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Ashley Menges, flying high here, is returning to the CHS volleyball program, but as a coach this time. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Menges and Emma Smith enjoy their Senior Night during the 2018 season.

Smashley returns.

After a season on the sideline, former Coupeville High School volleyball ace Ashley Menges is rejoining the Wolf volleyball program, but as a coach this time.

Menges, who graduated from CHS in 2019 after a stellar four-year run of sets, digs, and kills, has been tabbed as the school’s JV spiker coach.

Her hire will be official after the School Board approves it.

Menges joins varsity coach Cory Whitmore, who is heading into his fifth season at the helm of the CHS volleyball program.

JV coach Chris Smith and C-Team coach Krimson Rector both stepped down during the offseason with an eye on pursuing other life goals.

For Menges, a volleyball lifer, the chance to coach at her alma mater, and in her favorite sport, is a thrill.

“It’ll be nice to be back in the gym during volleyball season!,” she said. “I’m very excited to work with all the girls.”

When I inducted Menges into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, this was part of what I wrote:

She could smoke service winners, flip end-over-end to save balls which looked like goners, soar into the heavens to smash spikes, and deliver perfect lil’ set-ups for her teammates to get the glory.

Through it all, the transcendent young woman who ended her career as a team captain, as a key player on back-to-back league title teams, as a state meet veteran who helped CHS to three straight 10+ win seasons, was pure class.

Menges is talented, is a firecracker on the floor, and worked as hard as anyone.

But it was her willingness to take on whatever role was necessary for the betterment of the team which made the biggest impression on those in the stands.

PS — If you have any doubt as to where I stand, I’ll close with this — this is a really great hire.

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Audrianna Shaw (5) played often-brilliant ball on both ends of the floor Tuesday night, sparking the Wolf JV to a come-from-behind win over South Whidbey. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Sweet, sweet revenge is ours.

Despite not netting a field goal for nearly 13 minutes to open the game Tuesday, the Coupeville High School JV girls basketball team stormed from behind to topple visiting South Whidbey.

With the 37-31 win, sparked by a dynamic fourth quarter from Audrianna Shaw, the Wolves earn a season split with their next-door neighbors, avenging a two-point loss at Langley in mid-January.

The victory lifts CHS to 7-2 in North Sound Conference play, 11-4 overall.

Megan Smith’s squad has one game left on the schedule, a home non-conference rumble with La Conner Thursday. Tip-off is set for 6 PM.

Tuesday’s tilt with the Falcons didn’t start off all that great for Coupeville.

Unable to get anything to drop from the floor, the Wolves could only scrape out a pair of Shaw free throws in the first quarter, and they were spaced more than five minutes apart.

Making matters worse, South Whidbey hit a miracle three-point shot at the first-quarter buzzer, the ball corkscrewing through the air, then catching a small sliver of glass and (somehow) banking itself through the net.

With the Falcons up 11-2 and whoopin’ it up over their gift from the heavens, the Wolves needed to catch a break.

They’d have to wait awhile, though.

Coupeville went scoreless through the first four-and-a-half minutes of the second quarter as well, though it did clamp down on defense and ice out the Falcons.

Shaw finally broke the scoreless stalemate with two more free throws at the 3:26 mark, and then, mercifully, things took a huge positive swing.

It started with Anya Leavell sliding in front of a pass and picking it off, then slashing downcourt and pegging a smooth pass onto the waiting fingertips of a streaking Gwen Gustafson.

The Wolf frosh beat the Falcons to the hoop, slapped home a layup, and 12 minutes and 43 seconds after the opening tip, Coupeville had a field goal.

The hometown hoops stars liked that first score so much, they immediately added two more, with Shaw slashing inside for a bucket, then Leavell taking another steal coast-to-coast.

While South Whidbey recovered to score the final basket of the half, staking itself to a 13-10 lead at the half, the momentum had turned.

After combining to score just 23 first-half points, the two teams suddenly got all offensive in the third frame, with the Wolves having the upper hand during a 15-12 mini-surge.

Alita Blouin, stalking the court like a blood-thirsty assassin, led the way, tossing in seven points on a variety of moves, while breaking at least twice that many ankles.

She had plenty of help, with fellow freshman Ryanne Knoblich rumbling through the paint for a pair of huge buckets and Ella Colwell ripping down rebounds by the handful.

There were seven lead changes and six ties during the third quarter, with neither team ever up by more than a single bucket, setting the stage for a furious finale.

And the fourth quarter lived up to the anticipation, as the arch-rivals swapped leads back and forth.

Abby Mulholland rolled hard to the hoop, slapping home a go-ahead bucket, before Shaw pilfered a steal, zipped down court, and dribbled rings around two defenders as she wiggled through an incredibly small hole for a crowd-pleasing layup.

But South Whidbey wasn’t quite ready to crack, and a three-point play the hard way put the Falcons back on top 31-29 as the clock ticked madly down.

Which meant it was time for Smith to lean on her wily vets, and the Wolf swing players came through big down the stretch.

A pair of free throws from the always-unflappable Mollie Bailey knotted the score at 31-31, then the Wolves busted open the game with a brilliant bit of teamwork.

Shaw jumped a wayward pass, picked it off, flipped the ball to Bailey, then got down the floor as fast as her feet would carry her.

Weaving through back-pedaling defenders, Bailey sucked the defense to her, before skipping a pass right back to her running mate, who sealed the win with a breakaway bucket.

Coupeville tacked on two more baskets, one each for Leavell and Shaw, just to make sure things wouldn’t get dicey, but it probably wouldn’t have mattered, as the Wolf defense was lights-out across the game’s final three minutes.

Shaw finished with a game-high 12 points, while Blouin (7), Knoblich (4), Bailey (4), Leavell (4), Gustafson (3), Mulholland (2), and Colwell (1) also scored.

Jessenia Camarena, Morgan Stevens, and Kylie Van Velkinburgh chipped in with strong defensive work, with Camarena providing a particular jolt off the bench.

Forcing several jump balls, and slingin’ elbows with the best of them, she’s a somewhat underrated hustle player, and one who continues to show great promise for the Wolves.

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Grady Rickner dropped in 15 points Tuesday as Coupeville’s JV closed with a win at Sultan. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Don’t call it a comeback, but do call it a win.

With Coupeville High School JV boys basketball coach Chris Smith at home for daughter Scout’s Senior Night festivities Tuesday, CHS Athletic Director Willie Smith returned to the bench.

For one night at least.

And the transition was fairly seamless, as the (slightly) older of the Smith boys let the Wolf shooters run wild in a 72-50 win at Sultan.

The victory lifts the JV’s final mark to 5-4 in North Sound Conference play, 10-7 overall.

Coupeville came out on fire, with six different players scoring during a 21-13 first-quarter surge.

Daniel Olson had the hottest hand in the early going, knocking down a quick seven points, while Logan Martin added six to tease the explosion which was to come.

The CHS sophomore, who has been electric of late, went off in the finale, racking up a season-high 29 points.

After starting with back-to-back six-point quarters, Martin rippled the nets for 13 in the third frame, then closed with a modest four.

Up 31-23 at the half, Coupeville hammered the Turks in the second half, stretching the margin out to 54-37 after three quarters of play, then gliding in for the lopsided win.

Grady Rickner added 15 points in support of Martin, while Olson finished with 11.

Rounding out the offensive attack were Chris Ruck (4), TJ Rickner (4), Alex Jimenez (4), Cody Roberts (3), and Miles Davidson (2), while Andrew Aparicio chipped in with strong work on the defensive side of the floor.

 

Final (unofficial) season scoring stats:

Logan Martin – 162
Daniel Olson – 153
Grady Rickner – 148
Sage Downes – 140
Cody Roberts – 61
Alex Murdy – 54
Alex Jimenez – 43
TJ Rickner – 35
Xavier Murdy – 33
Miles Davidson – 32
Chris Cernick – 18
Chris Ruck – 13
Andrew Aparicio – 10

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Logan Martin scored 14 points during a fourth-quarter rally Friday. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

One more minute and they likely win.

Storming back in a hail of shots Friday, the Coupeville High School boys JV basketball team almost erased a 20-point fourth-quarter deficit.

Almost, but not quite.

With Logan Martin banging home 14 of his team-high 20 points in the final frame, the Wolves outscored visiting Granite Falls 22-6, before time ran out in a 51-47 loss.

The defeat evens Coupeville’s mark at 4-4 in North Sound Conference games, while dropping the young guns to 9-7 overall heading into their season finale.

That arrives Tuesday, when the Wolves travel to Sultan.

Friday’s game was full of wild swings, as Coupeville fell behind 21-6 after the first eight minutes.

Things didn’t get much better for Chris Smith’s squad after that, as the deficit stretched out to 38-18 at the half.

A defensive-minded third quarter, in which the two squads scrapped to a hard-earned 7-7 tie, kept things tough on the Wolves, but then their shooting touch returned.

Martin, who has been scorching the nets across the past two weeks, couldn’t be contained, while Grady Rickner (5) and Daniel Olson (3) combined to provide some aid.

While Granite managed to run the clock out on the Wolves, the hometown gunners did get scoring from eight of the 10 players who hit the floor.

Martin’s 20 led the way, while Olson and Grady Rickner each finished with eight.

Alex Jimenez (3), Miles Davidson (2), Sage Downes (2), Cody Roberts (2), and TJ Rickner (2) also scored, with Chris Cernick and Andrew Aparicio providing support on the defensive side of the floor.

Tuesday’s trip to Sultan will give the Wolves a shot at a 10th win, while also allowing a JV scoring champ to be crowned.

It’s a taut battle, as Olson (142), Downes (140), Martin (133), and Grady Rickner (133) are all pouring in points on a consistent basis.

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Morgan Stevens and the Coupeville JV are 10-4 on the season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Take them down early and never let them back in the game.

That was the mindset Friday for the Coupeville High School girls JV basketball squad, as they roared out to a big lead and rolled to a 41-27 win over visiting Granite Falls.

With the victory, the Wolves improve to 6-2 in North Sound Conference action, 10-4 overall, with two games left on the schedule next week.

The JV squad hosts South Whidbey this coming Tuesday and La Conner Thursday.

In that second game, the young guns will have the solo spotlight, as the Wolf varsity has that night off as it preps for the playoffs.

Friday night, CHS jumped out to a 10-6 lead after one quarter of play, with swing players Anya Leavell and Audrianna Shaw each slapping home four points.

After that, the Wolves put the big hurt on the Tigers, riding an eight-point second-quarter explosion from Ella Colwell to shove the lead out to 25-11 by the half.

While the second half was an even fight — literally, as the teams played to 8-8 ties in both the third and fourth quarters — Coupeville coach Megan Smith was able to get floor time for 15 girls, including one making her debut.

Maylin Steele, a first-year player, has been practicing with the team and learning the game, but hadn’t suited up until Friday night.

On the floor for the first time, the Wolves got her the ball and she responded, dropping in a bucket to etch her name into the scorebook.

“It was truly an awesome moment for Maylin and the team!,” Smith said. “I couldn’t be more proud of them all.

“We played one of our best games yet! The girls came out swinging and never let down.”

Colwell finished with a game-high 12 points to lead the Wolf attack, while Leavell and Shaw backed her up, each finishing with six.

Alita Blouin (5), Gwen Gustafson (4), Abby Mulholland (4), Ryanne Knoblich (2) and Steele (2) also scored, with Natalie Castano, Claire Mayne, Jessenia Camarena, Heidi Meyers, Morgan Stevens, Kylie Van Velkinburgh, and Mollie Bailey seeing floor time.

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