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Kylie Chernikoff set career highs in kills and digs Saturday against Mount Vernon Christian. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Maddie Vondrak (left) and Lucy Tenore (10) rise up to finish off a point.

Every kill, every dig, every hustle play.

They all count when it comes times to adding up stats, as shown in the numbers below.

Giving us a snapshot of the Coupeville High School varsity volleyball squad through April 20, the numbers reflect four matches having been played in this pandemic-altered season.

Coupeville’s most-recent match, a five-set thriller against Mount Vernon Christian, enabled the Wolves to rack up some big numbers.

Sophomore Maddie Georges set career highs against the Hurricanes, with 46 assists and 11 digs, while seniors Kylie Chernikoff and Chelsea Prescott also put up best-ever numbers.

Chernikoff went off for 24 spikes and 10 digs while rumbling with MVC, with Prescott racking up 23 kills and 14 digs.

“It was a fun match to be a part of and watch this team work through,” said Wolf coach Cory Whitmore. “They had to find it within themselves to dig deep and adjust, as well as find the emotional and physical energy within as well.

“Proud of this team and their resiliency and very much looking forward to continuing to grow.”

 

Season stats:

 

Player Sets Kills Digs Blocks Assists Aces Points
Alita Blouin
Ryanne Knoblich 14 2 22 0.5 2 4.5
Maddie Vondrak 14 29 8 1.5 1 31.5
Gwen Gustafson 2 1
Maddie Georges 14 2 22 0.5 108 2.5
Chelsea Prescott 14 47 42 1.0 1 16 64.0
Lucy Tenore 10 6 4 1.0 8 15.0
Jill Prince 9 10 1 2.0 12.0
Kylie Chernikoff 14 41 31 2 3 44.0
Jaimee Masters 13 1 29 5 3 4.0
Abby Mulholland 11 5 3 0.5 1 3 8.5

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Here comes the heat! Izzy Wells struck out 18 batters across two games Saturday, leading Coupeville to a doubleheader sweep. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

First test? Passed.

Taking the field for the first time since the 2019 state tournament, the new-look Coupeville High School softball squad made a bold statement Saturday afternoon.

Sweeping a doubleheader from visiting Friday Harbor, the Wolves fired the first shots across the bow of their new home in the Northwest 2B/1B League.

When last we saw CHS softballers, they had just played three games in one day at the 1A state tourney, demolishing highly-ranked Dear Park and coming within a play of eliminating Cle Elum.

Since then, COVID-19 wiped out a season and brought a premature end to the careers of stars such as Scout Smith and Emma Mathusek.

Jump forward to Saturday, and the Wolves, now a 2B school, finally got to return to play, with a chance to face the defending champs from their new league.

While Coupeville claimed first-place in the 1A North Sound Conference in 2019, Friday Harbor went a flawless 12-0 in the NWL that season.

That won’t be happening this time around, thanks.

Winning 7-3 and 6-3 in games which weren’t as close as they might sound — Friday Harbor scored only one run outside of the 7th inning all day — the Wolves made an emphatic statement.

Their handful of returning state tourney vets — fireball-tossing pitcher Izzy Wells, slammin’ slugger Chelsea Prescott, easy-going catcher Mollie Bailey, fleet-footed Coral Caveness, and fast-rising two-way star Audrianna Shaw — all looked sharp.

Even better, the next gen stars, many of whom were making their debut on a high school field, were sensational.

From Gwen Gustafson, who made one eye-popping catch after another in centerfield, to Jill Prince and Maya Lucero, who launched lasers off their bats, the young guns already have some serious pop.

“I was very happy with my “red-shirt sophomores” and how they played,” said Coupeville coach Kevin McGranahan. “They showed right away the game was not too big for them.”

Mixing and matching his lineup a bit between games, the Wolf diamond guru got incredible balance across the board.

Coupeville finished the twin-bill with 17 walks and 16 base-knocks, with 12 different players reaching base, 10 with hits.

How the day played out:

 

Game 1:

Friday Harbor was late after its bus broke down, requiring CHS to retrieve their opponents at the ferry dock.

Whether that affected the visiting team’s pitchers, or whether Coupeville’s hitters all just have eagle eyes, it worked out to the advantage of the team in red and black.

The Wolves piled up 11 walks in the opener, tossed in a few hits at important moments, and scored in every inning except the bottom of the sixth.

Meanwhile, on the other side, Wells limbered up her arm by playing a hardy game of catch with Bailey, as the duo combined to ring up an impressive 12 strikeouts.

Coupeville’s first two runs came courtesy of well-timed double steals, with the runner heading to second drawing the throw, before a runner at third scooted home.

The first time around it was Caveness tip-toeing down the line, the second time Shaw juking the Friday Harbor catcher out of her shoes.

The Wolves broke the game open with three runs in the third inning, all scored with two outs.

Shaw whacked an RBI single to centerfield, with the ball diving under the glove of the oncoming defender, before Prince smoked a two-run single to right-center, which drew a roar of approval from mom Jennie (Cross) Prince.

“I saw that!,” said the woman who still holds the CHS shot put and discus records three decades down the road, while her daughter ducked her head and beamed brighter than the sun.

Prince and Shaw also made nice snags on defense, supporting Wells, who was slingin’ heat while new CHS assistant coach, and former Wolf star, Katrina McGranahan hollered support from the bleachers.

When she wasn’t gently bouncing her adorable young son, the one-time diamond phenom was dropping pop quizzes on the greenest of Coupeville’s new players, giving them a gentle, but very-effective entrance into game strategy.

Meanwhile, out on the field, her father’s squad built its lead all the way up to 7-0, thanks to opportunistic base-running.

While Friday Harbor did claw back a bit in the seventh, scraping together a three-run rally, it was too little, too late.

Looking like the calmest pitcher to ever toe the rubber, Wells reared back one final time, sent the ball skidding into Bailey’s glove as a Friday Harbor bat went by too slowly, then skipped off the field in search of a quick between-game snack.

 

Game 2:

If the opener was about walks, the nightcap — played with just a hint of sprinkles replacing the here-sometimes, gone-sometimes sun which graced the prairie earlier — was all about hits.

Eleven of them, to be exact, with eight of nine starters notching at least one.

On the day she celebrated her birthday, second-baseman Heidi Meyers led the way, clubbing a single and double out of the leadoff slot, while Wells and Bailey also had a pair of hits each.

Heidi Meyers celebrated her birthday with a pair of base-knocks.

The game was actually scoreless until the bottom of the second, thanks to Friday Harbor gunning down a runner at the plate, and the Wolves pulling off an unusual double play.

Wells recorded yet another strikeout, with Bailey popping out of her crouch to nail a runner trying to steal second on the same pitch.

As the ball nestled perfectly into Prescott’s glove, the irrepressible Bailey nodded ever so slightly at her rabid fan base, while undoubtedly firing off finger pistols in her head.

That seemed to trigger the offense, as it came out firing on all cylinders in the bottom of the second.

Bella Whalen, making her Wolf debut, kicked things off by tearing the ball in half, her screamer down the third-base line reminiscent of former power hitters such as Veronica Crownover and Sarah Wright.

While this hit was a long single, she also thumped one deep foul ball off of a power line Saturday, and kept her teammates bouncing on the edge of their seats each time she strolled to the plate.

With Whalen aboard, Wells dumped a single into left, and Coupeville was off to a three-run inning.

One run came in on a passed ball, a second on an RBI grounder off of Shaw’s bat, and the final one on a long liner to center by Maya Lucero.

While Meyers didn’t get a hit in the inning, she did get a roar from her teammates after she almost killed first base coach Ron Wright with a rocket hit right at his chest.

The birthday girl came back around later in the game to mash an RBI double, while Lacy McCraw-Shirron added an RBI single as Coupeville cruised out to a 6-1 lead.

Down the stretch, the Wolves sparkled on defense as well, with Gustafson patrolling center like a legend, including making one truly sensational snag while running full-tilt towards right.

CHS also saved a run after a botched play, as Whalen alertly grabbed a wildly-skittering ball, spun, and delivered a pin-point strike to Bailey, who rode the incoming runner down to the dirt for the inning-ending out.

On the day, Shaw and Bailey led the way at the plate, with three hits apiece, while Meyers and Wells each had two.

Caveness, Prescott, and Whalen all walked three times, with Kylie Van Velkinburgh, Gustafson, and Wells eking out two base-on-balls each.

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Jill Prince and Coupeville’s C-Team volleyball squad are a perfect 3-0 on the season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Stats? They don’t need no stinkin’ stats. Just wins!

The stat-keeper might have been missing in action Tuesday, but the Coupeville High School C-Team volleyball squad didn’t care.

The only stat that truly mattered was the final score, which read 25-16, 25-21, 25-14, as the Wolves savaged visiting South Whidbey.

The straight-sets victory lifts Coupeville’s fab frosh to a flawless 2-0 in North Sound Conference play, 3-0 overall.

First-year Wolf coach Krimson Rector has yet to lose (and has no plans to start any time soon), and she bounded out of the middle school gym beaming about her players.

“The girls played really well tonight,” she said.

The big key to the win, as it has been all season, was Coupeville’s performance at the service line, where heavy hitters like Allie Lucero, Jill Prince, and Ryanne Knoblich all sparkled.

Prince was also a force at the net, where she used her long reach to snuff out her fair share of Falcon hits.

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Maddie Georges (left) and Karyme Castro endure the rain while pursuing their softball dreams. (Suzan Georges photos)

Georges and Sofia Peters share a moment with a friendly rival.

Our game, our Island.

At every level this spring, Coupeville is ruling the softball field, and taking special delight in bushwhacking Oak Harbor, their big-city neighbors to the North.

Thursday night the latest beat-down came courtesy the Central Whidbey Little League Juniors squad, which rolled up the Island and torched North Whidbey 20-8.

The win lifts the Wolves to 4-0 on the season, not surprising for a team which has outscored its rivals 78-23.

Central Whidbey came out primed to rumble Thursday, dropping runs in every inning, with nine of 13 players scoring at least once.

The Wolves put up four in the top of the first, and kept the scoreboard humming all night, with six runs in the second, two in the third, then eight in the fourth to spring the 10-run mercy rule.

Everyone swung the bat well, with the 2-3-4-5 hitters particularly dangerous.

Savina Wells and Melanie Navarro paced the Wolves with three hits apiece, both blasting a double and two singles, while Jill Prince had a double and single, and Sofia Peters whacked a pair of singles.

The battlin’ Lucero sisters rounded out the hit attack, as Allie plunked a double and Maya drilled a single, with Cypress Socha, Prince, and Peters walking twice apiece.

Central Whidbey had 11 walks to go with its 12 hits, as Gwen Gustafson, Hayley Fiedler, Vivian Farris, Maddie Georges, and Allie Lucero also earned free passes.

Adrian Burrows and Karyme Castro also saw playing time for the Wolves, who kicked off a three-game road trip Thursday night.

The squad travels to Sedro-Woolley Apr. 20, then faces South Skagit Apr. 25, not returning to play at Rhododendron Park again until Apr. 27.

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Gwen Gustafson, seen last year, scored three times Thursday as Central Whidbey Little League’s Juniors softball team won 18-0. (Irene Gustafson photo)

They didn’t play an entire game, because two innings was enough to show the world what’s what.

Taking advantage of a ton of walks Thursday, the Central Whidbey Little League Juniors softball team bushwhacked arch-rival South Whidbey 18-0, rolling to an eye-popping opening day win.

The Wolves scored nine runs in the first without getting a single hit, then tacked on another nine scores in the bottom of the second inning.

When South Whidbey conceded the game, there was only one out in the second inning.

Coupeville 6th grader Savina Wells, playing alongside middle school girls, punched a hit, as did Maddie Georges and Sofia Peters, while everyone in the starting lineup came around to score.

Gwen Gustafson, who held South Whidbey’s offense in check while flinging heat from the pitcher’s circle, tapped home three times, while Melanie Navarro matched her run total.

Allie Lucero (2), Peters (2), Vivian Farris (2), Georges (2), Maya Lucero (2), Wells (1) and Jill Prince (1) also scored for Central Whidbey.

Providing support off the bench were Adrian Burrows, Karyme Castro, Hayley Fiedler, and Cypress Socha.

Central Whidbey returns to action Saturday with a home game against Anacortes at Rhododendron Park. First pitch is at noon.

After that, the Wolves are off until Apr. 11.

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