Posts Tagged ‘Sequim’

   Angelina Gebhard and the Coupeville Middle School 8th grade JV volleyball squad rallied for an epic win Thursday afternoon. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

As comebacks go, this one was pretty dang incredible.

Rallying multiple times Thursday, the Coupeville Middle School 8th grade JV volleyball squad stormed back from an enormous first set deficit, then liked success so much it promptly rolled to a straight-sets win over visiting Sequim.

The 25-23, 26-24, 15-11 victory, in which the Wolves trailed from the first serve to the next-to-last point of the opening set, was the highlight on a day when the other three CMS teams fell to their big school rivals.

And, if you win, you get first priority in the story.

8th grade JV:

Things were not going especially well.

The JV squad, which had trailed from the first point of the match, fell behind, then watched its deficit steadily grow.

A few strong serves from Samantha Streitler aside, the Wolves were in trouble, trailing 16-8 and lacking any sort of spark.

Or maybe CMS coach Casie Greve and her team were just pulling a long con, cause things flipped and they flipped fast.

Morgan Stevens turned out to be the catalyst, and the finisher.

A pair of aces started the comeback, then Amanda Thomas, Abby Mulholland and Angelina Gebhard caught fire at the line, while Sequim suddenly went ice cold, missing four consecutive serves.

Even with all that, the Wolves didn’t take the lead until Stevens dropped in two straight aces to push CMS up 24-23.

With all the air rushing out of the bodies of the Sequim players, Stevens twirled the ball one more time, launched it skyward and sent a ball across the net which hit the receiver in the arm and bounced away for set point.

At which point the Wolves erupted like they had won the state championship, screaming loudly enough to wake up any cows still grazing out in nearby fields.

Buoyed by the improbable, heart-stopping comeback, the JV dropped the hammer after that.

Stevens continued to be on fire at the service line, while Mulholland and Chloe LaRue put together torrid runs of their own.

In between the service winners, Ella Colwell dropped in a sweet tip for a winner, while LaRue came storming down the sideline to save a runaway ball and redirect it back over the net and through a mob of Sequim players.

8th grade varsity:

The Wolves started in cruise control, then the wheels fell off the car.

After opening with a 25-16 win in the first set, Coupeville suffered through a lengthy dry spell on serve — at one point five of six servers put their first ball into the net during the second set — and things turned sour quickly.

Sequim, which benefited more from CMS errors than anything it accomplished for itself, captured the final two sets 25-18, 15-6.

Part of the visitors success on this day came from something which may trip up its players down the road.

Coupeville coaches preach overhand serving, if at all possible, while Sequim had a staggering amount of girls lofting the ball underhand.

Thursday, that worked, as it meant the visitors put just about everything into play. But it also means a lengthier adjustment for those players down the road as they try and rise through the ranks.

When CMS players hit high school, they will already be prepared to serve at that level, which is huge.

From Izzy Wells, who cracked off a nasty ace which hit the court and burrowed five feet down (part of a string of eight straight winners during the good-times first set), to Jaelyn Crebbin, who frequently unleashes bombs, one loss doesn’t tell the full tale of their potential.

During that opening set, Coupeville also benefited from strong play by Abby Meyers, Noelle Daigneault and Eryn Wood, who closed out the set with a high-flying tip which elicited a scream of approval from her dad, Robert, camped in the bleachers.

While things didn’t go as smoothly after that, the Wolves still got some big plays, such as Audrianna Shaw painting the back line with a spike.

7th grade varsity:

The match was closer than the score might sound, as the Wolves, led by the serving of Kaielle Bepler and Alita Blouin and the hustle of Jill Prince and Gwen Gustafson, fought hard in a 25-8, 25-15, 25-15 loss.

Capping their first season as co-coaches of the young guns, Sarah Lyngra and Kimberly Bepler were thrilled with the progress they saw from their often very raw players.

“Everyone worked really hard, today and all season,” Lyngra said.

Bepler agreed, saying “We saw a big development of skills from the girls as we went from match to match.”

7th grade JV:

The scores were much closer in this one, a barn-burner where a serve here, a spike there, could have flipped the match.

Sequim escaped with a 25-20, 25-18, 25-23 win, but not before Wolves Cypress Socha (nine successful serves), Vivian Farris (7) and Hayley Fiedler (5) sliced ‘n diced the visitors while at the service stripe.

Cypress was awesome today,” Lyngra said. “Her best super, duper day of the season!”

Both coaches were happy to see their player’s continued growth in getting “three hits and over,” pointing to one rally where there were five such combinations before the point was finished.

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   Emma Mathusek, seen here before a recent match, was one of many Wolf JV spikers to have a standout match Tuesday. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

When “The Gazelle” is ready to graze, just pray you don’t get chewed up and spit out.

Off the volleyball court, Coupeville High School sophomore Maya Toomey-Stout is a walkin’, talkin’ slice of friendliness.

On the court, however, she will go Mafia hit man on your posterior and smile as you bleed out.

And that’s a wonderful thing.

Mixing kills that carved chunks of flesh off of rival player’s bodies as they skidded by, with serves which sucked the life out of anyone tasked with trying to return them, Toomey-Stout and Co. were unstoppable Tuesday afternoon.

Crushing visiting Sequim 25-7, 27-25, 25-11, the Wolf JV spikers smartly rebounded from their only loss of the season, improving to 7-1 under first-year coach Chris Smith.

Coupeville’s young guns are a flawless 3-0 on their home floor now, and they looked like a squad anxious to make a good impression on their fan base.

With Lucy Sandahl, Raven Vick and Emma Mathusek throwing down quality runs at the service stripe to kick things off, the Wolves roared out to a 14-3 lead in the first set and the rout was on.

Savannah Smith recorded the match’s first point, soaring above the net to stuff a Sequim player. Three points later she was back, this time burying a spike off the back corner in a manner reminiscent of big sis Emma.

With the exception of one point, a long rally on which both teams came up with miracle saves, Coupeville shut down any long back-and-forths in the opening set.

Chelsea Prescott, who knocked down a winner on a tip she launched over her head like a basketball hook shot, closed out the opening set with a couple of smokin’ aces and everything was one-sided.

Until it wasn’t.

Sequim crawled off the mat in the second set, riding a suddenly-aggressive service game to a surprise 11-3 lead.

Enter “The Gazelle” and exit any hopes of a true comeback for the visitors.

Toomey-Stout stopped the bleeding with a service ace which shot across the net, then dipped and exploded, all but tearing off a Sequim player’s foot as it impacted.

From there, it became a wild mix of Wolf aces (Vick ritually abused Sequim all night while on serve) and big hits.

In one stretch of five straight winners, Toomey-Stout, Zoe Trujillo and Maddie Vondrak took turns crushing the air out of the volleyball, each spike landing with a slightly bigger bang than the one before it.

Vondrak’s shot was a thing of rare beauty, launched at an awkward angle as she scrambled to save the ball, but landing with utter precision in the deepest, darkest corner of the court for a surprise winner.

Having battled back from a large deficit, CHS fought off two set points, with Vick dropping a bomb for a winner while trapped in the middle of the court, followed by Toomey-Stout (who else?) crunching another ace.

Whatever fight Sequim had in the second set evaporated quickly after that.

The final set was an I-see-your-spike-and-raise-you-a-bigger-spike duel between Wolf teammates Prescott, Smith, Trujillo, Vick and, especially, an exuberant (and frequently air-borne) Toomey-Stout.

On Sequim’s side of the court? Shell shock and thousand-yard stares as they prayed to make it back to the bus in one piece.


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   Wolf senior Kyla Briscoe pounded a season-high 12 kills Tuesday against Sequim. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

As losses go, this one doesn’t sting too badly.

The Coupeville High School volleyball squad went toe-to-toe, and kill-to-kill, with an aggressive, big-hitting squad from 2A Sequim Tuesday, and essentially played them to a standstill.

While the 1A Wolves came up on the short end of the count in a 25-22, 17-25, 26-24, 25-21 non-conference tilt, if you take out the sets format, the final score was a razor-thin 93-92.

Coupeville drops to 7-2 on the season, but gets a huge jolt of confidence heading into the stretch run.

Sitting at 4-0 in Olympic League play, the Wolves, who are gunning for a second-straight conference crown, kick off their final five regular-season matches Oct. 17 with a trip to Klahowya.

The lessons learned under fire Tuesday will be a huge bonus going forward.

“We played pretty darn well,” said CHS coach Cory Whitmore. “When you play as cleanly as we did, you can leave the court proud.”

The Wolves are working on finding a solid mix between knowing when “to be risky and when to be smart,” and their coach liked what he saw against a Sequim team which made very few errors and constantly pushed the attack.

“We worked together to find the openings and take advantage when they were there,” Whitmore said. “We rode the peaks and valleys and showed a lot of maturity, which you hope for with a team which has so many seniors.”

One of those veterans, Kyla Briscoe, was a particular standout, flying in from the outside to pound away for a season-high 12 kills and a super-high hitting percentage, especially with how many chances she had during a long, conflict-heavy match.

“I’m really, really proud of how Kyla played,” Whitmore said. “That was exciting to see.”

The spiker guru was thrilled with how his big hitters continued to attack, while also weathering the assault waged by Sequim’s sturdy snipers.

Emma Smith, Katrina McGranahan and Payton Aparicio collected five kills apiece, while Mikayla Elfrank chipped in with four, each one of which tore up a chunk of the floor.

Coupeville showed little fear, attacking from the first point until the last in a match filled with long, intense rallies.

While there were service aces, far more often points raged on, with both sides digging deep for unexpected saves on balls which looked like sure winners.

With so many big plays, it might be hard to pick just two as the defining moments, but, call me foolhardy, cause that’s just what I’m about to do.

For Sequim, it was a double-whammy, winning a point as Coupeville prematurely celebrated.

Thinking a point was over (the ref had already started to signal it so), the Wolves converged for a group yell, only to be thrown for a loop as the ball suddenly plopped over the net behind their backs.

Against all odds, and defying the laws of nature, a visiting spiker had somehow scraped the ball off the floor at the last second, flicking it skywards, where it awkwardly rattled off various body parts of two teammates and crawled, by the smallest of margins, up and over the tape.

Six sets of cheeks turned red, but the Wolves rebounded, and, in between a hail of knee-shredding kills, setter Ashley Menges had the sneakiest winner of the year.

Deep in the fourth set, she went to launch a set, and did it so convincingly every player on the court, including the CHS hitter expecting to blast the ball, bought the fake.

Instead, at the very last millisecond, betrayed only by a slight sideways shift of her eyes, Menges, hanging in mid-air, flicked her fingers downward and not upward, shooting a tip over the net.

The next sound you heard was the collective brains of 11 other players melting, as the ball softly landed in a small opening and skipped away for a winner.

And then Menges strolled away like a stone-cold killer, epic grin in place as everyone, including her own teammates, tried to collect their jaws off the ground.

If she had whipped out a mustache and twirled it while unleashing a super-villain-taking-over-the-world laugh, no one could have faulted her.

Whitmore and assistant coaches Chris Smith and Ashley Herndon, for their part, came unglued, as all three came dangerously close to storming the court and carrying Menges off on their shoulders.

Coupeville put together a fairly substantial highlight reel on the evening, with Elfrank and McGranahan peppering the back-line with their sizzlin’ put-aways and Hope Lodell and Aparicio digging kill shot after kill shot off the floor.

Emma Smith, the elegant assassin whose on-court work invokes memories of her aunt, former all-world Wolf spiker Joli Smith, was everywhere and nowhere at once.

She painted with all the colors, using her long reach to snuff a spike, dropping a floater between rival players, then bashing a ball that tore chunks of paint off the end-line.

Rising star Scout Smith might give up several inches to Emma Smith, but she’s quickly rising to meet the big-play challenge set by her older teammate.

The Slammin’ Smiths combined for three of Coupeville’s seven blocks on the night, while Scout went airborne for a winner on a running tip that was so pretty mom Charlotte will gnash her teeth when she finds out she missed seeing it live.

With her teammates attacking from all sides, set up by a ton of assists from Lauren Rose (18) and Menges (13), Briscoe was set free to be the final word and she delivered.

Lashing frozen ropes, she launched three straight winners at one point late in the match, setting off the Wolf student section, which serenaded her with a continuous howl.

For their part, the rival Sequim players just shook their heads, took several steps back and prayed Briscoe wouldn’t hurt them too badly.

There were no guarantees.

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   Zach Ginnings teamed with Drake Borden for a crucial win at #3 doubles Tuesday, as Coupeville upended Sequim. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The big payback.

With not one, but two separate doubles teams storming back from a set down to win their matches Tuesday, the Coupeville High School boys tennis squad stunned visiting Sequim 4-3.

The non-conference win, hailed as “quite the shocker!” by CHS coach Ken Stange, lifts the Wolves to 4-6 and is the team’s second win over a 2A school this season.

It’s also payback for the two schools first match back in early Sept., when Sequim was the one pulling out a narrow victory.

Coupeville, which wraps Olympic League play with back-to-back matches against win-less Chimacum the next two days, showed no quit.

First doubles duo William Nelson and Joey Lippo and #4 combo Jaschon Baumann and Tiger Johnson showed the most pluck, climbing back into their matches, then coasting home in third-set tiebreakers.

Complete Tuesday results:


1st Singles — Pedro Gamarra lost to Blake Wilker 6-2, 6-1

2nd Singles — Jakobi Baumann lost to Raymond Lam 6-1, 6-2

3rd Singles — Nile Lockwood lost to Thomas Hughes 6-2, 6-0

1st Doubles — William Nelson/Joey Lippo beat Tim Porter/Damon Little 4-6, 6-3, 10-6

2nd Doubles — Mason Grove/Nick Etzell beat Kevin Meyer/Sam Frymyer 6-3, 6-2

3rd Doubles — Drake Borden/Zach Ginnings beat Brenton Barnes/Aaron Jackson 6-1, 6-3

4th Doubles — Jaschon Baumann/Tiger Johnson beat Dustin Koch/Liam Braaten 3-6, 6-4, 10-3


5th Doubles — Thane Peterson/Koby Schreiber beat Steven Lam/Ben Wright 6-4

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   Coupeville senior captain Sage Renninger is headed to the soccer playoffs for the fourth straight year. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Let’s hear it for the Cowboys.

While the Coupeville High School girls soccer squad fell 2-0 to visiting 2A Sequim in a knock-down non-conference brawl Tuesday night, the bigger news came from a different game.

When Chimacum toppled Port Townsend 3-2, the Wolves clinched no worse than second-place in the 1A Olympic League for a fourth straight season.

That guarantees Coupeville (4-1 in league play, 6-6 overall) a “home” playoff game in Oak Harbor Oct. 28 against the #3 team from the Nisqually League — currently Vashon Island.

The Wolves can still catch Klahowya (5-0, 10-1) for the league title, but would need a bit of a miracle, since the Eagles have yet to lose in 25 conference games over a four-year stretch.

With the loss, Port Townsend (1-5, 2-8) falls into a tie with Chimacum (1-5, 1-7-1).

Even if either school were to finish in a tie with CHS at 4-5, the Wolves own tiebreakers, having won the season series against both.

Coupeville has four league games left on its schedule, starting Oct. 17 at Klahowya.

For its tune-up Tuesday, the Wolves faced down Sequim, a much-larger school, for the second time this season.

After falling 4-1 on the road back in mid-Sept., the Wolves, even playing without their top defender, Lindsey Roberts, displayed how much they have grown as the season has played out.

“Continued improvement with our defense against a tough Sequim team,” said CHS coach Kyle Nelson. “We also had a number of great shots, making the Sequim keeper make some very good saves.”

To get an early look at the playoff brackets, pop over to:


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