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Posts Tagged ‘Olympic League’

   With 725 points, Hunter Smith needs six Friday to move into 15th place all-time on the Coupeville boys career scoring chart. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

This one stings a bit.

Suffering through a cold-shooting night Tuesday, the Coupeville High School boys basketball squad dropped a game it needed and wanted.

Falling 51-37 on the road at Klahowya, the Wolves took a step back, sliding into third-place in the Olympic League.

Coupeville gets a strong chance to bounce back Friday, when it hosts win-less Chimacum on the 101st anniversary of the first hoops game in school history, but that doesn’t lessen Tuesday’s dashed hopes.

“Really just not in sync tonight. Never could get much going,” said CHS coach Brad Sherman. “Not the game we expected, but it is what it is.

“Thankfully we play them three times,” he added. “The series is still up for grabs and we know those are games we are more than capable of competing to win.”

Coupeville drops to 2-2 in league play, 4-10 overall, which leaves the Wolves trailing Port Townsend (4-1, 8-5) and Klahowya (3-1, 7-7). Chimacum (0-5, 0-9) brings up the rear.

The Wolves still have five league games left, however, with a trip back to Klahowya Saturday coming hot on the heels of Friday’s bout with Chimacum.

So, while he would have preferred a win Tuesday, Sherman knows there is still much to be resolved.

“We aren’t even half way done with our league schedule, so yes, that one hurts, but we have to keep our focus on the next one,” he said. “This group of guys is very capable of putting a run together, but they really need to believe it.

“Back to work tomorrow!”

The Eagles never really blew the Wolves out, but just steadily built a lead, turning a 14-9 advantage after one into a 23-13 lead at the half, and a 34-20 bulge headed to the final eight minutes.

In that final quarter, Coupeville held its own, with the two teams ramping up their offenses in a 17-17 battle royal.

Sophomore Mason Grove, popping up for a quarter from the JV squad, nailed a pair of three-balls and a free throw in the final quarter to pace the Wolf attack.

For the game senior Hunter Smith topped CHS with 12 points, running his career total to 725.

He is six points from passing Dan Nieder (729) and Steve Whitney (730) to move into 15th place on the Wolf boys hoops career scoring list.

Ethan Spark dropped in eight in support, while Grove and Joey Lippo knocked down seven apiece and Cameron Toomey-Stout hit a three-ball.

John Hartford led Klahowya with a game-high 18.

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   Genna Wright was the only freshman in the 1A Olympic League to make the All-Conference soccer squad. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

   With two goals and a team-high six assists, sophomore Avalon Renninger had plenty to celebrate.

The streak lives.

The Coupeville High School girls soccer squad landed three selections on this year’s Olympic League All-Conference squad, marking the fourth-straight year the Wolves have reached, or topped, that figure.

Of the league’s four schools, only Klahowya and CHS have hit that trifecta, or better, each year.

This time around, it was senior midfielder Sage Renninger, junior forward Kalia Littlejohn and freshman forward Genna Wright who got the nod.

It was the second time the two older players have been tabbed by league coaches (Renninger was also All-League in 2016, Littlejohn in 2015), while Wright was the lone 9th grader to crack this year’s roster.

The All-Conference honors were just the tip of the iceberg, though, as the Wolf booters gathered Tuesday to hand out awards at a season-capping banquet.

Renninger picked up Player of the Year honors from CHS coach Kyle Nelson, while Lauren Bayne (Most Inspirational), Natalie Hollrigell (Most Improved) and Wright (Rookie of the Year) also took home hardware.

Letter winners:

Knight Arndt
Mollie Bailey
Lauren Bayne
Anna Dion
Maddie Hilkey
Natalie Hollrigel
Mallory Kortuem
Kalia Littlejohn
Avalon Renninger
Sage Renninger
Lindsey Roberts
Ema Smith
Megan Thorn
Genna Wright
Sarah Wright
Tia Wurzrainer
Lily Zustiak

Participation certificate:

Aurora Cernick

Managers:

Chris Cernick
Ashlie Shank

Also, after extensive video view, Nelson released the updated, tweaked and 100% official stats for the 2017 season.

Goals:

Littlejohn 15
G. Wright
10
Roberts 6
S. Renninger
3
Kortuem
2
Smith
2
A. Renninger
2
Arndt
1
Bayne
1

Assists:

A. Renninger 6
G. Wright
6
S. Renninger
5
Roberts
5
Littlejohn
3
Bayne
2
Hilkey
2
Smith
2
Dion
1
S. Wright
1

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   Coupeville’s days as a tennis power will likely take a hit when the Olympic League combines 1A and 2A programs in the sport next school year. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The path to an Olympic League tennis title has always gone through Coupeville.

Starting next school year, however, that path is going to get a lot rockier.

The Wolf boys have won two crowns in four seasons since joining the newly-created 1A division of the league in 2014, while the CHS girls are a perfect 3-for-3 heading into next spring.

In fact, the Coupeville girls have never lost a match to rivals Klahowya and Chimacum/Port Townsend, and will carry a 15-0 mark in league tilts onto the court in 2018.

While the pursuit of title #4 will remain the same, the chase for title #5 may take a substantial detour.

When the 2018-2019 school year arrives, the 1A division of the Olympic League will merge with the 2A side of things for tennis, creating a 10-team conference for the sport.

That means just one league champ, and not the current two.

The new format only covers the regular season, as 1A and 2A schools will go their own way once the postseason arrives.

All other sports will remain separated between 1A and 2A.

While Coupeville has been playing most of the Olympic League’s 2A schools in non-conference tennis matches, the new format means they would have to upend much-larger schools to retain their title-winning ways.

Instead of just thumping on the Eagles and Cowboys, the Wolves will have to also vie with North Kitsap, Sequim, North Mason, Olympic, Kingston, Bremerton and Port Angeles.

Those schools have student bodies of 527-876 students, which means Coupeville (227 in the last classification count) will experience some deja vu, harkening back to its former days competing in the 1A/2A Cascade Conference.

In the new format North Kitsap (810 students) will overwhelmingly be the team to beat.

On the boys side the Vikings are currently operating on a 41-match winning streak, dating back to a loss to Sequim in Oct. 2014.

The NK girls have lost more recently, but that’s not a common occurrence, as they are still a very-tidy 51-3 over the past four seasons.

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   Senior Lauren Rose had 13 assists and five aces Tuesday as first-place Coupeville crushed Chimacum. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Six players firing as one.

When they’re on, they’re on.

The Coupeville High School varsity volleyball squad has played seven regular-season matches this year, and six times they have left the court with a straight-sets win.

Tuesday was more of the same, as the Wolves overpowered visiting Chimacum in every aspect of the game, cruising to a 25-17, 25-9, 25-18 win which cemented Coupeville’s status as the front-runner in the Olympic League.

Now 4-0 in conference play, 6-1 overall, CHS sits a game-and-a-half up on Klahowya (2-1, 3-5), while Chimacum (1-3, 1-5) and Port Townsend (0-3, 1-6) bring up the rear.

The Wolves, who are chasing back-to-back league titles, have a two-week gap before any more league matches.

They’ll fill the time by facing off with a pair of 2A schools — Port Angeles on the road Oct. 5 and Sequim at home Oct. 10 — before playing their final five league matches between Oct. 17-28.

If Coupeville can keep things clicking at their current levels, or take it up a notch or two, it seems primed for a strong postseason run.

At their best, the Wolves are a lethal team from the service stripe, with two strong setters (Lauren Rose and Ashley Menges) setting up a squad of kill-happy snipers.

What few points Chimacum got Tuesday came more from Coupeville’s occasional over-eagerness to destroy the ball than anything the Cowboys were able to create.

The lone exception was junior outside hitter Renee Woods, who peppered the Wolves with several strong runs at the service line.

Coupeville countered with a team-wide ace explosion, raining down 22 of the beauties.

High-impact servers Hope Lodell and Payton Aparicio lashed six apiece, while knuckleballer Rose, who has never missed a serve in her entire life, added another five.

The Wolves never trailed for a single second in the match, running out to large leads in every set, and it started with their service game.

Take the first set, where Rose opened the night with a run of five straight points.

The first came on an emphatic stuff from a hyped-up Mikayla Elfrank, which sent a bolt of energy through the Wolf football team which had gathered to cheer on their classmates.

That was closely followed by Lodell cranking a winner while stuck in the middle of the court, and the winners just kept coming.

Numerous Wolves jumped into the fray in the early going, and they all seemed to have the golden touch.

Whether it was Katrina McGranahan with a tip which froze two Cowboys in place, Kyla Briscoe with a slicing kill that carved off a rival’s kneecap, or Emma Smith exploding a winner off the back line, if it came from Wolf fingertips, it was deadly and delightful.

Lodell closed the set with an eight-point run at the line, throwing herself skyward to unleash a series of crippling serves which left the increasingly frustrated Cowboys clawing helplessly at air as the ball skidded by their arms.

It wasn’t going to get any better from there for Chimacum, a competent but, at least on this night, not very inspired squad.

Coupeville, on the other hand, continually found new ways to delight its fans.

Super sophomore Scout Smith reached behind her head while airborne, corralled a ball, then flicked it forward for a surprise winner, while Emma Smith dipped to the floor to pull off a miracle save on a ball off the net.

Somehow keeping the rally alive, Emma Smith gave Aparicio time to arrive behind her with a full head of steam built up, and the senior sharpshooter ended the point with a bang, slugging the crud out of the ball.

While the CHS varsity has a senior-heavy roster, the young guns had their moment to shine, as well.

Sophomore Maya Toomey-Stout ran off nine straight points on her serve, with her play glistening as brightly as her new shoes, while freshman Chelsea Prescott made her varsity debut in the second set.

The Wolves capped things with another burst of creativity in the final set, mixing in the power of Briscoe and Elfrank, who were twin titans of terror, with a tip for a winner on which Emma Smith seemed to defy the laws of gravity.

Going airborne, the elegant warrior hung motionless for a lifetime, then, right before having to return to the surly confines of Earth, used a couple of graceful finger-tips to direct a wayward ball one way while the Cowboy defense went the other.

The match, which had been over for a long time prior, officially ended on yet another blow off the fist of Briscoe, who was one of five Wolves to collect four or more kills on the night.

McGranahan (5), Elfrank (5), Aparicio (4), Briscoe (4) and Scout Smith (4) took full advantage of the balls set up for them by Rose (13 assists) and Menges (12), who were on top of their game as a two-headed setter supreme.

Lodell and Aparicio paced the Wolves with three digs apiece. Though, to be honest, Coupeville spent very little time having to deal with any full-scale Chimacum attacks.

While there is always room for improvement, CHS coach Cory Whitmore wore a relaxed smile as he assessed his team’s performance.

“I felt like we had moments of brilliance,” he said. “We built momentum and finished strongly.

“I especially liked that when I called timeouts, they not only made the fixes we needed to, but they anticipated what I was going to say and were already prepared to correct what needed to be corrected.”

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   Sage Renninger set up the winning goal in a 3-2 thriller Tuesday night. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Playoff ticket? Punched.

While the postseason brackets haven’t been released yet, three teams have advanced out of the 1A Olympic League every year the conference has been active.

If that stays true, and there seems to be no reason it won’t, the Coupeville High School girls soccer squad has clinched one of those slots.

Riding a late goal from breakout freshman star Genna Wright, the Wolves escaped with a nail-biting 3-2 win over visiting Chimacum Tuesday night.

The victory lifts CHS to 4-1 in league play, 6-4 overall and pulls it within a half game of league leader Klahowya (4-0, 9-0).

Port Townsend (1-3, 2-6) and Chimacum (0-5, 0-6) round out the standings, and, with the loss, the Cowboys can’t finish ahead of Coupeville.

If both teams were to take opposite paths and somehow end up tied at 4-5 in league play at the end of the season, the Wolves would own a tiebreaker for winning the season series.

While Tuesday’s game wasn’t a romp like the first time the schools played — back then Coupeville strolled to a 7-2 win — it showcased the Wolves at their gritty best.

Kalia Littlejohn found the back of the net early in the game to stake CHS to a lead, but the plucky Cowboys responded with a pair of goals to shake things up.

“After that we settled down and got our defense in order,” Coupeville coach Kyle Nelson said.

Littlejohn banged home her 15th goal of the season midway through the first half to knot the game at two, and that’s where it stayed for quite some time.

Coupeville had numerous second-half opportunities, but the Cowboys escaped time and again, until Sage Renninger broke the defense.

The senior captain rifled a “well-taken corner kick” and put it on Wright’s toe, allowing the young sharpshooter to flick it past the net-minder with “a great finish.”

It was Wright’s eighth score of the season, leaving her just two shy of the team single-season record for goals by a freshman.

That mark of ten goals was set two years ago by none other than Littlejohn.

Now midway through her junior season, Kalia’s two-goal night Tuesday pulls her to 33 career goals, two back of older sister Mia, who scored 35 from 2014-2016.

With the win, the Wolves, who have back-to-back non-league tilts against 2A schools Port Angeles and Sequim up next on the schedule, improved to 3-1 in one-goal games this season.

While he might have preferred another romp, a win is a win, especially when it comes against a rival, something Nelson could appreciate.

“Another league victory, so it was a good night, even if it was close,” he said.

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