Posts Tagged ‘Scout Smith’

Emma Smith threw down big hits from every angle Saturday as Coupeville volleyball pulled off a stunning come-from-behind win at the district tourney. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Jennifer Menges was vibrating in place.

Rocking back and forth on the hard wooden bleachers in the cramped Lynden Christian Middle School gym Saturday, her legs bouncing as she bit her bottom lip, arms tensing and un-tensing, she had just about reached her limit.

“I can’t freakin’ take this!!!!” she half-whispered.

Then, a moment later, as her daughter Ashley and her Coupeville High School volleyball teammates celebrated an improbable, incredible miracle win to keep their season alive, Jennifer’s smile exploded.

“Who am I kidding? I LOVE THIS!!!!!!” she giggled as Wolf moms pummeled each other, hugging away the stress and embracing the joy.

Down on the court, their daughters, having been two points from elimination only to rally like stone-cold killers, did the same.

Having pulled off a five-set revenge win against league rival Cedar Park Christian, the Wolves earned a split on day one of the two-day district tourney, and guaranteed themselves at least one more postseason match.

Coupeville, 11-4 after a four-set loss to Meridian, followed by their wild ride to victory against CPC, plays Nooksack Valley (7-9) in a 5 PM loser-out game Tuesday, Oct. 30 in Lynden.

Win, and the Wolves clinch a trip to bi-districts Nov. 3, while first returning to the court at 6:30 Tuesday to face the winner of South Whidbey (10-7) and Meridian (5-12) in a match to decide the #3 and #4 seeds from District 1.

Lynden Christian (14-2) and King’s (15-1), who have already clinched bi-district slots after winning both of their matches Saturday, play for the district title and the #1 and #2 seeds.


Tough loss to Meridian:

The Trojans entered the tourney with a losing record, but that’s based more on a small school playing in a cutthroat 1A/2A/3A league, than on their talent level.

Taking advantage of Coupeville errors, Meridian rolled to a 25-16, 23-25, 25-18, 25-23 win, putting the Wolves on the cusp of elimination.

For a brief second CHS looked locked in, jumping out to a quick 2-0 lead in the opening set thanks to two strong serves from Scout Smith and a hammered spike off the pain-inducing fingers of big hitter Emma Smith.

Then things lurched the other way, and didn’t get corrected for quite a bit.

Once the Trojans snatched their first lead, they relentlessly pecked away, getting two or three points to every one Coupeville put on the board.

Though, even then, the Wolves were often fighting two foes, as the scoreboard operator, who apparently couldn’t fathom that CHS was playing as the home team in both matches, spent much of the day awarding points to the wrong team.

With a strong Coupeville cheering section having made the trip to the hinterlands, the hootin’ and hollerin’ hit appropriately rowdy levels as the validity of the scoreboard was frequently, and loudly, called into question.

At one point, the head judge, up on her perch at the net, whipped around, cast a frosty look at the Cow Town brigade and snapped, “The score is correct!”

It was, once again, not.

While not being willing to offer an apology upon realizing she was wrong, the judge did refrain from speaking to, or even looking at, Wolf fans the rest of the match.

She did hunch her shoulders every time cries about the scoreboard came up after that, though, so we had that going for us, which was nice.

Even when the points were awarded correctly, however, the Wolf spikers couldn’t string enough of them together in a row to blunt Meridian’s charge.

Hannah Davidson, Chelsea Prescott, Scout Smith, Ashley Menges and Emma Smith all figured in blocks at the net, while Davidson nailed a gorgeous running tip for a winner, but it was too little to stem the tide.

Things changed for the better in the second set, but it took a moment.

Down 4-0 in the blink of an eye, CHS got on the scoreboard (well, not at first…) when Emma Smith floated through the air like a butterfly, then stung like a bee, dropping a dagger into an empty hole in the defense.

A tip winner from Maya Toomey-Stout forced the first of nine ties in the second frame, with the stalemates running from 6-6 to as late as 23-23.

Coupeville actually trailed as late as 20-18, before a mammoth spike from Emma Smith tore a gaping hole in Meridian’s willpower and kicked off a set-closing 7-3 run for the Wolves.

The senior captain launched missiles from all directions while playing in front of a large group of family, before Davidson punctuated things with a rolling spike to seal the set win.

With the match knotted at a set apiece, the Wolves grabbed the early lead in the third frame, but couldn’t hold on to it.

Prescott ripped off a Trojan arm with a slice ‘n dice spike, Menges went all “Smashley” on her foes and CHS pulled off an amazing save on a ball stuck in the net, but it wan’t quite enough. Once Meridian snatched the lead at 11-10, it closed the set convincingly.

The fourth set was a killer, in more ways than one.

After trailing almost the entire way, from 1-0 all the way to 19-12, Coupeville dug deep and found some magic.

With Prescott rifling serves and Emma Smith bashing the snot out of the ball, the Wolves went on an unexpected 7-0 tear to force a tie at 19 apiece.

Then CHS promptly fell back apart, giving up a 5-1 run to stake Meridian to a 24-20 lead.

And yet, the Wolves, in full Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde mode, almost pulled off another stunner, holding off three match points, thanks to a Toomey-Stout tip and back-to-back blazing serves o’ death by Menges.

In a match suddenly popping with fury and fire, the final point was less than anticlimactic, as the head judge, perhaps still frosty, dinged Coupeville on a questionable carry call.


Wild win against Cedar Park:

During the rest period between matches, the Wolves looked tired, hot, disappointed and melancholy, but not — and this is the biggie — defeated.

Facing a foe with which they had split two regular-season matches, Coupeville saved its best for last, somehow pulling out a 25-27, 25-13, 21-25, 25-23, 15-8 victory to inject new life into its season.

The stretch of play which will live large in memory came when the Wolves were at their lowest.

Trailing two sets to one, and down 23-18 in the fourth after a 6-1 Cedar Park run had erased a 17-17 tie and sent the two Eagles fans in attendance into hysterics, Coupeville needed a miracle.

Enter the duo of Davidson and Scout Smith.

Rising as one, even if the former is more than a few inches taller than the latter, the two Wolves caught a would-be CPC winner and rejected it right back in the face of the hitter.

That set off a set-closing 7-0 run, with Davidson scoring the final six points with precision serves and some ball-crunching help from Prescott, flying through the air and playing out of her mind.

With each Wolf point, the impossible became a bit more probable, the already vocal Coupeville fans made the small gym rock, and the Eagle spikers visibly pulled back within themselves.

Suddenly, Cedar Park wasn’t playing to win, but merely to survive, and the Wolves pounced on their prey, tearing them apart in huge, snapping bites.

Once it had the fourth set in hand, CHS used its superior power to brutalize the Eagles in the fifth frame.

Emma Smith lashed a winner, Prescott smoked a put-away, and Toomey-Stout ascended to a new dimension of sight and sound, in which each of her winners erupted in full technicolor and surround sound.

The moment when you knew the match was over, truly over, came not on the final point. Instead it came earlier, when Toomey-Stout bashed a ball off a rival player’s surprised face.

The Eagle staggered a few steps and remained on her feet, but her heart and soul departed her body at that precise moment, perhaps never to return.

Coupeville’s comeback, and the big bang unleashed by “The Gazelle,” capped a rubber match in which both teams came hard on every play, and unsung warriors like libero Emma Mathusek stood tall.

Or actually, dove, as Mathusek dug ball after ball off the wood floor, keeping alive rallies in which the teams were separated by just a small error here, a smaller miscue there.

The opening set featured 11 ties, with the first one not coming until 10-10, as the Wolves had to scrape to get back in the match.

Surprisingly, even though it felt like it, a check of the stats shows Coupeville never actually led in the opening frame. And, while it fought off two set points, there was no such luck when facing a third one.

The second set was a complete reversal, with Scout Smith compiling two strong runs at the service stripe, while Emma Smith smashed everything within a one-mile radius of her rapidly-descending fist.

Bolting out to a 6-1 lead, the Wolves stretched it out to 23-11 and cruised in with the win to knot the match at a set apiece.

Cedar Park snatched back the momentum, however, leading almost start to finish in the third set, despite stellar play at the net from Davidson.

All of which set up the fourth-set miracle, as Coupeville, behind big kills from Emma Smith, Prescott and Toomey-Stout and a sweet mini hook shot by Scout Smith, refused to give up.

With cameos from swing players Zoe Trujillo and Lucy Sandahl, who popped in to pound a few serves, and vocal bench support from Willow Vick, Maddie Vondrak and Raven Vick, the Wolves lived and died as a tightly-knit unit.

One team, one dream.

That they ultimately lived, thrived and get to play on, is just the cherry on top of the sundae.


The district bracket:


The bi-district bracket:


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Sophomore Chelsea Prescott, seen in an earlier match, was one of many Wolves who played strongly Tuesday in a loss to defending state champ King’s. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Champions respond.

Coupeville knocked King’s down, but not out, Tuesday, as the top two volleyball squads in the North Sound Conference waged a brawl on Whidbey.

And, while the Wolves became just the third team to take a set from the defending 1A state champs this season, the Knights responded with fire and fury, holding off CHS 21-25, 25-15, 25-19, 25-19.

With the win, King’s (9-0 in league play, 12-1 overall) clinches the conference crown and a #1 seed heading into the district playoffs.

CHS (6-3, 9-3) closes the regular season at home Wednesday, when it hosts Sultan (1-8, 4-9) on Senior Night.

A South Whidbey (5-4, 8-6) win over Cedar Park Christian (5-4, 9-6) Tuesday cleared the field for the Wolves. Crush the Turks behind 12th graders Emma Smith and Ashley Menges, and Coupeville finishes second in the six-team league.

As the #2 seed from the NSC, Coupeville travels to Lynden Christian High School Saturday, Oct. 27, where it opens the double-elimination tourney against the #3 seed from the Northwest Conference, likely Meridian (3-11).

Facing off with the best team 1A has to offer Tuesday, the Wolves pushed the big-hitting, high-flying Knights hard.

Menges smoked an early ace off the back line, and that seemed to jam an IV full of adrenaline right into the collective chest of her teammates.

Flying up the middle, then rising with a majestic bound to inflict great pain and suffering on those who dared to face her wrath, Maya Toomey-Stout lashed a winner that left a scorched mark down the center of the court.

That set off her partner in the big hit business, as Emma Smith soared above the net, using her long reach and deadly fingertips to deny back-to-back King’s kills.

Not content with merely stuffing her rivals, something she did four times during the match, she promptly mashed her own winner to cap her mini-run o’ success.

Up 15-11 after Menges floated past the net and flicked a tip between two Knights for a point, the Wolves were cruising.

As much as you can cruise against a team where every one of its players can launch nuclear strikes.

King’s ripped off a few eye-popping, and knee-quaking, kills to even things back at 15-15, but Coupeville didn’t flinch or pull back.

Instead, the Wolves immediately struck, with Scout Smith flicking a sweet sky-hook for a winner, followed by Emma Smith launching a rocket that exploded a King’s players knee when it hit pay-dirt.

Emma Smith put Coupeville on set point with a gorgeous serve which looped through the air over the heads of the Knights, only to drop like an anvil and bite the line at the very last millisecond.

King’s, even with its back to the wall, didn’t back down, holding off two set points, before Toomey-Stout, flying in from the left side, thunked the set-clinching point right down the line where no one had a chance to return it.

You don’t win a state title, though, and contend for the same every year, without being resilient.

The Knights responded with a roar, sweeping the next three sets without trailing once after the opening frame.

King’s made few mistakes, took advantage of every small error, blistered the ball and approached each point with a confidence born of repeated winning.

Not that Coupeville made it easy, however.

While the Wolves couldn’t quite recapture the magic of the opening set, they fought like the dickens, constantly keeping plays alive long after they seemed dead.

Emma Mathusek, Chelsea Prescott and Toomey-Stout made an art out of chasing down booming spikes into the far corners of the court, and beyond, getting an arm, or a fist, or an elbow, on the runaway orb and spinning the ball back into play.

Once the ball was propelled skyward, Wolf setter Scout Smith made smart passing choices, giving her hitters a fighting chance.

Toomey-Stout, seemingly much-recovered from battling a fall croup which has ripped through the CHS squad, made sure King’s will remember her.

Mashing the ball from all angles, “The Gazelle” delivered a team-high 11 kills, none more impressive than when she caved in the forehead of an unlucky Knight caught transfixed like a deer in the headlights.

Even while dropping the final three sets, Coupeville continued to nip at King’s heels, something their coach appreciated.

“I’m excited we competed the way we did,” Cory Whitmore said. “We wanted to show we had improved, that we weren’t scared of a very good team, one of the benchmark teams in the state.

“We want to be playing our best volleyball at the end of the season,” he added. “We did a good job of focusing on that tonight.”

Mathusek, who sacrifices her body as Coupeville’s libero, and often doesn’t get a chance to show up in the stat spotlight while doing the dirty work, earned big praise from Whitmore.

Emma had fire in her game tonight,” he said. “They actively avoided her on the service return, hitting away from her.”

Her teammates played with passion, as well, as Scout Smith (20 assists, three aces), Emma Smith (six kills, four blocks), Menges (four digs, three aces), Prescott (10 digs) and Hannah Davidson (two aces) helped keep stat keeper Heidi Meyers busy.

Toomey-Stout went low for 16 digs to go with her 11 kills, while Mathusek paced the Wolves with 20 digs.

Rounding out a solid team-wide effort was swing player Lucy Sandahl, who, after huggin’ and smoochin’ parents Jeannie and Michael pre-match, ripped off aces on two of her three serve attempts.


JV falls:

King’s second unit, a highly-polished group with its own assortment of big-time hitters, could beat a lot of varsity teams.

So, while Coupeville put up a brave effort, its 25-13, 25-11, 25-8 loss wasn’t totally unexpected.

The defeat dropped the young Wolves to 3-6 in league play, 5-7 overall.

CHS kept things close for half a set, battling to a 12-11 lead in the opening frame, with Abby Mulholland and Izzy Wells dropping in winners while Raven Vick crushed a service ace off of a girl’s chest.

It was there that King’s flipped a switch, however, rolling off nine straight points, and 14 of the next 15, to close out the opening set.

Coupeville’s lone point during the onslaught came from Sandahl, who moved in to deliver a set, only to catch the defense by surprise by flicking a winner over her shoulder instead.

Vick and Maddie Vondrak hammered winners in the second set, while Abby Meyers spent much of the third frame somersaulting and lunging, selling out on every play as she did her best to keep the ball alive and stem the Knights big-play offense.

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Only two 1A volleyball players currently have more assists than Coupeville junior Scout Smith. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Everyone is chipping in.

As the Coupeville High School volleyball squad preps for its biggest match of the still-young season — a first-place showdown in Shoreline Tuesday against King’s — the Wolf spikers boast a flawless 5-0 record.

They’re doing it by getting solid contributions from everyone on the roster, from Chelsea Prescott ripping off wicked serves to Emma Smith dominating at the net.

Five matches in, that duo accounts for the top slot in seven of ten statistical categories, with Prescott tops in digs, aces, service points and service percentage.

Emma Smith is #1 in kill percentage, blocks and hitting percentage, while Scout Smith (assists), Maya Toomey-Stout (kills) and Emma Mathusek (service returns) each top a single category.

Three of those Wolves are also among the best in all of 1A in a stat category, with Scout Smith leading the way at #3 in assists.


Stats through Oct. 1:


Matches Played:

Hannah Davidson 5
Emma Mathusek 5
Ashley Menges 5
Chelsea Prescott 5
Emma Smith 5
Scout Smith 5
Maya Toomey-Stout 5
Zoe Trujillo 4
Lucy Sandahl 2
Raven Vick 1
Maddie Vondrak 1


Toomey-Stout 52 (#10 in 1A)
E. Smith 48
Menges 27
Davidson 23
Prescott 17
Trujillo 3
S. Smith 2
Mathusek 1

Kill Percentage:

E. Smith 44.9
Menges 33.9
Davidson 31.1
Mathusek 25.0
Trujillo 25.0
Toomey-Stout 24.1
Prescott 17.5
S. Smith 13.3

Hitting Percentage:

E. Smith .299 (#4 in 1A)
Davidson .122
Toomey-Stout .051
Menges .049


Prescott 68
Toomey-Stout 54
Mathusek 47
Menges 36
S. Smith 28
E. Smith 14
Davidson 9
Trujillo 1
Vick 1


E. Smith 12
S. Smith 6
Menges 4
Davidson 3

Service Returns:

Mathusek 90
Toomey-Stout 89
Menges 56
Prescott 56
Davidson 5


S. Smith 141 (#3 in 1A)
Menges 15
E. Smith 4
Prescott 3
Davidson 2
Mathusek 1
Toomey-Stout 1

Serving Percentage:

Prescott 91.9
S. Smith 91.3
Toomey-Stout 90.0
Davidson 89.5
E. Smith 89.0
Menges 87.3
Trujillo 83.3
Vick 66.7
Sandahl 50.0

Service Points:

Prescott 50
S. Smith 49
E. Smith 46
Menges 39
Toomey-Stout 29
Davidson 15
Vick 2
Sandahl 1
Trujillo 1

Service Aces:

Prescott 20
Menges 17
E. Smith 15
S. Smith 11
Toomey-Stout 9
Davidson 3
Sandahl 1

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Emma Mathusek, who paced Coupeville in digs Saturday at the South Whidbey Invite, gets the Wolves rolling. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Eryn Wood scrapes a shot off the floor.

Abby Meyers prepares to launch a missile.

No volleyball shall escape Maddie Vondrak.

“I’m very happy about the progress that we made.”

Coupeville High School volleyball coach Cory Whitmore was all smiles after his spikers rallied to finish second at Saturday’s eight-team South Whidbey Invite.

The Wolf varsity won 11 of 14 sets, finishing with a +77 point differential, at the all-day tourney.

Not bad for a day which started on a slightly sour note.

Maybe thrown off by the early start time, Coupeville’s varsity dropped its first set to South Whidbey’s JV team.

“Definitely our low point,” Whitmore said. “It was a great lesson in arriving ready to play and focused no matter the team across the net.”

The Wolves roared right back to take the second set, however, and then stepped up big against the South Whidbey varsity.

Both the Wolves and Falcons went to the state tourney last season, and both want to make a run at defending state champs King’s when the new North Sound Conference begins league play.

CHS drew first blood, winning the opening set 25-14, before dropping a close second frame to the Falcons.

“I was very excited to see us step out on the court and play with confidence and tenacity,” Whitmore said. “They came back and took the second set, as we let their strong attack affect our game-plan too much, but, like with every game, we had great lessons from which to build.”

Coupeville also split sets with North Mason, while sweeping Friday Harbor, Lopez Island, Bremerton (all varsity teams) and the Wolf JV.

“I truly felt with each passing game, we became more and more cohesive as a unit, had a new lesson to face and with it, gained the experience that will help to take us through competitive play in league and into playoffs,” Whitmore said.

“Each player had some great moments throughout the day and playing 14 sets in a day is a challenge, mentally and physically,” he added. “I’m very proud about how this team played strong even toward the end of the Invite.”

Maya Toomey-Stout (32 kills, 12 digs, 11 service aces), Ashley Menges (14 kills, 15 aces, 30 assists) and Chelsea Prescott (10 kills, 19 digs, 11 aces) led the way, filling up the stat sheet.

Emma Smith dropped 29 thunderous kills and 16 scorching aces, while Scout Smith laced 18 aces and fired up a team-high 45 assists.

Rounding out a very-balanced attack, Hannah Davidson thumped 10 kills and 12 aces, while Emma Mathusek scraped the floor for a team-best 25 digs.


JV plays strongly:

While the varsity roared to the top, Coupeville’s second squad also acquitted itself quite nicely.

“I just want to say how proud and excited I am about how they progressed throughout the day,” Whitmore said. “Being early in the season, it’s a steep learning curve, especially for our freshman.

“To play against six varsity-level teams and get stronger and stronger as the day went on, that is something to be excited about.”

While he was impressed with everyone on the JV roster, he singled out Raven Vick, Maddie Vondrak and Lucy Sandahl for particular praise.

“All three played six rotations, without break, in 14 sets,” Whitmore said.

Lucy was the primary setter, tracking down passes and putting up reliable sets.” he added. “Raven served tough and anchored the passing line combined with a strong outside attack.

“Playing middle block, Maddie was fast along the net, but I was especially impressed with her playing very well in the back row as well. With only one match to practice, she did a phenomenal job playing all-the-way-around.”


To see all the photos John Fisken shot at the Invite, pop over to:


And, when you do, remember, purchases help fund scholarships for CHS students/athletes.

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   Wolf spikers (l to r) Scout Smith, Emma Mathusek, Emma Smith and Maya Toomey-Stout work hard, and play hard. (Photo courtesy Cory Whitmore)

They clean the outside, and inside, of every car! (Maria Reyes photo)

Rain, what rain?

Dodging the liquid sunshine Saturday, Coupeville High School volleyball players held a fundraising car wash, while also finding time to test out the snazzy vehicles already on site at Ebey Academy.


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