altoona to open Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference play.

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