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Posts Tagged ‘Scout Smith’

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:

https://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/Coupeville-Volleyball-2018-2019/VB-2018-09-08-SW-Tournament/

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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Ethan Spark rolled to a win in the 6th annual Coupeville Sports Athlete Supreme poll. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

The early days of a future champ.

Early in his high school basketball career, Ethan Spark blew up an entire bench.

Chasing a loose ball, he exploded through a wall of chairs, knocking other players left and right, before ultimately spinning and completely destroying a large water jug that was minding its own business.

In the aftermath, with bodies, chairs and water everywhere, Spark surveyed the scene and a small smile graced his face.

I’d like to think he was wearing the same face over the past 100 hours as his fan club carved a bloody path through the voting for the 6th annual Coupeville Sports Athlete Supreme.

Team Spark hit hard and fast, built a pretty-insurmountable 8,000 vote lead for its Wolf senior, went quiet for a bit, then dropped the hammer in the final stages.

The supporters of sophomore Scout Smith, trying to carry her to a win like older brothers CJ and Hunter, made a sustained 24-hour run to carve the lead in half.

But, once the lead dipped below 4,000 votes, Spark’s support crew went ballistic.

Throwing down 100 votes in 10 seconds at one point (seriously) they made sure their guy would come out on top.

And, of course he did, joining Nick Streubel, Amanda Fabrizi, CJ Smith, Hunter Smith and Joey Lippo (who still holds the record for most votes tallied in a single year) as “winners” of a totally fake award.

After 100 hours of voting, the top five from a field of 25 were:

Spark (18,374 votes)

Scout Smith (8,787)

Danny Conlisk (1,300)

Kyle Rockwell (782)

Matt Hilborn (746)

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Scout Smith had a double and three RBI Friday. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

In the moment, this one stings.

When you’re repping an itty-bitty 1A school, playing on the road against a large 2A school, and hold the lead for much of the afternoon, losing a game in the final moment is not what you planned for, hoped for, or fought to accomplish.

So, in the moment, falling 7-6 to Port Angeles Friday, with the tying and winning runs coming in on a wild play in the bottom of the seventh, is a killer for the Coupeville High School softball squad.

But as bad as it stings, and it surely does, you don’t want to forget what the Wolves have accomplished, and what heights they can still achieve.

CHS finished the regular season 11-7 despite a patched-together schedule which had them playing 10 of 18 on the road and a third of their games against 2A schools.

They also swept Klahowya to claim the Olympic League title, their first conference crown since 2002.

That sends them to the West Central District 3 playoffs May 18-19 as a #1 seed, two wins from a trip to state.

The key for the Wolves will be to spend the next week focusing on everything that has gone right, not allowing a few down moments to consume their thoughts.

While tweaks are always necessary — Coupeville has uncharacteristically struggled on defense in recent games, while its big bats are in a bit of a slump — the team is in prime position to make a playoff run if the players embrace their destiny.

Districts are played on turf fields, while the Wolves have spent the regular season on grass, so the squad will head to NAS Whidbey this coming week to get in practice time on the different surface.

When they look for positives from Friday’s game, they can point to a sweet catch in left by Nicole Laxton, who elevated to snare a long drive right before it cleared her head.

The way Mackenzie Davis came charging out of the far dugout on foul balls over the backstop, then floored it, cleats clattering on asphalt to beat Roughrider rivals time and again who had a shorter distance to run, but a lot less heart.

Mollie Bailey’s funky drumming, as the fab frosh kept up a lively beat with her drum sticks when not in the game.

Or they can study Scout Smith’s at-bats, as she was the lone truly consistent Wolf at the plate against PA.

First time up, a note-perfect bunt which set up the game’s opening run.

Second time, a thunderous two-run double which shot down the line in left field and curled inwards at the last possible moment to tear a chunk out of fair territory.

Third time, an RBI ground-out to stretch Coupeville’s lead out to its largest margin.

Where the Wolves did have issues Friday was in keeping a consistent offensive attack going, and then preventing the Roughriders from scraping their way back into the game.

CHS got on the board in the first thanks to a little luck and some nice hustle from Lauren Rose.

The senior shortstop led off the game by slapping a liner that banged off a glove for an error, took second when the throw skipped past the first-baseman, then scooted to third on Smith’s bunt.

Perched on third, Rose bounced up and down, then shot home on a passed ball, making the local scoreboard operator get to work early.

Unfortunately, Coupeville’s offense stalled out for a bit after that, and the Wolves fell behind 2-1 after two innings.

A triple to right from Kiana Watson-Charles, the first of two epic blasts from the PA sophomore, was big.

But a successful double steal by the Roughriders and a ball airmailed into right by Coupeville on another play were the real killers.

The Wolves fought back in the third, putting together their one sustained offensive attack of the game.

It started when freshman Coral Caveness out-hustled a throw to first after PA dropped a third strike.

After Emma Mathusek reached on a fielder’s choice in which PA’s only choice was to look one way, then the other, then hold the ball, CHS got back-to-back two-baggers from Rose and Smith.

Smith’s blast gave Coupeville the lead, before an RBI ground-out from Sarah Wright staked the Wolves to a 5-2 lead.

With Katrina McGranahan humming in the pitcher’s circle — she finished with 10 strike-outs — CHS held the Roughriders scoreless in the third and fourth.

Mathusek singled and came around on Smith’s run-scoring ground-out to push the lead to 6-2 heading into the bottom of the fifth.

That, though, was when Watson-Charles took over the game.

She mashed the stuffing out of the ball, driving a two-run home-run over the left-field fence to cut the margin to 6-4, then came on to pitch.

Retiring all six Wolves she faced across the sixth and seventh innings, Watson-Charles gave PA a fighting chance, and the Roughriders jumped on the opportunity.

They plated a run in the sixth to cut the lead to 6-5, but CHS escaped further damage when first-baseman Veronica Crownover made a nimble, unassisted put-out on a hot grounder for the third out.

There was no escape in the seventh, however.

PA used a single, a Coupeville error (on a hard-hit ball by Watson-Charles) and a walk to load the bags with one out, then won the game on the kind of shot you usually see on a pool table.

The ball came off a Roughrider bat and skittered wildly past the pitcher’s circle as the tying run charged home.

In the rush to make the play, Coupeville’s throw home skipped wild, as well, allowing the winning run to also tap the plate.

In the immediate aftermath, it was a rough way to lose the regular-season finale.

But, this is a talented Wolf team, full of players capable of great things. Their moment is still there, waiting to be seized.

“This was a tough game for us,” said Coupeville coach Kevin McGranahan. “We have a lot of things to work on this week and we will definitely give districts our best.”

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   “Dang, scored too many runs and broke the counter again…” (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The tune-up went off flawlessly.

Playing on the road a day before its biggest game in 16 years, the Coupeville High School softball squad was humming Thursday afternoon.

Crushing 20 hits in just five innings of play, the Wolves obliterated La Conner 18-3 in a game which could have been far, far more one-sided.

CHS coach Kevin McGranahan gave quality time to bench players, never used his pitching ace in the circle and had the big boppers in his lineup practice their in-game bunting skills late in the game.

And still the Wolves romped, running their record to 8-3 headed into Friday’s home rumble with Klahowya.

Win that game (and CHS shellacked the Eagles 15-1 the first time around) and Coupeville clinches its first league title since 2002.

Thanks to rain and a patch-work schedule, Klahowya hasn’t played a single game since being bashed by the Wolves.

Meanwhile, Coupeville has gotten in another seven non-conference contests, going 5-2 with just losses to powerhouse Forks, during that time.

“We are as ready as we can be for Klahowya tomorrow and can now squarely set our sights on them,” Kevin McGranahan said.

His squad, even missing star shortstop Lauren Rose, who was off looking at colleges, played just about to perfection against La Conner.

Coupeville’s pitching ace, Katrina McGranahan, rested her arm, pulling time at short and third while the young guns, sophomore Scout Smith and freshman Chelsea Prescott, shared time in the circle.

Smith whiffed a pair of Braves sluggers while tossing the first two innings, made a sensational running catch over her shoulder at short in the fourth, then returned to close the game in the fifth.

Prescott, who has been a fixture at third base from day one of the season, made her varsity pitching debut and fired BB’s past La Conner in the third and fourth.

With the young duo humming, Coupeville wouldn’t have needed many runs to win. But good luck trying to stop the express train when it’s rolling.

The Wolves unloaded for five runs in both the first and second innings and put the game out of sight early.

While CHS got RBI singles from Katrina McGranahan, Sarah Wright and Mackenzie Davis in the top of the first (two other runs came around thanks to smart base-running), there was one early at-bat which wowed the gathered masses.

That came courtesy Wolf first-baseman Veronica Crownover, who worked the La Conner hurler through approximately 237 pitches.

The Coupeville junior crushed the snot out of a pair of foul balls which curved to the left and ended up down around Fidalgo Island to start things off.

Both were wicked liners which banged off of nearby buildings and would have been home runs if Crownover had gotten either ball to straighten out slightly.

La Conner’s pitcher had the look of a deer gazing softly into a semi truck’s oncoming headlights, and seemed genuinely relieved when the next foul ball went straight back and buried itself into a patch of trees.

Fouls #4 and #5 shot down the third-base line, with the second one causing Kevin McGranahan to jump a good two feet into the air to keep from earning a tattoo on his ankle.

“Ha! Didn’t think I could do that, did you??” the CHS coach chuckled, then took a quick step or two back as Crownover hefted her bat once more.

She finally reached base, coasting into second base after blasting a shot to left-center which skidded off the center-fielder’s glove and bounced madly away.

The whole let’s-smash-the-heck-outta-the-ball plan was just getting started, however.

Cue the second inning and Prescott, who strode to the plate with the bases juiced and no outs.

A single by Coral Caveness, a walk to Katrina McGranahan and Wright beating out a chopper set the table, and then the full meal was served.

Prescott, going full Mike Trout on the ball, crushed it, sending a cannon shot which punched a hole in the heavens, curled hard and plunged, biting a chunk of turf out of the deepest part of right field.

With first-base coach Ron Wright having a stroke yelling at his runners to get their feet moving before Prescott passed them, the fab frosh never broke stride, sliding under the tag for an inside-the-park grand salami.

And yet, there’s more! Much more!

Coupeville still had nine more runs to plate on this day, with Emma Mathusek, Nicole Laxton (twice) and Smith (twice) collecting RBI base-knocks in the later going.

Add a run-scoring ground-out off the bat of freshman Mollie Bailey, and the only thing preventing the Wolves from short-circuiting the scoreboard was their own sense of humility and fair play.

When Wright, your clean-up hitter, a basher and a bruiser who entered the game hitting .500 on the season, is dropping a bunt in the fifth (and safely making it to first), the brakes are as fully-applied as possible.

“They (La Conner) were a young team and learning as they go,” Kevin McGranahan said.

Coupeville spread the love, with nine of 11 active players getting a hit.

Prescott, Katrina McGranahan and Mathusek led the way with three base-knocks apiece, while Smith, Caveness, Wright, Crownover and Laxton collected two apiece.

Davis added a hit on a pool table shot that drifted past the pitcher, then spun madly, while Bailey had an RBI and Hope Lodell walked and played stellar defense in center.

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