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Posts Tagged ‘Maya Lucero’

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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Volleyball ace Alita Blouin leads off a collection of Coupeville High School fall sports portraits. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

I’ve just seen a face.

Or nine of them, to be exact, as we continue to wind our way through the collected portraits of Coupeville fall sports athletes.

The pics seen today rep girls soccer, volleyball, and boys soccer — the three sports I still have unused photos from.

They come to us courtesy John Fisken, and, if you want to see more of his work, pop over to John’s Photos (johnsphotos.net).

 

Cael Wilson

Mary Milnes

Maya Lucero

Nathan Ginnings

Eryn Wood

Lucy Tenore

Ryan Blouin

Nezi Keiper

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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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Maya Lucero and Coupeville’s C-Team volleyball squad are 4-0 after a win Thursday in Granite Falls. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The freshmen are on fire.

Sparked by their usual strong service game, the Coupeville High School C-Team volleyball squad continues to carve up opponents.

The victim Thursday was Granite Falls, which fell with a thud, losing 25-11, 25-15, 25-11 on its home court, savaged by the rampaging Wolves.

The win lifts CHS to 3-0 in North Sound Conference play, 4-0 overall.

Coupeville dominated play in all aspects of the game, but was especially hot when their servers were twirling the volleyball in their hands.

“Again, we played to our strengths and served a solid game,” Wolf coach Krimson Rector said. “As a team, we ended with over 20 aces to help bring us to another win.”

Ryanne Knoblich, Allie Lucero, and Vivian Farris paced the Wolves, firing up five aces apiece.

Adding to the team-wide effort at the stripe were Maya Lucero (three aces), and Gwen Gustafson and Jordyn Rogers, who recorded two each.

Gustafson added seven digs and two kills, while Knoblich (5), Jill Prince (5), Rogers (4), Maya Lucero (2), and Mercedes Kalwies-Anderson (1) sprayed kills left and right.

“I was proud of the girls for setting specific goals both personally and as a team before the game, and really working hard throughout the night to stay focused on those,” Rector said.

“I felt confident in the players that stepped on to the court tonight, and continually saw them working hard and striving to stay on top.”

While her team is flying high, there is still a large chunk of the season left to play, and Rector continues to preach improvement and growth.

“While I am proud of tonight’s play, I am excited to push them to dig even deeper,” she said. “These girls are full of potential and it’s exciting to see them get better with each game.

“We plan to continue in this positive direction.”

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Maya Lucero keeps busy with a wide variety of activities, from playing three sports to participating in drama, band, and Girl Scouts. (Photos courtesy Jess Lucero)

Catching some quality time with dad Aaron on the softball diamond.

“I’m super busy, but I thrive on that.”

Try and keep a list of everything Maya Lucero does, and you’ll eventually end up flipping the paper over and still be writing.

Let’s just say Lucero, who will join twin sister Allie as freshmen at Coupeville High School this fall, likes to stay active.

She played basketball, volleyball, and softball through middle school and before, and plans to remain a three-sport athlete as she switches out CMS uniforms for CHS ones.

Toss in appearing in theater productions, playing trumpet in the band, Girl Scouts, cooking and baking, playing with her dog, going to the beach, and hanging out with friends and family, and Lucero’s schedule is booked.

But staying busy has helped her build a strong work ethic, something which has benefited her greatly in the past, and should continue to do so in the future.

“Some of my strengths as an athlete include my focus, commitment to my sports, and loyalty to my teammates and coaches,” Lucero said. “Being so dedicated is important, but not always easy.

“I always honor my obligations for team practices, volunteer work, training, and camps.”

That includes a recent four-day basketball camp in Soap Lake, “so I couldn’t submit my answers to you until now…,” she said with a laugh.

Lucero, who is following in the footsteps of older bother Dane, a 2019 Coupeville grad who was also a three-sport star, has been around athletics her entire life.

Dad Aaron is an assistant coach with the CHS baseball team, who pulled double duty this spring, working with Maya and Allie’s Central Whidbey Little League Juniors softball squad.

With the Lucero sisters ripping base-knocks to all fields, the young Wolves roared through a 13-1 season, and now will send a ferocious pack of hit-happy players on to the high school program.

Maya wants to “work my way to varsity, and to become stronger as an athlete,” and she credits her father with helping to shape her and fuel her dreams, both on and off the field.

“My dad has had one of the greatest impacts on me as a person and an athlete,” Lucero said. “He always pushes me to be my best, and has taught me mental toughness, perseverance, and determination.

“From the start, he has always supported me, led me through difficult times, and has always been at my side,” she added. “He is an amazing dad and softball coach.”

Lucero hails from a tight-knit, super-friendly family which includes mom Jess and two younger sisters, and having a large, loyal support crew is huge for the young Wolf.

Allie has also always been at my side and has always been there for me, no matter how hard things get sometimes,” Maya said. “Overall, my family has helped me to be my best self, and has always supported me and my passions.”

Lucero loves that sports allows her to be “active and competitive.”

And, while she approaches every season with joy, she’s clear – her #1 passion is being on the diamond every spring.

“Without a doubt, softball is my favorite sport of all,” Lucero said.

She’s played school and SWISH basketball, as well as school and club volleyball, but put a bat in her hand and she’s at home.

“It has been one of my greatest passions. I have been playing it since second grade, eight years old,” Lucero said. “I love softball because it’s not the type of sport that you can pick up easily.

“Softball is a difficult sport that teaches you determination, perseverance, to work hard, and to stay mentally tough. Not everyone can do that.

“I feel that softball is my strongest sport because I’ve played it longer, so I have a strong softball IQ.”

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