Posts Tagged ‘Tenley Stuurmans’

8th grader Haylee Armstrong received two awards at Thursday’s season-ending CMS volleyball awards shindig. (Michelle Armstrong photo)

The volleyballs have been put away, the jerseys returned, and the awards handed out.

The Coupeville Middle School spikers officially wrapped a successful season Thursday, with coaches Cris Matochi and Raven Vick honoring their players.



Haylee Armstrong (Varsity)
KeeArya Brown (JV)
Willow Leedy-Bonifas (JV)
Tenley Stuurmans (Varsity)


Most Improved:

Lexis Drake (Varsity)
Olivia Martin (JV)


Wolf Spirit Award:

Capri Anter (Varsity)
Isabella Bowder (JV)
Adeline Maynes (Varsity)


Most Inspirational Leader:

Haylee Armstrong


Participation Certificates:

Capri Anter
Haylee Armstrong
Cheyanne Atteberry
Isabella Bowder
KeeArya Brown
Isabella de Souza
Lexis Drake
Alexis Hewitt
Emma Leavitt
Willow Leedy-Bonifas
Olivia Martin
Adeline Maynes
Myra McDonald
Alyssa McGee
Rhylin Price
Tenley Stuurmans

Emma Leavitt, already a top server as a mere 6th grader, will be back. (Leann Leavitt photo)

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Raven Vick and fellow CMS volleyball coach Cris Matochi came away pleased with their team’s play Monday in Everett. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

“This is the best game by far this season.”

Coupeville Middle School volleyball guru Cris Matochi was a happy guy as he, fellow coach Raven Vick, and their Coupeville Middle School spikers headed back from Everett Monday evening.

The Wolves had faced down private school power Northshore Christian Academy, coming away with an exciting win, a productive loss, and a lot of lessons learned.

Almost exactly the way Matochi and Vick planned it.

How the day played out:



“We decided when we stepped into the gym that we were leaving with a win, and the kids took the memo,” Matochi said.

Coupeville, getting contributions from everyone on the floor, swept NCA 25-18, 25-19, 15-8, raising its record to 3-2 on the season.

The Wolves used a very strong service attack to push the pace of the day, with Tenley Stuurmans being particularly effective.

The CMS 7th grader opened the first set with a six-point run, before going nuclear with a 15-point, 14-ace performance in set #2.

Stuurmans wasn’t the only Wolf firing on all cylinders, as Adeline Maynes fought through a migraine “to have a stellar performance, with great sets and strong passing.”

Matochi doled out praise across the board.

Lexis (Drake) passed and served really well, while Haylee (Armstrong) had incredible passes and hits,” he said.

Capri (Anter) had strong hits and good communication,” Matochi added. “This was the best we’ve seen Rylin (Price) play, and Capri and Addy had great coordination.”



The Wolf young guns fell 25-10, 25-18, 15-9, but had “by far the best ball control of the season,” according to Raven Vick.

“The volume of game was the best we’ve seen,” she added. “They did really well getting the first ball up and working to get all three touches.

“We struggled with serving but saw great improvement from all of the players.”

Vick noted 6th grader KeeAyra Brown was “a strong consistent player for us,” while Isabella Bowder and Myra McDonald also played well under pressure.

Coupeville’s energy goes through the roof when Olivia Martin is involved — “she’s a firecracker on and off the court” — with Alexis Hewitt, Willow Leedy-Bonifas, and Cheyanne Atteberry all playing strongly.

“It’s great to see Alexis improving on her serve and getting more playing time in that way,” Vick said.

“Overall, Willow was really consistent all around but specially with serves. Cheyanne is continually working hard and getting more and more serves in the court.

“I am extremely impressed with the playing ability and resilience they had.”

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Haylee Armstrong is just here to deliver spikes and take names. (Michelle Armstrong photo)

First, a word about Olivia Martin and Isabella Bowder.

The current crop of Coupeville Middle School volleyball players, all 15 or so, approach the sport with a mixture of talent and hustle.

Wolf coaches Raven Vick and Cris Matochi have taught them well, and the confidence level grows with each match.

But, as I said, first a word about Martin and Bowder, who are in the sixth and eighth grade, respectively.

The duo may not be giants, but they have hearts which would indicate otherwise.

Watching Martin and Bowder over the course of Coupeville’s first three matches — including Monday’s tilt with visiting King’s — you can’t help but be impressed with how they approach every bit of time they get on the hardwood.

With no disrespect meant to the other Wolves, who are a scrappy, joyous pack, this duo is a titanic tandem.

Martin and Bowder sprint after every last incoming ball — even the ones destined to land far away — fling themselves across the floor, loudly cheer for their teammates, and get well-deserved vocal support back.

Monday, Martin, swinging from the bottom of her shoes to the top of her head, launched her first successful serves against a rival team, the ball zinging across the net and earning points for the Wolves.

Then she did the dance of her people, her face a portrait of pure joy.

It was the same with Bowder, springing across the floor in big bounds, fists pumping after each play.

Izzy and Olivia are such great energy givers,” Vick said, a comment seconded by Matochi.

CMS may have other players who are further along in their volleyball development, but Martin and Bowder are the heart and soul of the program.

It’s players like them — young women who approach every match, every practice, every new skill, with gritty determination and unbounded joy — who make a program a true success.

So they, and their teammates deserve a shout-out from fans, and a “well-done” from their coaches, while knowing their parents go to bed proud of them each night.

With that said, on to Monday’s matches.

Willow Leedy-Bonifas (11) and Olivia Martin (4) await the serve. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)



The mystique has cracked.

King’s still has the private school powerhouse brand-name on the jersey, but the Wolves never showed a single flicker of concern as they went toe-to-toe and shot-for-shot with the Knights.

Rallying time and again, CMS almost pulled off the upset before falling 25-23, 20-25, 15-11.

How close was it? In terms of total points, King’s edged the Wolves 60-59.

It’s the kind of thing which makes a coach want a rematch.

“We were never intimidated,” Matochi said. “Ooh, I would love to play them again.”

“We would give them a run!” Vick said, but a check of the schedule reveals just one rumble with King’s on this year’s eight-match schedule.

But, whether it’s next season on the CMS floor, or in high school, the two schools will meet again at some point, and these Wolves know they have nothing to fear.

Coupeville did start off surprisingly slow, falling behind 8-0 in the opening set without King’s doing anything all that special.

It just seemed like the Wolf varsity, now at seven players with the season debut of Myra McDonald, needed a moment or two to find its groove.

Then the spikes started landing, the serves started zipping, and things got much more interesting.

Tenley Stuurmans fired off three straight points on her serve to get CMS on the board, before Capri Anter came around to launch seven winners of her own from the stripe.

Anter’s run was aided by Haylee Armstrong slicing off kneecaps at the net, and Adeline Maynes flicking artfully placed tip winners which fell between Knight players.

Maynes went on her own torrid run at the service line, as CMS, all the way back from its early deficit, claimed its biggest lead at 21-19.

It wasn’t to be, however, as King’s scored the final three points of the set, turning a 23-22 deficit into a 25-23 win.

Coupeville had to fight from behind in the second set as well, though the biggest margin was five points, at 8-3.

Maynes was again on point with her serves, while Armstrong, smacking balls while airborne, pushed the Wolves back out in front.

From there Lexis Drake and Rhylin Price flashed their own brilliance at the stripe, with Drake whaling away on a set-busting five-point run on serve.

With Coupeville playing a third and deciding set for the third time in as many matches this season, the finale was set up to be a barnburner.

And it largely delivered, as Stuurmans lifted the Wolves to a 3-0 lead, before King’s flipped the script and grabbed control.

The final tie came at 7-7, thanks to Anter whacking a service ace off of a Knight player’s shoulder, followed by Armstrong launching a spike which landed in the final millimeter of space in the far right corner of the court.

Coupeville’s final highlight reel play pulled the Wolves back within 13-11.

Drake¬†unleashed a booming serve, the two teams rallied, then Stuurmans, sneaking into position along the sideline, bounded into the air and redirected a tip into no-man’s land.

It wasn’t the last point of the match, maybe, but it was a perfect punctuation mark.

Alyssa McGee, seen here with bis sis Trinity, plays with great joy. (Angie McGee photo)



King’s showed up with both a second and third squad, so Martin, Bowder, and Co. played two matches in one day.

While the Wolves lost both bouts to the Knights, the extra floor time should pay dividends as the season progresses.

Willow Leedy-Bonifas was a rock for CMS, scoring multiple winners on well-placed shots, including one she flipped over her shoulder while her back was to the net.

Also coming up big were Emma Leavitt and Cheyanne Atteberry, who each rifled a nasty serve or two to keep the Knights leaning backwards.

Alexis Hewitt went to her knees to dig a ball off the floor, her return shot catching the net and flopping over for a Wolf point, while KeeArya Brown and Alyssa McGee chipped in with hustle and strong team spirit.

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Tenley Stuurmans and her CMS volleyball teammates are here to rule the gym. (Scott Stuurmans photo)

She’s a terror.

Playing her best at crunch time Wednesday, Coupeville Middle School 7th grader Tenley Stuurmans penned another triumphant chapter in her family’s long, successful sports history.

Sparked by their wild child in the #1 jersey, the Wolf varsity volleyball spikers roared from behind to gut a Sultan squad that thought it was cruising to victory.

Spoiler alert: Coupeville’s first-string, all six players, is better than the 17 Turks piled up on the opposite bench.

The Wolves, especially on this day, were feistier, grittier, and far more cold-blooded when it came time to chop off heads (metaphorically…) and let their opponents bleed out on the hardwood.

Which is why Stuurmans, Lexis Drake, Capri Anter, Rhylin Price, Adeline Maynes, and the queen of the knee-buckling slicers, one Haylee Armstrong, won 14-25, 25-18, 15-10.

Now a pristine 2-0 on the season, with back-to-back three-set thrillers in the win column, the Wolves are on the prowl and ready to square off with King’s next Monday, Oct. 10.

It’ll be the team’s third-straight home match, then CMS hits the open road for treks to Granite Falls, Northshore Christian Academy, and a rematch with Sultan.

That should be a brawl, but one the Wolves are prepared for, knowing they have the ability to yank a win out of the jaws of defeat.

Wednesday’s tilt started as a back-and-forth affair in the first set, before Sultan used a stellar run at the service stripe to stretch a 9-7 lead out to 16-7.

Coupeville fought back, with Armstrong popping off a couple service winners before sliding face-first across the floor to save the ball on a defensive stand.

But it wasn’t quite enough, and the Turks had some strut in their step as the teams went to the bench between sets.

That soon evaporated, however, as CMS fought back, and fought back hard.

Maynes impressed her large fan base with an explosive ace, which dropped suddenly, bit a chunk out of the floor, then skidded away as two Turks swung and missed.

Add in a play where Stuurmans made a sensational save, pulling the ball out of the net with her back to the other team, followed by Price elevating for the put away, and the momentum had shifted.

Drake mashed a pair of winners on her serve, before Stuurmans went on an extended tour of duty at the same stripe, rifling seven straight points to push CMS ahead 18-7.

Coupeville’s biggest lead in the middle set came at 21-9, as a Sultan player slipped just as she went to return a shot.

Her leg went one way, her shoe departed her body and went the other way, screaming “Freedom!”, and the ball ended up somewhere in the rafters.

The play actually seemed to inspire Sultan however, with the Turks going on an 8-1 run after the wayward shoe was retrieved and firmly tied back into place.

The Wolves weren’t having it, though, and the splendid six bore back down, knotting things at a set apiece after Stuurmans froze the entire gym in place on set point, angling a tip one way while all the Turks went in the other direction.

With the match on the line, and Sultan’s fans having gone dead quiet, the ref pulled veteran linesmen Katie Kiel and Nathaniel Leavitt out of the stands for quality control.

Most of their job? Signaling the ball was in, as the Wolf servers dominated in the home stretch.

Stuurmans, twirling the ball and arching an eyebrow ever so slightly, went ballistic at the stripe, racking up seven of her team’s final 15 points on her serve.

An ace down the middle of the court.

A wicked ace which slashed over the net and dove like a submarine fleeing WW2 bombers.

And just for the thrill of it, an ace off the face is the gift which stings all night long.

Maynes and Drake hit winners on their serve, as well, with Maynes also offering up a gorgeous slice return which spun away from Sultan’s defenders and staked Coupeville to a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

The victory, and the way it was achieved, left CMS coaches Cris Matochi and Raven Vick with satisfied smiles on their faces.

“We worked a lot in practice on moving to the ball, and doing so with commitment,” Matochi said. “Do everything with a purpose and play big girl volleyball.

“I was very pleased with how we’ve improved already in this time.”

That’s something Vick agrees with.

“We’re seeing them apply the technical skills we’ve taught them,” she said. “That is very encouraging.”


JV stands tall:

Coupeville’s second unit got progressively stronger as the match went on, fighting for every point in a 25-16, 25-21 loss.

Now 1-1 on the season, the JV unit was as close as 14-13 in the opening set, before Sultan pulled away thanks to some underhanded, lob-heavy precision serving.

Cheyanne Atteberry paced the Wolves in the early going, netting two winners off of well-placed return shots, while Emma Leavitt, Willow Leedy-Bonifas, and KeeArya Brown all came up with big-time plays.

The second set was much like the first, though closer.

Coupeville played from behind most of the time, but never allowed Sultan to dominate, and eventually got within 21-20 late.

Leedy-Bonifas had the hot hand at the stripe this time around, picking up three points on her serve, while Isabella Bowder, Brown, and Leavitt also notched winners.

Alexis Hewitt and Olivia Martin rounded out the active roster, both seeing floor time and injecting an air of electricity with their hustle.

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Aaron Lucero imparts wisdom to Maya Nottingham. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Just when you think you’re done, you’re not.

Sitting here in mid-July, I’ve stumbled across three photos from the spring which, for whatever reason, were never used in-season.

So, here you go, a flashback to former glory.

Tenley Stuurmans, ready to launch.

Melanie Navarro gets low to snag an incoming grounder.

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