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Posts Tagged ‘Madison McMillan’

Madison McMillan (14) gave Coupeville a huge emotional boost off the bench against Orcas Island. (Delanie Lewis photo)

Do you believe in miracles? Because that was a freakin’ miracle.

Trailing two sets to one and down 16-3 in the fourth set Thursday, the Coupeville High School varsity volleyball squad looked dead in the water.

The Wolves were about to lose on their home floor to Orcas Island, and it would have been the first time the CHS spikers fell to a Northwest 2B/1B League school that wasn’t three-time defending state champ La Conner.

It was signed, sealed, and all but delivered.

You could see it in the faces of many of the players, who had fought valiantly but also suffered through some crushingly bad stretches at times.

You could hear it in the mutters of the fans, as even the Wolf grandma endlessly hollering “I BELIEVE IN YOU!!!” had a notable strain in her voice.

But people believe in miracles because they do happen in sports, and often at the most unlikely of times.

Spurred on by sophomores Madison McMillan and Katie Marti, who roared off the bench and sent a jolt of electricity through a tired-looking Wolf team, Coupeville did the seemingly impossible.

It came back, all the way back, pulling out a 25-27, 25-19, 20-25, 25-23, 15-13 stunner to cap a night which was alternately brutal and beautiful.

The victory lifts the Wolves to 3-0 in league play, 3-2 overall, and leaves them alone atop the NWL standings.

It left CHS coach Cory Whitmore — in need of a nap and knowing a long bus ride to Forks arrives Saturday — looking bemused.

Happy to get the W, but well aware the Wolves largely put themselves in the hole they had to dig back out of against Orcas.

“They showed a lot of resiliency,” he said. “We found a way late to return to our identity, and were more efficient, with less service errors, and that was super important.”

The positive jolt offered by his super subs can’t be overstated.

“I am so impressed with how Katie and Madison stepped on to the court like they had being doing it for years,” Whitmore said.

“Also, Taygin (Jump) was strong with her jump serve and was tough when she needed to hit certain spots.

“She helped give us a lot of energy, which we needed.”

The match turned, though hardly anyone knew it in the moment, with a small flip of the ball, as Alita Blouin proved Coupeville still had some daggers with which to inflict pain.

Orcas had rung up 11 straight points to stake itself to that 16-3 lead in the fourth set, but Blouin finally stopped the bleeding, sliding the ball between two defenders to earn a side out.

From there, the comeback began, step by step.

Jump, McMillan, and Marti went on runs at the service stripe, with Grey Peabody, Ryanne Knoblich, and Jill Prince rising up at the net to smash winners.

Ryanne Knoblich made her mom proud with some thunderous spikes. (Delanie Lewis photo)

Coupeville ran off its own 15-2 surge to knot things at 18-18, but Orcas, a tough, scrappy team, didn’t break.

The Vikings, though pushed back on their heels, responded, reclaiming the lead and pushing it out to 23-21.

Two points away from losing the match, the Wolves had to find their inner mojo, and they did.

Knoblich and McMillan whacked back-to-back spikes, the balls skidding away from their Orcas rivals, before Coupeville’s defense closed out the set with a strong stand.

Given new life, and with a new buzz in their between-sets huddle, the Wolves claimed control early in the fifth, and final, set.

Jumping out to a 4-1 lead, CHS wasn’t out of the woods, however, as Orcas fought back to go up 7-6 as the two teams raced to see who could net 15 points first.

A revived Peabody was the difference down the stretch, coming up big at the net with three winners, while McMillan was dominant at the service stripe.

Clinging to a 14-13 lead and with Orcas serving, Coupeville held fast on the last rally of the night.

In a fitting finale, the two squads went back-and-forth, the ball skipping from hand to hand, before the Wolves forced the Vikings into a final, fatal error.

That set off a celebration which was equal parts joy and relief, capping a match which was the most-intense of the still-young season.

Things started hot in the first set, with big swings, both in intensity and the score.

Orcas went up by six points, Coupeville stormed back to build its own five-point advantage, and then things got dicey at the end.

The Wolves benefitted from some nasty slicers delivered by Lyla Stuurmans and a fantastic play in which Blouin scraped a thunderous spike off the floor, flicking it skyward to set teammate Mia Farris up to deliver a winner.

But it was Orcas, holding off two set points, which pulled away at the end, closing the set with a service ace which looked like it was long gone, only to suddenly drop and tear off the back line.

Coupeville scrambled back into contention in the second set but had to put out a lot of effort along the way.

The Wolves trailed for much of the frame, only going in front for good after Maddie Georges turned an 18-18 tie into a 23-18 lead with some artful slicing ‘n dicing from the service line.

Stuurmans, bounding to the ceiling, froze the defense with an artful tip winner for a punctuation mark at 25-19, knotting things at a set apiece.

CHS couldn’t hold on to a lead in the third set, contributing to that hole it eventually had to dig back out of, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort.

Marti and Jump made eye-popping saves on balls which should have been Orcas winners, with the former smashing into the floor and the latter running up into the stands.

Both of those track-down jobs were promptly converted into Wolf winners as Coupeville caught the Vikings in premature celebrations.

 

Thursday stats:

Alita Blouin — 1 kill, 15 digs, 1 ace
Mia Farris — 2 kills
Maddie Georges — 2 kills, 7 digs, 34 assists, 3 aces
Taygin Jump — 7 digs, 1 assist, 1 ace
Ryanne Knoblich — 14 kills, 7 digs, 1 solo block
Katie Marti — 1 kill, 3 digs, 2 aces
Madison McMillan — 2 kills, 6 digs
Grey Peabody — 9 kills, 2 digs, 1 solo block
Jill Prince — 8 kills, 1 dig
Lyla Stuurmans — 5 kills, 8 digs

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Wolf freshman Carly Burt enters the action. (Delanie Lewis photos)

Life moves pretty fast.

It was that way back in Ferris Bueller’s day, and it still holds true for high school sports teams.

Coming off of a big rivalry win Monday, the Coupeville High School JV volleyball team experienced a quick reversal of fortune, falling in three sets Tuesday at Bothell.

The 26-24, 19-25, 15-5 non-conference loss to Cedar Park Christian drops the young Wolves to 2-1 on the season.

“It was definitely a 180 from last night. We got a win on Monday, and we got a lesson tonight,” said Coupeville coach Ashley Menges.

“Playing back-to-back on the road is always hard, but sometimes you just have to do what’s given to you.”

The Wolves hung tough in the opening set, bounced back to claim the middle set, but ran out of steam at the end.

“I think we let a lot of outside issues affect our game tonight which is never fun,” Menges said.

“Communication and cohesion were our biggest problems, and our mental game was challenged tonight.

“It was our first test this season, where the third set decided win or lose, and I think it was good to be tested that early into the season, but it’s definitely something we’re all going to work on.”

 

Tuesday stats:

Taylor Brotemarkle — 1 dig
Carly Burt — 1 dig
Teagan Calkins — 6 kills, 1 dig
Jada Heaton — 5 kills, 1 dig, 1 ace
Issabel Johnson — 5 digs, 1 ace
Katie Marti — 1 kill, 14 assists, 2 aces
Chloe Marzocca — 1 kill, 4 aces
Madison McMillan — 4 kills, 12 digs, 3 aces
Grier Mooney — 3 digs, 3 aces
Aby Wood — 2 kills

Aby Wood sends a volleyball back where it came from.

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Jada Heaton filled up the stat sheet in an opening-night win for the Wolf JV spikers. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They came out swinging.

Racking up big hits and even bigger service aces, the Coupeville High School JV volleyball squad cruised to victory Thursday night.

Pounding the ball from all angles, the Wolves peppered visiting Friday Harbor, eventually sweeping their season opener 25-11, 25-19, 25-9.

Kicking off the third season at the helm of the team for coach Ashley Menges and coming against a Northwest 2B/1B League rival, it made for a strong statement.

Coupeville controlled the action from start to finish, never trailing by more than just a single point in any of the sets.

Down 1-0 to open the match, the Wolves quickly reversed things, with Katie Marti and Madison McMillan ripping off extended runs at the service stripe.

That staked CHS to an 11-2 lead in the first set, and the rout was on.

Teagan Calkins came through shortly thereafter with a tip winner, flicking the ball between two Friday Harbor players, before Taylor Brotemarkle smashed a ball which sliced off some Friday Harbor kneecap as it found paydirt.

The second set stayed close for a bit, but Coupeville’s advantage on serve soon broke things open, with Chloe Marzocca, Marti, and McMillan all lashing aces.

Aby Wood went airborne to smack a winner to open the third set, with Grier Mooney and Marzocca poppin’ winners from the service stripe.

The set belonged to Heaton, however, as the high-energy sophomore went off.

She froze the defense while dropping a tip for a winner, came back around to deliver another artfully directed shot which sliced ‘n diced the defense, then got red-hot while serving.

Heaton ripped an ace which knocked the last bit of paint off the line, before getting an assist on a later play as Marti reared back and literally punched a winner during a scramble at the net.

 

Stats:

Taylor Brotemarkle — 1 kill, 7 digs
Teagan Calkins — 1 kill, 2 aces
Jada Heaton — 5 kills, 3 digs, 1 ace
Issabel Johnson — 2 digs
Katie Marti — 2 kills, 1 dig, 12 assists, 8 aces
Chloe Marzocca — 4 aces
Madison McMillan — 5 kills, 3 digs, 8 aces
Grier Mooney — 2 aces
Aby Wood — 2 kills

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Teagan Calkins and her fellow Wolf diamond queens picked up a ton of experience this summer playing for a travel softball squad. (Photo courtesy Shawn Calkins)

The uniform may change, but the game remains the same.

Coming off another successful high school softball season, six Coupeville sluggers stayed on the diamond this summer, playing for the Whidbey Thunder travel team.

Allie Lucero, Taylor Brotemarkle, Madison McMillan, Teagan Calkins, Maya Lucero, and Mia Farris formed the core of the squad, which played almost every weekend in June and July.

“They had a very good and productive summer, getting in tons of extra reps with the bat and also in the field,” said CHS coach Kevin McGranahan, who played the role of fan this time around.

“The experience they gained will pay huge dividends for us next season,” he added. “And hopefully lead us to another league/district championship.”

McGranahan was in the stands in Federal Way this past weekend for the finale and came away pleased with what he witnessed.

“I got to see the work they are putting in firsthand, and it was impressive to see them leading their combined team of travel players and the overall growth they showed.”

The Wolves taking advantage of the extra work range from rising seniors (the Lucero twins) to sophomores-to-be (Brotemarkle, McMillan, Farris) and an incoming freshman (Calkins) who saw varsity playing time as an 8th grader.

Not only did the players benefit from their summer work, but they also helped inspire their high school coach.

“I took the summer off to regroup and rest a little,” McGranahan said. “But watching them play their hearts out has relit my passion for the game.”

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Izzy Wells, best softball player in the Northwest 2B/1B League. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

The Izzinator was a dominator.

Coupeville High School senior pitcher Izzy Wells capped her prep softball career by being tabbed as the Northwest 2B/1B League MVP.

Unhittable while chucking BB’s, and owner of a booming bat when camped out at the plate, she led the Wolves to an 8-0 mark in conference action, 16-3 overall.

Coupeville, despite losing a season-and-a-half to Covid, finished 43-13 during the Age of Izzy.

Allie Lucero rakes.

Wells wasn’t the only Wolf honored by NWL coaches, as the league champs landed six players on All-Conference teams.

Senior Audrianna Shaw joins freshmen Mia Farris and Madison McMillan in collecting First-Team honors.

Making the Second-Team list were freshman Taylor Brotemarkle and junior twin titans Maya and Allie Lucero.

Wolf head man Kevin McGranahan was tabbed as NWL Coach of the Year as well.

Mia Farris plays lock-down defense among the spring flowers.

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