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Coupeville’s Avalon Renninger – a scary, scary woman on the tennis court. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Second time around, things got a little crazy.

Four days ago, the Coupeville High School girls tennis team swept Friday Harbor 5-0 while on a tour of the outer islands.

Jump forward to Tuesday, the Wolves were back at home, it was Senior Night for foreign exchange student Bruna Moratori, and everything spun off in new, and sometimes, exciting, directions.

Coupeville still won the rematch, but this time it was 4-0 as #1 singles, against all odds, ended in a tie.

Yes, a tie, and not even on the soccer field.

There were a lot of contributing factors.

Friday Harbor showed up a bit later than expected, and when you live in the outer islands, there comes a time when you have to sprint for the last ferry or forever be stuck on Whidbey to deal with rogue wandering bears.

But mainly it was because Coupeville’s Genna Wright and Friday Harbor’s Aida Must waged a war of attrition, mixing up styles of play, swapping power for precision, and refusing to give an inch.

Wright won the first set, Must the second, then the Wolf sophomore dug down deep to save herself in the final frame, roaring back from 5-3 down to knot things up at 5-5.

The only players still on the court as the sun dipped, and, far off, a ferry tooted a plaintive horn, the duo would have stayed out there all night if allowed.

But it wasn’t to be, as reality intruded and the Friday Harbor van screamed out of the Coupeville parking lot on two wheels, the last player diving through the open door on a dead sprint.

It capped a wild afternoon in which three of five varsity matches went the full three sets.

While Wright’s rumble didn’t quite reach the finish line, the Wolf duos of Moratori/Jaimee Masters and Eryn Wood/Emily Fiedler both rallied to pull out wins in a third frame.

The only two matches which went (fairly) quickly were Jillian Mayne at #2 singles, who was last on the court and yet still beat Wright off, winning in straight sets, and #1 doubles duo Avalon Renninger and Tia Wurzrainer.

The warriors in white (tennis dresses) demolished their foes, pounding the snot out of the ball, and leaving a notable impression on the players on the other side of the net.

“I’m not built to play that blonde girl!,” whispered one Friday Harbor netter as she marveled at Renninger’s wicked power. “She scared me sometimes!”

“And that other girl … zip, zip, zip, every shot,” murmured her partner as Wurzrainer walked away, twirling her racket like a sword.

With the back-to-back wins over Friday Harbor, the Wolves improve to 2-4 in North Sound Conference play.

Coupeville hits the road the next two days, traveling to Chimacum Wednesday, then Granite Falls Thursday.

The first of those matches is the team’s only non-conference tilt this spring, while the latter will be a doubleheader, as the North Sound Conference rivals finish a rained-out match, then play the regularly-scheduled finale.

The Wolves return to Granite May 7-8, taking two singles players and two doubles teams along for the district tourney.

 

Complete Tuesday results (varsity only):

1st Singles — Genna Wright tied Aida Must 6-3, 5-7, 5-5 (ferry)

2nd Singles — Jillian Mayne beat Alli Benz 6-3, 6-3

1st Doubles — Tia Wurzrainer/Avalon Renninger beat Katy Kulseth/Tori Polda 6-0, 6-1

2nd Doubles — Eryn Wood/Emily Fiedler beat Joely Loucks/Lucy Urbach 6-3, 4-6, 7-5

3rd Doubles — Jaimee Masters/Bruna Moratori beat Ayla Ridwan/Kai Di Bona 6-1, 4-6, 6-3

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CHS freshman Abby Mulholland and doubles partner Jaimee Masters displayed some impressive power Wednesday in their first varsity match together. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Finally.

After waiting a very, very long time, the Coupeville High School girls tennis squad kicked off its season Wednesday, falling 4-1 to visiting King’s.

While they would have preferred a win, just getting on the court and seeing a uniform other than their own was a victory.

The Wolf roster is jam-packed with young, talented, promising players, but thanks to scheduling issues, the netters sat while CHS baseball, softball, and boys soccer all played six games or more.

Once they were unleashed, the serve and volley crew brought tons of scrappiness and excitement while facing a seasoned foe.

Juniors Tia Wurzrainer and Avalon Renninger, making their debut as the new #1 doubles duo, lashed winners left and right, and were the only Wolves to win a varsity match.

Working effortlessly as one unit, the titanic twosome especially controlled the match at the net, pinging volleys which ripped off a chunk of the line as they flashed past their opponent’s rackets.

While the duo filled up a complete highlight reel with their work, one winner, in which Renninger hovered in the air for a solid minute before smashing a wicked left-handed slicer that tore a hole in the universe, was a thing of particular beauty.

While Wurzrainer and Renninger brought the biggest smile to longtime Coupeville coach Ken Stange’s face, there was plenty of other positive results to indicate a bright future ahead for the Wolves.

Freshmen Noelle Daigneault and Katelin McCormick, both lil’ sisters of former CHS tennis stars, made their debut an auspicious one.

When they weren’t entertaining the crowd (and themselves) with a freewheeling style of tennis (and giggling non-stop), they also zapped their fair share of service aces and wicked backhands en route to an opening day JV win.

While every one of the nine matches produced highlights, the best debut may have come from the final varsity team to take the court.

Sophomore Jaimee Masters and freshman Abby Mulholland fought through two tense sets, and while they fell just short to a King’s duo which made plays when they needed to the most, both Wolves brought a startling amount of raw power to the action.

A little more practice, a little more refinement of that power, and the duo should be a team to watch.

Even in its raw state, the power show was eye-popping at times, as Masters blasted winners which left both of her rivals glued to the court, and Mulholland brought big time heat with her serve.

 

Complete Wednesday results:

 

Varsity:

1st Singles — Genna Wright lost to Scarlett Ren 6-0, 6-4

2nd Singles — Jillian Mayne lost to Christina Wang 6-1, 6-0

1st Doubles — Tia Wurzrainer/Avalon Renninger beat Caroline Baker/Ava Dreon 6-2, 6-3

2nd Doubles — Eryn Wood/Emily Fiedler lost to Allie Kang/Grace Roberts 6-2, 6-3

3rd Doubles — Jaimee Masters/Abby Mulholland lost to Elma Lu/Jackie Cheung-Main 6-4, 7-5

 

JV:

4th Doubles — Elaira Nicolle/Bruna Moratori lost to Anika Poulsen/Olivia Vos 8-7(10-7)

5th Doubles — Noelle Daigneault/Katelin McCormick beat Elisabeth Kelly/Catherine Jones 8-5

6th Doubles — Maddy Andrews/Mary Milnes lost to Amelia Vander Wel/Abbie Gebrehiwot 8-6

7th Doubles — Cecelia Camarena/Cassidy Holmes lost to Holland Urie/Olivia Peterson 6-1

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Brazilian foreign exchange student Bruna Moratori is playing tennis for Coupeville High School this spring. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Moratori and teammates stretch before a practice.

Talk about a change of pace.

When Bruna Moratori traveled to America to become a foreign exchange student, she swapped life in the most populous city in the Western Hemisphere for a town with one traffic light.

Back home in São Paulo, Brazil, she lives with her parents, brother and dog amid a sea of humans in “a big, beautiful, and dangerous city.”

This year, though, Moratori has swapped a bustling city which never sleeps for a much more laid-back Coupeville, where she’s attending high school and preparing to play tennis with the Wolves.

While she’s spent a little time on the courts, this will be the first time she’s been part of a competitive team.

“I don’t play any sports at home, just sometimes for fun,” Moratori said. “I played tennis a few years ago but it was just for fun; I’ve never played against someone.

“I decided to join because I really like it and I had a lot of free time, so why not.”

When she was thinking about trying out for the tennis team, it was support from back home which made it an easy decision.

“One of the main reasons that I joined tennis was because my father encouraged me since the moment that I told him that I was thinking about it,” Moratori said.

Taking time to enjoy new opportunities has been a key part of her American adventure.

“My mother always had the dream of me going somewhere and learning a new language, so she always talked about it and I said that it would be a good experience,” Moratori said.

“I like how right now I’m in sort of a “break” from my life and I get to know a lot of different things,” she added. “Also I like to learn new cultures and the new language.”

Moratori, who turns 18 in early April, spends her free time “listening to a lot of music, reading, watching TV shows, and many other things.”

When she returns to São Paulo, she plans “to enjoy the summer; that is actually at the end of the year.”

After that she will either start college or plunge into a job.

Coming to America has helped Moratori develop new skills and find new confidence in herself.

“Here is learning English and learning how to be on my own without my family,” she said. “I still want to know other cultures and maybe learn other languages.”

Whether at home or abroad, Moratori draws inspiration from those closest to her.

“I guess I’m a little bit of every woman that have been into my life and all the books that I’ve read,” she said. “But my biggest inspirations are my mother, my grandmothers and my godmother.”

Of all the memories she will take with her, one of the biggest will be how unique her new home away from home turned out to be.

“Coupeville is a very small and quiet city and I live in a huge city with a lot of people, a lot of things to do, a lot of noise, traffic and all of that,” Moratori said. “I miss there, but I really like here, it’s beautiful and people are so nice to each other.

“I wouldn’t say that I’m completely adjusted because it’s very different from there, but I’m sure that when I go back I’ll have to readjust to there,” she added.

“Coupeville reminds me a lot of our countryside, so it’s kind of what I expected, but a few things were very weird for me, like people waving at me, even though I don’t even know them.”

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“So, we meet again, my old friend!” (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

The CHS varsity softball squad, ready to take aim at nabbing a second-straight league title.

Eryn Wood limbers up her tennis elbows.

If this prairie spring plays out like most of the ones before it, this is the final time the Wolf JV sluggers will see the sun.

You shoot, Wolf goalie Dewitt Cole denies you. The circle of life.

Wolf netters throw down an old-fashioned gun show.

Chelsea Prescott comes up firing.

Megan Behan gets ready to launch her javelin into the (surprisingly sunny) sky.

One week until the games count.

Next Saturday, Mar. 9, brings with it the first regular season spring sports clash for Coupeville High School.

Chimacum is the foe, boys soccer is the game, and it all goes down starting at 12:30 PM at Mickey Clark Field.

After that, softball, track and field, baseball, and girls tennis will get going, and, before you know it, spring sports will be in full swing.

In the week to come, we’ll be running preview stories for all five programs.

I can’t tell you what order those articles will run, because it all depends on which coaches answer their questions first.

So, a little suspense.

As we take bets to see which CHS spring boss is first to finish their survey, and which ones waits until the final moments, some more pics from recent practices.

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Thirteen days from today, Coupeville High School soccer star Derek Leyva and other spring athletes begin practice. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

A look out the window says winter, but a look at the schedule says spring.

Well, at least in terms of high school sports seasons, as we’re less than two weeks from the first practices.

Whether or not we’re still trapped in a new ice age at that point, Monday, Feb. 25 marks the start for Coupeville High School track, baseball, soccer, tennis, and softball.

The first game arrives Mar. 9, when the Wolf boys soccer squad welcomes Chimacum to town for a non-conference tilt.

As you mentally prepare yourself for a typical Central Whidbey spring sports season of sideways rain and howling prairie wind, as opposed to snow and ice, here’s a look at all the team’s schedules.

You may notice a few quirks which come along with being in a new league this season.

After bouncing from team to team in a haphazard manner in the Olympic League, Coupeville baseball gets to return to how life was back in the Cascade Conference.

Teams will play the same league opponent three times in one week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday), either going home, away, home, or away, home, away.

That gives squads a chance to play actual series, like college or MLB teams do, and forces coaches to make more adjustments as they take into consideration state-mandated pitch count limits and other factors.

Softball also plays each league foe three times, though those meetings are scattered across the schedule, and King’s doesn’t field a team in the sport.

Boys soccer and girls tennis face off with conference rivals twice, but the netters will see a different line-up than anyone else.

Neither Cedar Park Christian or Sultan have tennis teams, but Friday Harbor, the only school to play the sport in the 2B/1B Northwest League, is taking one of their slots.

It makes sense, as the Wolverines are a longtime Coupeville rival, and 1A, 2B, and 1B all compete in the same state tourney in tennis.

Finally, track and field boasts its most home meets in forever.

The Wolves, still enjoying the “new oval” smell of their renovated running surface, have a pair of three-team league meets and an invitational scheduled to play out in front of local fans.

With trips to Oak Harbor and South Whidbey also on the schedule, Coupeville will stay on Whidbey Island for five of nine regular-season events currently on the schedule.

And, one last word of warning — only a fool expects spring sports to play out 100% to schedule.

Unless the weather gods take pity on us after giving us the shaft this past week-plus, keep one eye peeled for updates.

 

Coupeville Schools:

https://coupeville.tandem.co/

 

North Sound Conference:

http://www.nscathletics.com

 

So, as of Feb. 12, this is where things are for CHS varsity teams, with * indicating a league game.

 

BASEBALL:

Tues-Mar. 12 — Friday Harbor (3:30)
Fri-Mar. 15 — @Lynden Christian (3:00)
Sat-Mar. 16 — Overlake (1:00)
Mon-Mar. 18 — @Cedar Park Christian (6:30)*
Wed-Mar. 20 — Cedar Park Christian (4:00)*
Fri-Mar. 22 — @Cedar Park Christian (6:30)*
Mon-Mar. 25 — Chimacum (4:00)
Wed-Mar. 27 — @University Prep (TBD)
Mon-Apr. 1 — @King’s (6:00)*
Wed-Apr. 3 — King’s (4:00)*
Fri-Apr. 5 — @King’s (6:00)*
Mon-Apr. 8 — South Whidbey (4:00)*
Wed-Apr. 10 — @South Whidbey (4:00)*
Fri-Apr. 12 — South Whidbey (4:00)*
Mon-Apr. 15 — Sultan (4:00)*
Wed-Apr. 17 — @Sultan (4:00)*
Fri-Apr. 19 — Sultan (4:00)*
Mon-Apr. 22 — Granite Falls (4:00)*
Wed-Apr. 24 — @Granite Falls (4:00)*
Fri-Apr. 26 — Granite Falls (4:00)*

 

BOYS SOCCER:

Sat-Mar. 9 — Chimacum (12:30)
Mon-Mar. 11 — Mount Baker (5:00)
Thur-Mar. 14 — @Meridian (4:30)
Sat-Mar. 16 — @Nooksack Valley (1:00)
Tues-Mar. 19 — King’s (6:45)*
Fri-Mar. 22 — Sultan (6:45)*
Tues-Mar. 26 — @Cedar Park Christian (6:00)*
Fri-Mar. 29 — @South Whidbey (6:00)*
Mon-Apr. 1 — @Forks (3:30)
Tue-Apr. 9 — Granite Falls (6:45)*
Fri-Apr. 12 — @King’s (7:00)*
Tues-Apr. 16 — @Sultan (7:00)*
Fri-Apr. 19 — Cedar Park Christian (6:45)*
Tues-Apr. 23 — South Whidbey (6:45)*
Thur-Apr. 25 — @Granite Falls (6:00)*

 

GIRLS TENNIS:

Mon-Mar 11 — @Port Angeles (4:00)
Thur-Mar. 28 — King’s (3:30)*
Mon-Apr. 8 — @Chimacum (4:00)
Tues-Apr. 9 — South Whidbey (3:30)*
Thur-Apr. 11 — @Friday Harbor (3:30)*
Tues-Apr. 16 — Granite Falls (3:30)*
Tues-Apr. 23 — @King’s (3:30)*
Thur-Apr. 25 — @ South Whidbey (3:30)*
Tues-Apr. 30 — Friday Harbor (3:30)*
Thur-May 2 — @Granite Falls (3:30)*

 

SOFTBALL:

Tues-Mar. 12 — Friday Harbor (3:30)
Fri-Mar. 15 — @Lynden Christian (3:00)
Sat-Mar. 16 — Lakewood (1:00)
Thur-Mar. 21 — Cedar Park Christian (4:00)*
Tues-Mar. 26 — @Granite Falls (4:00)*
Thur-Mar. 28 — @Sultan (4:00)*
Sat-Mar. 30 — @Forks (1:00)
Sat-Apr. 6 — Meridian (1:00)
Tues-Apr. 9 — South Whidbey (4:00)*
Mon-Apr. 15 — Cedar Park Christian (4:00)*
Wed-Apr. 17 — @Granite Falls (4:00)*
Fri-Apr. 19 — @Sultan (4:00)*
Tues-Apr. 23 — South Whidbey (4:00)*
Thur-Apr. 25 — Chimacum (4:00)
Mon-Apr. 29 — @Cedar Park Christian (4:00)*
Wed-May 1 — Granite Falls (4:00)*
Fri-May 3 — Sultan (4:00)*
Tues-May 7 — @South Whidbey (4:00)*

 

TRACK AND FIELD:

Thur-Mar. 14 — @Oak Harbor Jamboree (3:30)
Thur-Mar. 21 — HOME vs. S. Whidbey, Granite (4:00)*
Thur-Mar. 28 — @King’s (4:00)*
Sat-Mar. 30 — Coupeville Invite (11:00)
Thur-Apr. 11 — HOME vs. King’s, Cedar Park (4:00)*
Sat-Apr. 13 — @Cashmere Invitational (12:00)
Thur-Apr. 18 — @Sultan (4:00)*
Sat-Apr. 20 — @Lil’ Norway Invitational – N. Kitsap (11:00)
Thur-Apr. 25 — @South Whidbey (4:00)*

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