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Jaimee Masters delivered three kills, five service aces, and two digs Tuesday, as Coupeville’s JV volleyball squad cruised to a big win. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Taygin Jump delivers one of her nine kills. (Brian Vick photo)

Own the service line, own the match.

With Jaimee Masters and Maddie Georges going off at the stripe Tuesday, combining for nine aces while winning 32 points off their serves, the Coupeville High School JV volleyball squad was unbeatable.

While the final score, with the Wolves bouncing visiting Granite Falls 25-15, 25-22, 25-17, wasn’t a complete rout, there was never a moment when it felt like the home team was in the slightest danger.

Coupeville, now a shiny 7-1 in North Sound Conference play, 10-2 overall, trailed a couple of times, sure.

But 1-0 and 2-1 deficits in sets played to 25 points aren’t exactly the stuff of potential upsets.

It took the Wolves maybe two minutes to get fully chugging, and then the bombs started dropping.

Knotted up at 3-3 in the first set, Coupeville paged its nuclear bomb-launching outside hitter, with Kylie Chernikoff immediately answering the clarion call to arms.

Back-to-back big bombs off of the back line, with the second Chernikoff blast carving a path through a wave of defenders unwilling to stop the ball by sacrificing their faces, kicked things into high gear.

With Masters at the line, pegging aces, the lead soon soared to 12-4 and the Wolves never looked back.

Alita Blouin and Georges kicked in short, but sweetly effective, runs of their own at the line in the opening set, while Chernikoff, Jill Prince, and Taygin Jump took turns administering put-away shots.

A kill from Ryanne Knoblich ricocheted off a Granite player’s elbow, while Masters showed off the whole skill-set, dropping back-to-back kills from opposite sides of the court.

The second and third set were more of the same upbeat song for the Wolves, with Prince delivering a bone-crunching block that almost brought CHS coach Chris Smith to tears.

Happy, happy tears, but tears.

Georges and Masters controlled much of the set with their service games, while Jump decided to try and collect every single kill and put-away.

I said, every single one.

During one stretch, Jump had three consecutive winners, each offering a different style of attack.

On the first, the fab frosh came bounding in from the left side to smash the ball away from a Tiger.

Then, Jump tiptoed through the (invisible) tulips around the net on the next play, somehow staying a mere millimeter away from crashing through the barrier while controlling her body enough to flick a tip through the defense for another point.

And, just to complete the trifecta and debut a third dance of joy, she walloped the volleyball, which was screaming “Leave me alone, Taygin, you beast!,” as she windmilled a winner off a Granite player’s elbow.

Needing to catch her breath, at least for a moment, Jump ceded the spotlight to others after the one-two-three punch, so Anya Leavell sprang into action.

A sweet lil’ slicer kissed the court for a point, a tip evaded the defense for yet another, and then Leavell rose up, twirled through the clouds, and blasted a kill to complete her own trifecta of savage success.

With the Wolves rolling merrily along, everyone delivered big-time plays down the stretch, with Prince dominating at the net, Ivy Leedy popping a winner or two, and Heidi Meyers lashing sizzlin’ serves.

Not to be forgotten, Chernikoff, who tore up the Tigers defense with a match-high 14 kills, delivered one of the hardest-hit winners of the season at any level.

Roaring in from the left side of the floor as Georges flicked a picture-perfect set into the air, Kylie the Killer elevated, then hung in the air for an eternity, half her body above the net.

One word, three letters, one syllable, could be heard coming across the floor, almost in a whisper, and it sent chills up the spines of every Tiger she was eye-balling.

“Run!!!”

The smart ones did.

The rest closed their eyes and prayed for their very souls, as Chernikoff punched a hole through the universe, the ball screaming downward to rip up the floorboards, then blow a hole through the back wall of the gym.

And that was about the last time any Granite player was willing to get anywhere near the ball. Maybe ever again.

For Smith, who was rockin’ and rollin’ from his perch next to the bench, wearing the smile of a coach who loves his job and loves seeing his players blow up the world, it was a nice cap to a strong team-wide performance.

Chernikoff added seven digs to her massive pile of kills, while Georges dealt out 26 assists to go with four aces.

Jump (nine kills, four digs), Masters (three kills, five aces, two digs), Prince (four kills and that eye-popping block), Leavell (three kills), Blouin (three assists, two digs, and some quietly spectacular saves to keep plays going), Knoblich (two kills), and Leedy (two kills) rounded out the stat sheet.

Not to be forgotten, Meyers and Abby Mulholland, in street clothes as she recovers from a concussion, were exuberant supporters of their teammates.

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Jaimee Masters and the Coupeville High School JV volleyball squad got stronger as the day rolled on Saturday, winning a title at a tournament in Oak Harbor. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They saved their best for last.

After battling through pool play Saturday at a tournament in Oak Harbor, the Coupeville High School JV volleyball team flipped a different switch in bracket play, roaring to a title.

The Wolves swept Ingraham and Grace Academy in their final two matches to claim first place in the tourney’s silver bracket.

CHS opened the all-day royal rumble by splitting with Oak Harbor (25-21, 17-25) and Grace Academy (14-25, 25-17), and losing two close sets to Kamiak (22-25, 23-25).

Bracket play sent Grace Academy up against Chief Kitsap, where the former beat the latter 25-17, 25-12.

On the other side, no longer ready to bide its time, Coupeville pounced, devouring Ingraham 25-16, 25-18.

That set up a rematch in the finale, and this time out, the Wolves were clearly the superior squad, rolling to a 25-18, 25-21 win.

Basking in his team’s title run, CHS coach Chris Smith doled out praise to everyone on his roster.

“Team effort all around to keep up the energy, effort, and fun, led by our leaders Kylie (Chernikoff) and Jaimee (Masters),” he said.

The Wolf young guns return to match play this coming week, as they welcome South Whidbey to town Tuesday, Oct. 1, before hitting the road to face Granite Falls (Oct. 3) and Orcas Island (Oct. 5).

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Jaimee Masters teamed with Abby Mulholland Tuesday to pull out a three-set varsity doubles win. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Avalon Renninger flicks another winner.

Tia Wurzrainer reaches high to snare a runaway tennis ball.

Eryn Wood showcases flawless form on her backhand.

Just getting on the court is a win.

The Coupeville High School girls tennis team has been hit by scheduling issues, rain delays, and all manners of roadblocks this season.

So, even though the Wolves fell 4-1 Tuesday to visiting South Whidbey, fighting against buffeting wind and the league’s best team, it was still somewhat of a positive outcome.

While other CHS teams have broken double digits in games played, or are about to do so, the netters have a whopping total of two matches in the books.

The first didn’t come until Mar. 27 against King’s, and then the Wolves promptly went back to waiting, sitting another two weeks before Tuesday’s tilt.

At least the next match will come much quicker, barring any weather surprises, as Coupeville, 0-2 on the season, is scheduled to travel Thursday to Friday Harbor.

Facing off with a powerhouse South Whidbey team, which improved to 3-0 in North Sound Conference play, the Wolves put up a strong fight.

And no one played tougher than the duo of sophomore Jaimee Masters and freshman Abby Mulholland, who rallied for a win at #3 doubles.

After splitting the first two sets, the Wolves held off three match points in a third-set tiebreaker, eventually pulling out a victory to send the remaining fans home happy.

Both Masters and Mulholland came up with big shots down the stretch, forcing the action as the huddled masses prayed for relief from the cold and wind as the clock crept towards 7 PM.

The ticket to head home finally arrived on a perfectly-executed drop shot which bit a chunk off the back line, then skipped merrily away for the match-winning point.

 

Complete Tuesday results:

 

Varsity:

1st Singles — Genna Wright lost to Fariss Jokinen 6-3, 6-4

2nd Singles — Jillian Mayne lost to Ashley Ricketts 6-0, 6-1

1st Doubles — Tia Wurzrainer/Avalon Renninger lost to Mary Zisette/Allison Papritz 6-2, 6-1

2nd Doubles — Eryn Wood/Emily Fiedler lost to Ainsley Nelson/Elizabeth Simmons 6-3, 6-3

3rd Doubles — Jaimee Masters/Abby Mulholland beat Oliana Stange/Erin Brewer 6-4, 6-7(5-7), 13-11

 

JV:

4th Doubles — Elaira Nicolle/Wood lost 8-5

5th Doubles — Noelle Daigneault/Katelin McCormick lost 8-1

6th Doubles — Maddy Andrews/Mary Milnes lost 8-1

7th Doubles — Cecelia Camarena/Cassidy Holmes lost 6-3

8th Doubles — Daigneault/McCormick lost 7-1

 

To see more photos from Tuesday’s match, pop over to:

https://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/Coupeville-Tennis-2018-2019/GT-2019-04-09-vs-South-Whidbey/

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   Wolf freshman Savannah Smith reeled off nine straight points on her serve at one point Tuesday night. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Catherine Lhamon keeps the rally alive.

Put the ball in Jaimee Masters hands and the match is done.

Unloading vicious serve after even more vicious serve, the Coupeville High School freshman put a resounding end to both the second and third sets Tuesday, as the Wolf C-Team cruised to a win over visiting Chimacum.

Masters ran off seven straight winners to close the night’s middle set, after already doing some serious damage in the first set.

Enjoying the thrill, she then went one better in the third set, ending the match with eight straight winners off her serve.

Fueled by Masters ace-happy ways, and similar laser shows from Savannah Smith and Catherine Lhamon, the Wolves strolled to a 25-17, 25-8, 25-17 victory.

The win lifts the C-Team to 3-0 on the season, 2-0 in Olympic League play.

Coupeville came out on fire, never trailing in the first two sets, then proved it could rally as well, storming back from eight down to take the final set.

Willow Vick got the Wolves started with a tip for a winner on the first point of the night, and CHS stormed out to a quick 6-0 lead in the first set.

From there, a couple of kills from Maddie Vondrak, strong set-ups from Heidi Clinkscales and a sweet tip for a winner off of the fingertips of Charlotte Nolle, and Coupeville was on cruise control.

Megan Behan ended the opening set with an explosive ace, signalling what was to come from Masters, while Kylie Chernikoff delivered several put-aways while patrolling the net.

While Masters was well, masterful, racking up 29 points on her serve over the course of the match, it was Smith who put together the best stretch of any Wolf.

With CHS facing its only deficit of the night at 10-3 in the third set, the freshman went on a rampage, zinging serves off of Chimacum faces, arms and legs.

Literally, as one Cowboy who took a Smith serve to the chin is likely to look in the mirror tomorrow and see the imprint of a volleyball on the lower half of her face.

Capping things with a laser shot of an ace which split two Cowboys who flinched and grimaced in unison as the ball exploded between them, Smith pulled the Wolves back in front 12-10, and they would never relinquish the lead the rest of the way.

Just to drive the point home, Smith resurfaced when Masters was closing out the match, going high to stuff a shot in a manner reminiscent of how older sister Emma Smith dominates at the net.

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Wolf freshman spiker Jaimee Masters. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

When Coupeville High School freshman Jaimee Masters takes the volleyball court, her role model isn’t too far away.

That would be her cousin, Wolf senior Hope “The Surgeon” Lodell, a lethal weapon waiting to be unleashed, who owns the school record for service aces in a season and a career.

As Masters fine-tunes her own game playing for the Coupeville JV and C-Team squads, she watches Lodell crush fools for the varsity and knows she wants to be in the same place one day.

Hope has had a big impact on me,” Masters said. “When I was younger I always looked up to her; she was like the big sister for me.

“And during volleyball she’s the reason why I push myself constantly,” she added. “I strive to get on her level of skill or even better.”

Masters has two seasons of middle school volleyball, and another of club volleyball, under her belt, and her passion for the sport continues to grow.

“I started playing because I’ve always loved the sport,” Masters said. “I enjoy being a part of the team, and overall just playing.

“Volleyball has always sparked my interest,” she added. “I love the feeling of getting a perfect pass or a perfect set, or getting an ace when I’m serving.”

Masters, who plans to join her cousin on the softball field as well, spends a fair amount of her free time listening to music and drawing. At school, she most looks forward to classes revolving around art and poetry.

When she hits the gym, though, it’s all about improvement — taking the skills she currently has and constantly expanding them.

“I feel like my biggest strength would be passing,” Masters said. “An area I would love to work on would be my setting, because my team relies on me as a setter.

“My goals for this season are perfecting my setting ability, like being able to back set and having my thumbs back,” she added. “During my season of club volleyball, I got tendinitis in my thumb. And that really hurt me and my team because I was the setter. So hopefully I can perfect it again.”

Masters would also like to be “able to spot serve,” a skill her cousin excels in.

As she grows, on and off the court, Masters benefits from the support she gets from her family. It’s something she deeply appreciates.

“My parents have had a big impact on me. Without them I don’t know if I would be the person I am today,” Masters said. “They make me happy every day.

“Yes, we do have our hills and valleys, but they have helped me through so much.”

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