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Maya Toomey-Stout rang up 11 service aces, nine digs, and eight kills as Coupeville volleyball rolled to a three-set win on opening night. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

The Wolves were dominant, collecting 29 kills and 23 aces as a team.

It was raining Thursday afternoon on Friday Harbor, but the Coupeville High School varsity volleyball squad avoided the liquid sunshine.

Camped in the gym where it was dry, the Wolf spikers contented themselves with lashing winners from the sky, and not dodging falling raindrops.

Racking up 29 kills, to go with 23 service aces, CHS romped to a season-opening win, nailing their non-conference hosts 25-16, 25-6, 25-17.

It might not have been a perfect day of volleyball, as the Wolves adjusted to a new lineup, but it was more than enough to get the win.

“I thought we played OK for our first outing, but the first game of the season jitters were very present,” Coupeville coach Cory Whitmore said. “Took a while to settle into our offense, but serving allowed us to establish ourselves and take the pressure off.”

The Wolves were at their most-ferocious in the middle set, when they rode a long, super-successful run at the service stripe from senior Maya Toomey-Stout and blasted Friday Harbor.

“We especially played strong in the second set, starting at the service line and controlling any balls they returned,” Whitmore said.

When Friday Harbor did get the ball in the air for a potential rally, Coupeville’s big hitters answered “No, no, NOOOO!!” most of the night.

Toomey-Stout blasted eight kills, Zoe Trujillo zinged five, Chelsea Prescott walloped three, freshman Lucy Tenore unleashed the first two of her high school career, and setter Scout Smith even added one put-away.

But the biggest basher of them all was senior Hannah Davidson, who stepped into the spotlight role Thursday, delivering 10 rock-em, sock-em kills which left Friday Harbor players quivering in their shoes.

Hannah played especially well in the middle, finishing with zero errors,” Whitmore said. “She swung hard and smart, which is what we’ll need from her.”

Smith paced the Wolves with 26 assists, while Emma Mathusek collected a team-high 13 digs, and Toomey-Stout amassed nine digs and 11 service aces.

Prescott (five digs), Raven Vick (two digs, five aces), Davidson (three aces), and Lucy Sandahl (two aces) also filled up the stat sheet for Coupeville, which returns to action next Tuesday, Sept. 17, when it travels to Anacortes.

The Wolves home opener is Sept. 21, with Chimacum coming to town.

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Coupeville High School cross country kicked off a new season Thursday at a six-team North Sound Conference meet in Arlington. (Photos by Susan Hulst)

Ready to hit the trail.

Year two got off to a nice start.

The Coupeville High School cross country squad and new coach Luke Samford made their debut Thursday at a six-team meet in Arlington and growth was the word of the day.

The Wolves, who returned to the trails last season after a two-decade absence, have increased their numbers, and are doing so in the best way possible – with the addition of freshmen who could help carry the program for years to come.

Facing off with its fellow North Sound Conference rivals, Coupeville sent nine boys and four girls to the starting line, with eight of the 13 being 9th graders.

The Wolves have 17 runners on the roster, including three boys and one girl (including two more freshmen) who didn’t compete in the first meet.

That’s up from 2018, when CHS had six boys and two girls on its roster.

Those two female returnees — junior Catherine Lhamon and sophomore Alana Mihill — had the best performances of the day, finishing 13th and 15th in a strong field.

Naomi Smith, a powerhouse from King’s, took the individual title on the two-mile course at River Meadows Park, cruising across the line in 11 minutes, 9.50 seconds.

On the boys side, freshman Mitchell Hall was the top Wolf, claiming 25th, while Isaac Cortes of Granite Falls copped the crown.

The South Whidbey boys and King’s girls won the team titles.

 

Coupeville’s runners:

GIRLS:

Catherine Lhamon (13th) 14:36.80
Alana Mihill
(15th) 15:07.70
Claire Mayne
(17th) 15:14.10
Helen Strelow
(19th) 15:45.40

BOYS:

Mitchell Hall (25th) 12:38.20
Sam Wynn (38th) 13:02.50
Aidan Wilson (39th) 13:02.80
Reiley Araceley (47th) 13:43.50
Tate Wyman (49th) 14:02.30
Cameron Epp (52nd) 14:04.00
Chris Ruck (53rd) 14:04.30
Aiden Anderson (55th) 14:16.70
Eli Kastner (64th) 15:17.90

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CHS sophomore Andrew Aparicio teamed with Zach Ginnings Wednesday to win at #2 doubles. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

The Wolf net crew is (back, left to right) Ken Stange, Aparicio, Mason Grove, Koby Schreiber, Drake Borden. Front: Miles Davidson, James Wood, Thane Peterson, Zach Ginnings. Not seen: Logan Martin.

And we’re off.

The Coupeville High School boys tennis team launched the 2019 season Wednesday with a home rumble with South Whidbey, the first of three matches in three days.

While the weather cooperated on opening day, the tennis gods didn’t, however, allowing the Falcons to escape with a 4-1 win in Emerald City League play.

Barring weather shenanigans, the Wolves head to Friday Harbor Thursday, then host Eastside Prep the next afternoon.

At least in the early going, CHS will have to overcome a self-inflicted deficit in each match, as it doesn’t yet have eight fully-eligible players.

For now, that means the Wolves forfeit #2 singles, though that will change as soon as two newcomers — sophomores Miles Davidson and Logan Martin — rack up enough practices.

Coupeville’s seven active players came within a shot or two of splitting the four matches contested Wednesday against their next door neighbors.

Andrew Aparicio and Zach Ginnings controlled the net as they swept to a win at #2 doubles, while the top Wolf duo of Mason Grove and James Wood fell just short in a third-set tiebreaker.

 

Complete Wednesday results:

1st Singles — Drake Borden lost to Levi Buck 6-1, 6-4

2nd Singles — CHS forfeits

1st Doubles — James Wood/Mason Grove lost to Ranger Buck/Max Rodriguez 3-6, 6-4, 10-6

2nd Doubles — Zach Ginnings/Andrew Aparicio beat Ian Maddux/Ben Roughsedge 6-4, 6-3

3rd Doubles — Thane Peterson/Koby Schreiber lost to Emmett Layman/Jordan Wu 6-2, 6-2

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Ja’Kenya Hoskins waits for the beat to drop. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

The Wolf booters stretch their legs during pre-game warmups.

Audrianna Shaw uses her deadly elbows to clear some space.

Avalon Renninger celebrates her first goal of the season.

The support crew goes wild.

Mallory Kortuem fights for control of the ball.

Mollie Bailey unleashes the full fury of her ferocious foot.

It was the calm before the storm.

While the sun had departed Saturday afternoon, the lightning and thunder were still hours away when the Coupeville High School girls soccer squad took the pitch to face off with Meridian.

Enjoying the lack of moisture in the air at that moment, wandering’ paparazzi John Fisken worked the sidelines, clicking away, and the photos above are courtesy him.

To see everything he shot during the home opener, pop over to:

https://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/Coupeville-Soccer/GS-2019-09-07-Coupeville-vs-Meridian/

Any purchases help out Coupeville athletes, as a percentage of all sales go back to fund college scholarships given out at the end of the school year.

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Coupeville’s Avalon Renninger launched a gorgeous goal Saturday, the first time the Wolves have scored on powerhouse Meridian in five meetings over the last decade. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

The 2019 squad, ready to go on the attack.

One loss hurts more than the other.

The Coupeville High School girls soccer team opened a new season Saturday by hanging tough on its home field with powerhouse Meridian, before falling 3-1 in a game which remained a one-goal contest until the waning moments.

It was a strong performance from the Wolves, and a big step forward, as they scored on the Trojans for the first time in five meetings over the last decade.

But the afterglow was tempered by the loss of junior Genna Wright, the #3 scorer in program history, who went down hard in the first half and exited to the hospital.

Flying in pursuit of a ball, Wright was careening towards the sideline in front of the stands when she was chucked hard from behind by a rival player.

As she sprawled forward, nearly slamming her face into the track oval, her body lurched badly to the side and she didn’t get back up.

Running mate Avalon Renninger was at her side in two seconds, but Wright, clutching her knee, declined any assistance in trying to rise.

Instead, she stayed prone, not hobbling off the field with the help of her dad and coaches until after being thoroughly checked-out.

After a visit to the ER, the early word is a badly-sprained knee, which may keep her out for 1-3 weeks.

While no one wants to see the effervescent, hard-charging Wright sidelined, that would be a better prognosis than first feared.

As they wait to see how long they will be without their primary offensive weapon, the Wolves can look at their season-opening performance and be proud of what they accomplished.

The game was knotted at 1-1 when Wright went down, and, even without her flying down the side, ball on her foot, Coupeville held its own with a program which annually makes deep playoff runs.

Last year, Meridian beat the Wolves 4-0. Before that, the Trojans knocked CHS out of the playoffs by identical 2-0 scores three years running between 2009-2011.

This time around, things were markedly different, as Coupeville struck first.

Working the ball down the left sideline in the game’s 13th minute, Wright dropped a perfect set-up for Renninger, who promptly went and got medieval on the orb.

Cranking a wicked shot off her left foot, the Wolf senior captain lofted the ball into the air, and it curved upwards, steadily rising until the moment it cleared the Meridian goaltender’s shoulder and buried itself in the far right corner of the net.

A psychological boost for the Wolves, it was also just a darn pretty goal, one of the better ones to be seen at Mickey Clark Field in recent years.

For Renninger, it was the seventh score of her prep career, and means she will have tallied at least one goal in all four of her seasons on the CHS pitch.

She’s now tied with Micky LeVine, Alexia Hemphill, and Marisa Etzell on the career scoring chart, one goal off of big sister Sage Renninger for fifth-best among all Wolf girls soccer players.

Riding high on Avalon Renninger’s masterpiece, the Wolves took back-to-back hits five minutes later.

First, Meridian slipped the tying goal in, the ball finding a teeny-tiny opening as Coupeville goaltender Mollie Bailey made a diving attempt at stopping it.

Then came Wright’s injury.

Once action started back up, the Wolf defense, anchored by seniors Mallory Kortuem and Tia Wurzrainer and freshman Nezi Keiper, stood tall.

As did Bailey, a junior who inherited the starting goalie gig after backing up the since-graduated Sarah Wright the past two seasons.

The heir to a prairie legacy, she was strong in the net, making several very-strong saves and blunting frequent charges from an opportunistic Meridian squad.

The Trojans did get the tie-breaker in the game’s 28th minute, on a play in which Bailey’s line of sight was blocked off by an attacker crossing in front of her.

After that, the Wolf goalie was virtually lights-out, though Meridian got an insurance goal late in the second half on another shot which found the smallest of holes.

Without Wright on the field, Coupeville’s offensive chances took a sizable hit, though Renninger continued to crank away, narrowly missing on another long missile which pulled a hair wide right at the last millisecond.

While he always goes in looking for a win, Wolf coach Kyle Nelson emerged from Saturday’s opener with a slight smile gracing his face.

The play of his roster, which also included nice scrappiness from support crew such as Natalie Hollrigel and Carolyn Lhamon, was exactly what he was seeking.

“It’s a good place to start,” Nelson said. “We played a competitive game, and it’s a huge step forward for us, playing against a really good team and coming pretty close to playing them on an even level.”

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