Posts Tagged ‘Lyla Stuurmans’

Lyla Stuurmans is pleased to see her favorite photographer is working courtside. (Bailey Thule photos)

Crowd work is an underrated art.

Get yourself a photographer who can capture fans and players in the moments between the action, going below the surface to capture that inner light, and you’ve got yourself a keeper.

Like Bailey Thule, who delivers the portraits seen above and below.

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Madison McMillan chases down a runaway volleyball. (Jackie Saia photo)

Swing for the big dogs, you need to bring your best.

And while the Coupeville High School varsity volleyball spikers played with passion and grit Tuesday, they weren’t able to generate the kind of tsunami needed to swamp three-time defending state champ La Conner.

The Wolves entered the night a half-game up on the Braves in the standings, and exited a half-game behind after falling 25-11, 25-14, 25-11.

The road loss drops Coupeville to 6-1 in Northwest 2B/1B League play, 8-4 overall, while La Conner climbs to 6-0, 10-1.

Both teams have two league matches left on the schedule.

The Wolves host Darrington Oct. 20, while the Braves welcome Friday Harbor to their gym the same night.

Coupeville and La Conner then face off a second time Oct. 25 on Whidbey, with the district playoffs set to go down Nov. 2.

In the three years since they rejoined the NWL, the Wolves have only lost to one conference rival in volleyball, and that would be the hard-hitting, smooth-playing, success-craving Braves.

The mission is still the same for Coupeville — upend the Evil Empire. To do so, everything will have to be clicking.

“We definitely needed to have a sharper game in order to stay up with La Conner,” said CHS coach Cory Whitmore.

“There were times we executed our game plan well and it resulted in defensive stops and/or points for us,” he added.

“But next time we see them we will need to create more chaos and put fire on our attack.”

Lyla Stuurmans gets low. (Jackie Saia photo)


Tuesday stats:

Alita Blouin — 14 digs
Mia Farris — 4 kills, 1 block assist
Maddie Georges — 1 kill, 11 digs, 17 assists, 3 aces, 1 block assist
Taygin Jump — 4 digs
Ryanne Knoblich — 2 kills, 6 digs
Madison McMillan — 6 kills, 5 digs
Jill Prince — 3 kills, 1 dig, 1 block assist
Lyla Stuurmans — 2 kills, 1 dig, 1 block assist

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Senior setter Maddie Georges filled up the stat sheet Saturday, pacing Coupeville volleyball to a big win at Forks. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They went a long way to collect a milestone victory.

Enduring an all-day trek to the wilds of Forks Saturday, then surviving an epic first set, the Coupeville High School varsity volleyball squad earned Cory Whitmore his 70th win as Wolf coach.

By the time they were done, the road-weary Wolves had a 30-28, 18-25, 25-13, 25-14 non-conference victory in hand, lifting their record to 4-2 on the season.

Now on a three-match winning streak, Coupeville gets some rest before travelling to La Conner Thursday, Sept. 29 to face off with the three-time defending 2B state champs.

That showdown is still in the future, though.

For now, Whitmore (70-32 at CHS) and Co. can marinate in the moment, and dream of taking a long nap when they get home.

“If you’re going to go out to Forks, you better leave with a win,” Whitmore said. “Very proud of the girls’ return to practice on Friday that then carried over to Saturday’s match.

“Our focus today was simply on communication and consistency of that communication,” he added. “This was a team win because everyone bought into that concept.”

Coupeville, which was coming off an epic five-set thriller against Orcas Island, where it had to rally from a deep deficit to grab the victory, played strongly in all facets at Forks.

“We served tough throughout; that allowed our defense to be on top of their offense,” Whitmore said.

“But our back row was especially scrappy today, digging up some hard driven balls but also chasing down digs to reset our offense.”

Alita Blouin (in black) and Ryanne Knoblich await the serve. (Bailey Thule photo)

Three players came up with double-digit digs, paced by Alita Blouin going low for 25.

Lyla Stuurmans (12) and Ryanne Knoblich (11) chipped in as well, while Maddie Georges tallied eight, missing a triple-double by just two digs.

The senior setter filled up the stat sheet all day, doling out 26 assists and zinging 11 service aces.

Most of all, Whitmore came away pleased with the way his players talked on the floor, something which was missing at times against Orcas.

“They showed tenacity in each aspect of the team,” he said. “But even more so toward the goal of communicating with each other through the ups and down, and that was fun to watch.”


Saturday stats:

Alita Blouin — 25 digs, 1 assist, 5 aces
Mia Farris — 4 kills, 1 dig
Maddie Georges — 8 digs, 26 assists, 11 aces
Taygin Jump — 2 digs, 1 ace
Ryanne Knoblich — 5 kills, 11 digs, 1 assist, 2 aces
Madison McMillan — 1 dig, 3 aces
Grey Peabody — 10 kills, 1 block assist
Jill Prince — 5 kills
Lyla Stuurmans — 7 kills, 12 digs, 3 aces, 1 block assist

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Wolf senior Jill Prince brings the power at the net. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Spikes, spikes for everyone.

The top four hitters for the Coupeville High School varsity volleyball squad are separated by just four kills, with a fifth Wolf just 10 put-aways away from being tied for the top spot.

Kills, along with solo blocks, and block assists, are the most competitive of the six stats I’m tracking this season.

The other three — assists, digs, and service aces — have more clearcut front-runners, though the numbers can shift and change as the season plays out.

With five matches in the books, a look at the season stat sheet for the 12 Wolves to appear in a varsity match:


Player Kills Digs Block-Solo Block-Assist Assists Aces
Maddie Georges 5 33 98 26
Alita Blouin 2 80 6 6
Lyla Stuurmans 26 26 2 1 3
Ryanne Knoblich 32 40 1 1 12
Mia Farris 35 3 3 3
Jill Prince 32 3 2 3
Grey Peabody 36 3 1 2
Madison McMillan 3 8 4
Taygin Jump 2 22 2 2
Katie Marti 1 4 5
Issabel Johnson
Jada Heaton 1 2

The volleyballs which help fine-tune Coupeville’s game. Practice makes perfect. (Jackie Saia photo)

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Sophomore Mia Farris filled up the stat sheet Saturday at the South Whidbey Invite. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

It was a long, but very successful day.

Taking advantage of getting to play inside on a smoke-filled day, the Coupeville High School varsity volleyball team claimed second-place at the South Whidbey Invite.

The Wolves won nine of 12 sets, and came within a spike here, an ace there, of upending the tourney hosts in the championship showdown.

The next-door neighbors had identical 9-1 records heading into the finale, and if Coupeville had earned at least a split, it would have claimed the title based on point differential.

But the Falcons slipped away with a nail-biting 25-23, 25-20 win to claim first and set up a highly anticipated rematch Monday in Langley.

The first of two regular season rumbles between the non-conference rivals (the second is Oct. 6 in Coupeville), it kicks off at 7 PM at South Whidbey High School.

“I was proud of their resiliency throughout the (championship) match as they never gave up, and they responded well right out of timeouts,” said CHS coach Cory Whitmore.

“We are looking forward to more chances to face South Whidbey, and the invite provided us with plenty of experience as well as notes on what areas to focus on in upcoming practices.

“It was a long day with many lineup changes, but this team is there for each other, and it translates well on the court.”

Wolf fans packed the South Whidbey gym, something Whitmore greatly appreciated, and his players responded.

“I’m really proud of our showing today, and I hope the girls are too,” he said. “We saw seven different teams today, and I think we ran a different lineup for each of them.

“It was fun to get everyone in for a variety of roles and for a lengthy amount of game time, and I am excited for the experience it will provide us moving forward.”

Coupeville buzzed through teams such as Bremerton and Friday Harbor, and also won a come-from behind thriller against Northwest 2B/1B rival Mount Vernon Christian.

Before the South Whidbey faceoff, the only set the Wolves lost came against North Mason, and that’s a bit deceptive as it was the clock which gave the teams a split in their two-set match.

There was a 45-minute limit on matches, so Coupeville, which trailed 18-15 in the second set after taking the opener 25-15, was dinged by a quirk which can only happen in tourney play.

The Wolves used 11 spikers Saturday, and each of them brought something positive to the experience.

“A lot of players came up big at different moments today,” Whitmore said.

Jill Prince, Grey Peabody, and Jada Heaton all took serious swings in the middle and worked hard in transition,” he added. “Maddie (Georges) ran the offense really well and served tough exactly when we needed it.”

Taygin Jump gave the Wolves a big emotional boost.

Whitmore also praised Katie Marti for “helping the team dig out from behind” against Mount Vernon Christian, Taygin Jump for her “emotional consistency, which helped teammates to focus on the present play,” and Alita Blouin for “taking so much pressure off the hitters to get on their routes.”

Ryanne Knoblich and Lyla Stuurmans did a great job on the left side attack – both took a lot of swings and had to handle the ball on first contact as well,” Whitmore added.

Madison McMillan came in for serving relief, placing serves well and would often stay in the back row to give either Ryanne or Lyla a bit of a break from their six rotations.”

And not to be overlooked was super sophomore Mia Farris.

“She came to play today. Not only was she very consistent but she was aggressive on her attacks,” Whitmore said.

“She was our go-to hitter for most the day and the setters found her in key moments, and she even went on a few serving runs as well.

“Very excited to see her drive to improve each day pay off.”


Tourney stats:

Alita Blouin — 1 kill, 27 digs, 4 assists, 13 aces
Mia Farris — 28 kills, 2 digs, 7 aces, 3 block assists
Maddie Georges — 3 kills, 8 digs, 55 assists, 10 aces, 1 block assist
Jada Heaton — 6 kills
Taygin Jump — 9 digs, 1 assist, 11 aces
Ryanne Knoblich — 23 kills, 15 digs, 6 aces
Katie Marti — 2 kills, 8 digs, 37 assists, 2 aces, 1 solo block
Madison McMillan — 3 kills, 10 digs, 4 aces
Grey Peabody — 16 kills, 1 dig
Jill Prince — 15 kills, 5 digs, 2 solo blocks, 4 block assists
Lyla Stuurmans — 13 kills, 9 digs, 7 aces, 1 solo block

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