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Net sensei Ken Stange and the CHS tennis team kicked off a busy week with a trip to Redmond. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It’s a busy week for the Wolf netters.

Barring any more rain, the Coupeville High School boys tennis team is scheduled to play four matches in the next five days as they hurtle towards the end of the regular season.

While other fall sports still have as much as half their schedule to play, the netters are set to wrap up action Oct. 15, before heading to the Emerald City League championships Oct. 19.

Monday afternoon a depleted Wolf roster was on the courts in Redmond, where they fell 5-0 to Overlake in a match far closer than that score might sound.

Coupeville, now 1-9 on the season, came within a tiebreaker of winning at first and second doubles.

The Wolves, who only have a nine-man roster at full strength, were missing two players Monday, which also meant they ended up forfeiting at #2 singles.

 

Complete Monday results:

1st Singles — Drake Borden lost 6-3, 6-0

2nd Singles — Forfeit

1st Doubles — James Wood/Mason Grove lost 6-2, 4-6, 10-8

2nd Doubles — Zach Ginnings/Andrew Aparicio lost 7-6(7-1), 3-6, 10-4

3rd Doubles — Miles Davidson/Thane Peterson lost 6-1, 6-3

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Drake Borden cruised to a one-sided win at #1 singles Friday, but Coupeville fell to visiting Overlake. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It could have gone either way. Literally.

Using a late rally across the day’s final two matches Friday, Overlake flipped what could have been a 3-2 loss into a 4-1 win.

Unable to hold on to a lead in #2 singles and #2 doubles, the Coupeville High School boys tennis team watched the home match slip away, and fell to 1-4 in Emerald City League play.

“For a minute, I thought we’d pull it out,” said CHS coach Ken Stange. “We were down 2-1, but had won the first set (in the final two matches).

“If they pulled them out, we would’ve won. So close!”

Coupeville’s Drake Borden stormed to an easy win at #1 singles, his second victory in the last three days, to earn the Wolves what would turn out to be their only point.

Fellow singles player Thane Peterson and the doubles duo of Andrew Aparicio and Zach Ginnings were both a set up in their matches, but couldn’t hang on to the momentum as their bouts played out.

As long as the rain stays away, the Wolves will be busy next week, playing three times.

They travel to Bear Creek Monday, Sept. 23, host Seattle Academy Wednesday, then hit the road Friday for the short drive to South Whidbey.

 

Complete Friday results:

1st Singles — Drake Borden won 6-1, 6-1

2nd Singles — Thane Peterson lost 4-6, 6-2, 10-6

1st Doubles — James Wood/Mason Grove lost 6-3, 6-1

2nd Doubles — Zach Ginnings/Andrew Aparicio lost 6-7(3-7), 6-3, 6-0

3rd Doubles — Miles Davidson/Koby Schreiber lost 6-0, 6-2

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Bryce Payne scores his first run Saturday, joining older brothers Morgan and Cole as “made men” for CHS baseball. (Joan Payne photo)

The youngest brother is a made man.

Coupeville High School senior Bryce Payne, in his first season with the Wolves, walked and came around to score Saturday, one of the bright spots in a 13-1 loss to visiting Overlake.

While the non-league defeat drops the Wolves to 0-2 as they prepare to head into their first league series, small things like quality work from Coupeville’s pitchers and the identity of the player who scored the lone Wolf run, made the day better.

Bryce follows in the footsteps of older brothers Morgan and Cole, both four-year players, and his first run in a Wolf uniform means the Paynes are one of the few families to have three different players score in a CHS varsity baseball game.

I’m pretty sure there’s a couple of others, probably with names like Zylstra, Cook, or Keefe, but I can’t say for sure, as Coupeville’s baseball history is scattered across many long-missing score books and lineup cards.

Either way, the Paynes are surely in an elite fraternity now, and that’s pretty special.

Overlake, a ritzy private academy, came out firing Saturday, putting up three runs in the top of the first, then adding another seven during a 12-batter second inning.

Their hosts had a few chances to score, most noticeably in their half of the first, but the Wolves couldn’t plate a runner until the bottom of the fifth (and final) inning.

After the first two CHS hitters went down in the bottom of the first, the Wolves juiced the bags on a single from Jake Pease, an error which allowed Dane Lucero to scamper to first, and a walk to Ulrik Wells.

Coupeville fans leaned forward in their seats, anticipating a possible big explosion, but it wasn’t to be as Overlake’s pitcher escaped the jam with an inning-ending strikeout.

After that, the Wolf offense hit a bit of a wall for awhile, going one-two-three the next two innings.

A fourth-inning single from Gavin Knoblich snapped the dry spell, then Coupeville loaded the bases again in the bottom of the fifth.

Walks to Payne, Hawthorne Wolfe, and Pease put a runner atop every bag, before Payne made a mad dash home to score on a passed ball.

Any hopes of an epic comeback withered on the vine, however, as a ground-out to the Overlake shortstop brought the game to an end.

While he’s always looking for a win, Coupeville coach Chris Smith knows he has a young, fairly inexperienced team on his hands, after losing a large class to graduation.

Improvement, in big and small ways, is job #1.

“Pretty happy with our pitching so far,” Smith said. “We had Dane, Hawk and Matt (Hilborn) throw yesterday and Daniel (Olson), Cody (Roberts), and Matt throw today. Pitching has been doing a pretty good job overall.

“And we have been doing a decent job getting on base,” he added. “We just need to get some timely hitting to put some crooked numbers on the scoreboard.”

Coupeville wades into the start of league play next week, and gets to face the biggest and baddest of them all, Cedar Park Christian, early.

The Eagles, who lost 7-4 to 3A Juanita in their only game this season, finished second at the 1A state tourney in 2017, then followed that up with a 4th place showing in 2018.

The teams meet three times next week, playing Monday and Friday in Bothell, while clashing Wednesday in Coupeville.

After that, the Wolves face their final three non-conference foes, Chimacum, University Prep, and Friday Harbor, before playing 12 games against league foes King’s, South Whidbey, Sultan, and Granite Falls.

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Wolf senior Jaschon Baumann teamed with Tiger Johnson to play Monday’s closest match. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Over and done with.

Until next time, at least.

Missing a key player after Mason Grove injured his shoulder pre-match Monday, the Coupeville High School boys tennis squad absorbed a methodical beating at the hands of host Overlake.

The ritzy private school Owls cruised to a 5-0 win in Redmond, dropping the Wolf netters to 1-2 on the season.

Coupeville, which is running the gauntlet this season by playing as a member of the Emerald City League, the top 1A tennis conference in the state, returns to action Wednesday with a home match against Bear Creek.

 

Complete Monday results:

 

Varsity:

1st Singles — Jakobi Baumann lost to Gavin Ybarra 6-2, 6-1

2nd Singles — Drake Borden lost to Anath Iyer 6-1, 6-1

1st Doubles — Zach Ginnings/Jacob Burke lost to Nachiket Kermarkar/Zander Gillett 6-1, 6-0

2nd Doubles — Tiger Johnson/Jaschon Baumann lost to Evan Lauer/Vignav Ramesh 6-4, 6-2

3rd Doubles — James Wood/Koby Schreiber lost to Sammy Yang/Yosup Cho 6-1, 6-1

 

JV:

4th Doubles — Harris Sinclair/Andrew Aparicio lost to Noah Wilson/Rohan Chatterjee 8-0

5th Doubles — Sinclair/Aparicio lost to Brandon Marcus/Yohan Cho 8-1

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   William Nelson teamed with Joey Lippo Friday to knock off a top-level Overlake doubles duo. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

State or bust.

That’s the goal for Coupeville High School senior tennis players William Nelson and Joey Lippo, who came very close to punching their ticket to the big dance last year, and want to clear that last hurdle before graduation.

With that in mind, their performance Friday was sterling.

Bouncing back after suffering their first loss of the season a day earlier, the Wolf doubles duo knocked off a pair of top-tier talents from visiting Overlake in straight sets.

While the ritzy private school powerhouse won the non-conference match 4-1, Lippo and Nelson’s triumph was a big deal, as it came against a duo the Wolf netters are likely to face deep in the postseason.

Their win at #1 doubles also allowed Coupeville to post a better score against Overlake than South Whidbey did, as the Falcons, who had drilled the Wolves Thursday, were blanked 5-0 by the Owls earlier this season.

After struggling to a 1-5 record against strong competition, CHS wades into league play full-force in the next two weeks.

The Wolves play four of their next five matches against Olympic League rivals Klahowya and Chimacum.

Complete Friday results:

Varsity:

1st Singles — Pedro Gamarra lost to Reyhan Virani 6-0, 6-1

2nd Singles — Jakobi Baumann lost to Ananth Iyer 6-2, 6-3

1st Doubles — William Nelson/Joey Lippo beat Wesley Chan/Charlie Hill 6-2, 6-4

2nd Doubles — Nick Etzell/Mason Grove lost to Nachiket Karmarkar/Zander Gillett 6-0, 6-4

3rd Doubles — Nile Lockwood/Zach Ginnings lost to Evan Lauer/Lucas Gavrila 7-6(7-1), 6-2

JV:

4th Doubles — Tiger Johnson/Jaschon Baumann lost 8-1

5th Doubles — Thane Peterson/Drake Borden lost 8-7(7-5)

6th Doubles — Koby Schreiber/Harris Sinclair lost 8-5

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