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Megan Smith will coach four games, and not 12. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

One schedule is not like the other three.

The Coupeville High School JV girls basketball squad took a major hit Thursday, with their schedule shaved from 12 games to four.

The adjustment is because only three of the seven Northwest 2B/1B League schools will field a second girls hoops squad this season.

Coupeville is joined by Orcas Island and Friday Harbor, but La Conner, Darrington, Concrete, and Mount Vernon Christian will have just a varsity team for girls games.

As of the typing of this story, all seven schools will have boys and girls varsity teams.

Six of seven plan to play boys JV, with Concrete opting out, leaving the Coupeville young guns with a 10-game slate.

For the Wolf JV girls, the new schedule means they will only play once in front of their home fans.

That’s because no fans, varsity or JV, are allowed at the Orcas Island games, per the request of the Orcas School District.

 

The revamped girls JV schedule:

Thur-May 20 — Orcas Island — (5:00)
Sat-May 22 — @ Friday Harbor — (1:00)
Sat-June 5 — @ Orcas Island — (5:00)
Tues-June 8 — Friday Harbor — (5:00)

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Gwen Gustafson is part of a talented group of Coupeville High School JV volleyball spikers. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Quality, top to bottom.

La Conner High School is a titan in the world of 2B volleyball for a reason – longtime coach Suzanne Marble and her assistants have built a dynasty one step at a time.

The varsity program has won back-to-back state titles and hasn’t dropped a league match in a decade-plus.

But don’t sleep on the La Conner JV, because the young Braves are also undefeated this season, intent on impressing the coaches who can open the door to the next level.

Friday night, those spikers took another step to future success, holding off a Coupeville squad which has a fair amount of talent of its own.

Winning 25-19, 25-14, 25-20, the La Conner JV improves to 9-0 on the season, while dropping the Wolves to 5-3.

Coupeville, which wraps its season Saturday at home against Orcas Island, has essentially played two seasons in one.

The Wolves, under first-year coach Ashley Menges, are 0-3 against La Conner, and 5-0 against everyone else from the Northwest 2B/1B League.

Even in a loss, though, Coupeville pushed the Braves and made them fight for their points.

Case in point, the opening set, where the Wolves rallied from a 14-7 deficit to roar all the way back to an 18-18 tie.

The comeback began with a winner ripped down the left side of the floor by Maya Lucero, before a strong service run from Allison Nastali really fired things up.

Grey Peabody, Olivia Schaffeld, and Ryanne Knoblich all came up with big hustle plays, before Lucero unleashed her wicked power one more time, making the knees of even the hardiest of her foes tremble.

Unfortunately, once they were back even, the Wolves stumbled a bit, and La Conner seized control back, closing the set on a 7-1 tear.

Other than a nasty service ace from Allie Lucero and a winner off the fingertips of Isabel Johnson, much of the second set was pretty painful for Coupeville.

Isabel Johnson rains pain on her foes.

Down 17-3, the Wolves found a spark, however, as Knoblich elevated and terrorized, and things changed for the better.

Schaffeld, Peabody, and Gwen Gustafson — who reached over her head to uncork a winner, while falling backwards — started pounding the snot out of the ball, and CHS eventually held off six set points before succumbing.

While the win had been decided at that point, the third set, even with nothing but pride riding on it, was the most-competitive frame.

Both teams took turns going on runs, with the score fluctuating wildly.

A 4-1 Coupeville lead became a 12-6 deficit, then a 17-14 lead, before La Conner closed on an 11-3 run to claim the sweep.

Schaffeld put together a strong set, mixing big hits with nimble tips, while Skylar Parker and Jordyn Rogers used their time on the floor to showcase their heart and hustle.

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Jordyn Rogers and the Coupeville JV spikers smashed Mount Vernon Christian Tuesday night. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Maya Lucero and twin sister Allie were lethal at the service stripe. And in the middle of the floor. And at the net. So, basically everywhere.

Their service game? Impeccable.

Throwing down a case of whupass with power and precision Tuesday, the Coupeville High School JV volleyball squad obliterated host Mount Vernon Christian.

Combining for 26 service aces, the Wolves gave the Hurricanes little chance to put the ball into play, then ended things viciously when they did.

The final score, a somewhat eye-popping 25-6, 25-1, 25-8, left CHS coach Ashley Menges flying high.

“Last night went great!,” she said. “Allie (Lucero) basically served the whole first set, and Maya (Lucero) basically served the whole second set!”

The Battlin’ Lucero Twins were all over the stat sheet, with Allie recording 13 aces and 20 assists, while Maya notched six kills and five aces.

All seven Wolves to see action Tuesday night were on fire, with Ryanne Knoblich smashing a team-high seven kills.

She added three digs to her work, while Jordyn Rogers (four kills, five aces, two digs) and Grey Peabody (three kills, one assist, one block) chipped in with solid efforts.

Gwen Gustafson (six digs, two aces, a kill) and Olivia Schaffeld (four kills) also sparkled for the Wolves, who sit at 5-2 on the season with two matches to play.

Coupeville hosts La Conner Friday, then closes the season at home against Orcas Island Saturday afternoon.

That second match is a restricted one, with no fans allowed, as Orcas is requiring that this season.

CHS will stream JV and varsity matches on Facebook Live that day.

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Grey Peabody, here firing a serve in an earlier match, was a standout Friday as the Coupeville JV spikers rallied for a road win. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Jordyn Rogers points the way to victory.

Never count them out.

Down a set Friday, playing on the road in a gym with no fans, the Coupeville High School JV volleyball players found their rally caps.

Roaring back with power and precision, both on serve and at the net, the Wolves overwhelmed host Orcas Island, pulling out a 16-25, 25-17, 25-16 victory.

The wins lifts the young CHS spikers to 4-1 on the season, and now they won’t play again for a week.

With both Darrington and La Conner having put their volleyball programs into Covid-related quarantines, the schedule has been shuffled, and Coupeville’s next match is May 1 at home against Concrete.

The off time will give the Wolves and their coaching staff time to fine-tune what is working, and tweak what is not.

After getting off to a bit of a slow start Friday, Coupeville’s spikers found a spark in the second quarter.

Strong serving from twin snipers Allie and Maya Lucero, backed by big performances at the net by Coupeville’s spike-happy mad mashers turned the tide.

“Everyone had a pretty good night after we picked up the energy,” said Coupeville coach Ashley Menges. “But I’m very proud of Olivia (Schaffeld) and Grey (Peabody) tonight.

Olivia came up really big when we needed her, and it just brought the energy up even more.”

Coupeville’s JV squad features five freshmen, with Allison Nastali, Skylar Parker, and Isabel Johnson joining Peabody and Schaffeld on the roster, and their coach has been thrilled to watch their development.

“All of the freshman took on leadership roles tonight, which was really great to see,” Menges said. “Overall, it was great to see them overcome the slow start and pull out the win.”

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Hunter Smith drills a jumper back in the day. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Coach can shoot.

Coupeville High School is reaching into its recent past to add to its coaching staff, with Hunter Smith coming out of retirement to take over the reigns of the JV boys basketball team.

Smith, a 2018 CHS grad, needs to be officially confirmed by the school board, but that’s 99.2% certain.

In a unique twist, Hunter replaces his dad, Chris Smith, who stepped down from the JV boys basketball job after moving off-Island.

The Wolf young guns will have a chance to learn from three of the program’s biggest stars of yesterday.

Smith rippled the nets for 847 points during his varsity hoops career, placing him 12th on the all-time CHS boys basketball scoring list.

Wolf varsity coach Brad Sherman is 8th on that chart, with 874 points, while volunteer assistant Greg White is 30th, having tallied 604 points on the high school hardwood.

In addition to his hoops highlights, Hunter Smith owns half the record board for CHS football, and was a star pitcher and shortstop for Wolf baseball.

The middle of Charlotte Young’s three children — trailing CJ and preceding ScoutHunter holds the school’s career records for receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, and interceptions.

He also holds single-season marks in all three of those categories, and the single-game record for receiving TD’s.

With the start of a pandemic-shortened basketball season just around the bend, Sherman and his assistants — longtime coach Randy Bottorff is helping out as well — are primed to go.

“Really excited to have Hunter coming onboard,” Sherman said. “To be able to bring in someone of such high character, who not only knows the game, but is passionate about the success of the program, is a huge win for our athletes.

Hunter is a great fit to lead our JV team and I know the whole coaching staff can’t wait to get started in a couple weeks.”

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