Posts Tagged ‘undefeated’

Nezi Keiper (in white, with ball) and the CMS 8th grade hoops squad went 9-0 this season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The final performance? Impeccable.

Fighting through rampant illness, then enduring a bus trip to the wilds of Granite Falls Tuesday, the Coupeville Middle School girls basketball teams closed their seasons with a bang.

Two wins, one of which capped an undefeated season for a Wolf squad, and a narrow loss in the third game, was the order of the day.

How it played out:


8th grade varsity:

Granite came out swinging (literally), but was no match for the Wolves, who cruised home with a 44-26 win to seal the deal on a flawless 9-0 season.

As the game progressed, at least three Coupeville stars were left seeing … stars, as Alita Blouin took an elbow to the eye, Maddie Georges had her nose rearranged, and Gwen Gustafson was body-slammed to the floor.

That last melee drew a technical foul on the hosts, but all the bangs and bruises in the world were no match for the high-flying Wolves.

Blouin, living up to her nickname of “The Assassin,” rained down unholy pain on Granite, torching the joint for a season-high 15 points.

The slash-and-destroy guard scored in every quarter, tossing in five field goals, ruffling the nets for a pair of free-throws, then stabbing Granite through the heart with a three-ball.

Coupeville is far from a one-woman team, however, with its top four scorers finishing within nine points of each other this season.

Tuesday, while Blouin was slashing to the hoop and popping from outside, Coupeville’s dominant post players, Carolyn Lhamon and Nezi Keiper, were the perfect complement, throwing down 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Up 10-7 at the first break, with four players already in the scoring column, the Wolves steadily built the lead from there.

With coach Alex Evans pulling all the right strings, and every player on the floor attacking relentlessly, CMS surged to a 23-12 lead at the half, before shoving the margin out to 35-19 heading into the fourth.

Seven of the 10 players to see action scored, led by the trio in double figures.

Georges, Gustafson, Ryanne Knoblich, and Jill Prince rounded out the attack, with a bucket apiece, while Hayley Fielder, Jordyn Rogers, and Jessenia Camarena also saw floor time.


7th grade varsity:

The only loss of the day, but a nail-biter until the end.

“We were always just right there; just needed one more minute!,” said CMS coach Megan Smith. “But proud of the way the girls played.”

The 24-19 loss drops Coupeville’s final record to 2-8, but that’s a bit deceptive.

Smith’s top two scoring threats, Brionna Blouin and Lauren Marrs, only played together six times during the 10-game schedule, as illness had other plans for the Wolf duo.

Tuesday was one of those six games, and they proved how potent they can be when they get a chance to work together.

Marrs went off for a game-high 13, scoring in every quarter and netting a three-ball, while Blouin returned from sick leave to bank in six points in support.

The game was knotted 8-8 after the first quarter, with Marrs having already scored in every possible way, hitting a trey, a field goal, and a free-throw.

The offense slowed down a bit in the second quarter, with Granite holding a 6-2 advantage, and that would prove to be a killer for the Wolves.

The two teams battled almost evenly across the final 14 minutes of the season, but the Tigers stretched the lead ever so slightly with a 6-5 third frame, before the teams closed with a 4-4 stalemate in the final quarter.

Smith got quality floor time for every one in uniform, with Jackie Contreras, Reese Wilkinson, Allison Nastali, Erica McGrath, Kaitlyn Leavell, Desi Ramirez, Skylar Parker, and Kayla Arnold chipping in with defense and hustle.


8th grade JV:

Someone check what Jessenia Camarena had for breakfast, because she was unstoppable.

Pouring in a season-high nine points in just two quarters, the defensive dynamo transformed into an offensive whirlwind, pacing Coupeville to an 11-8 win.

The victory, which comes after the  JV had to sit out back-to-back games, thanks to other schools battling their own spring cold and flu season, lifts the Wolves final record to 3-5.

While she got a bit of help from Claire Mayne, who slipped through the Granite defense for a first-quarter bucket, this was Camarena’s game, from start to finish.

She tossed in two buckets to go with Mayne’s basket, as CMS built a 6-2 lead after one quarter of action.

Not content to stop there, Camarena knocked down another field goal, and a three-ball, to account for all of Coupeville’s scoring in the second, and final, frame.

Setting her up for the offensive explosion were her teammates, who harassed the Granite ball-handlers and hit the boards with intensity.

Karyme Castro, Abigail Ramirez, Mercedes Kalwies-Anderson, Adrian Burrows, Prince, Rogers, McGrath, and Contreras rounded out the active roster.


Final scoring totals for the 2019 season:


8th varsity:

Carolyn Lhamon – 71
Alita Blouin – 65
Nezi Keiper – 63
Maddie Georges – 62
Gwen Gustafson – 25
Ryanne Knoblich – 16
Hayley Fiedler – 10
Jill Prince – 6
Trinity McGee – 2
Jordyn Rogers – 2


7th varsity:

Brionna Blouin – 74
Lauren Marrs – 62
Desi Ramirez – 17
Reese Wilkinson – 8
Erica McGrath – 6
Kayla Arnold – 2
Ava Mitten – 2
Allison Nastali – 2
Skylar Parker – 2


8th JV:

Jessenia Camarena – 17
Trinity McGee – 11
Claire Mayne – 10
Mercedes Kalwies-Anderson – 9
Adrian Burrows – 8
Cristina McGrath – 8
Ryanne Knoblich – 6
Karyme Castro – 4
Melanie Navarro – 4
Jill Prince – 3
Jordyn Rogers – 3

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Gwen Gustafson and the CMS 8th grade hoops squad are a pristine 7-0 on the season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

One team is chasing experience, the other perfection.

The two Coupeville Middle School girls basketball squads to see action Tuesday at home against Lakewood found different results, but both continue to build towards a bright future.

How the action played out:


8th grade varsity rolls towards nirvana:

Two games away from perfection.

Dodging the rampant illness running through Coupeville, at least for the moment, the Wolves crushed Lakewood 38-21 to improve to a flawless 7-0 on the season.

CMS coach Alex Evans and his band of fiery attack dogs have two games remaining, both against teams they have already beaten.

First up is the home finale Thursday, with Sultan on the menu, than a road trip Mar. 19 to Granite Falls.

Facing off with Lakewood, a much-larger school which feeds players to a 2A high school, the Wolves methodically bushwhacked their foes.

A 10-7 lead after one blossomed into a 19-10 margin at the half, then a 30-16 bulge headed into the fourth quarter.

Alita Blouin, the quick-silver killer known as “The Assassin,” led the way, hitting for a game-high 11 points on a variety of shots, including a big three-ball in the third frame.

She was backed up by Nezi Keiper, who rattled the rim for nine points, and the inside-outside combo of Carolyn Lhamon and Maddie Georges, who hit for six apiece.

Hayley Fielder (4) and Gwen Gustafson (2) rounded out the well-balanced attack, while Jill Prince, Jordyn Rogers, and Ryanne Knoblich all chipped in with defense, hustle and all-around scrappiness.


7th grade varsity goes down swinging:

Coupeville was missing leading scorer Brionna Blouin and defensive dynamo Allison Nastali, thanks to illness, and the Wolves fell 37-13 to their big-school rivals.

The loss drops the Wolves to 2-6 on the season.

Lakewood put the hammer down hard in the early going, sprinting out to a 14-2 lead after one quarter, then steadily increased the lead as the game went.

Coupeville ended the afternoon on a positive note, however, taking the fourth-quarter battle 4-2, with Erica McGrath and Desi Ramirez singing the nets for a bucket apiece.

Ramirez, who entered the game with nine points on the season, went off for a team-high six, while Lauren Marrs hit for three.

Joining that duo, and McGrath, plucky Ava Mitten, niece of former CHS hoops hotshot Jason McFadyen, drained the first basket of her middle school hardwood career.

Skylar Parker, Reese Wilkinson, Kayla Arnold, Kaitlyn Leavell, and Jackie Contreras also saw floor time for Megan Smith’s ever-improving team.


8th grade JV sits out:

Lakewood is getting hit as bad as Coupeville is when it comes to cold and flu season, and the visitors weren’t able to field a JV team this time around.

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Wolf junior Hannah Davidson had seven kills Wednesday as Coupeville High School volleyball rallied for a five-set win over Granite Falls. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The better team won Wednesday.

It just took a lot longer to get there than we all might have expected.

Coming off an epic, emotion-packed, five-set win the night before against their arch-rivals, the Coupeville High School volleyball squad looked dazed, disorientated and out of sorts for the first two sets against visiting Granite Falls.

But the Wolves are undefeated for two reasons – they have considerable talent and they don’t give in easily.

Digging deep and avoiding a stunning upset, Coupeville rallied for a 20-25, 21-25, 25-12, 25-22, 15-9 win, sending their vocal fans home with relieved smiles on their faces, and quelling at least some of their coach’s angina.

“I’m extremely excited we turned it around,” said a still somewhat frazzled Cory Whitmore. “It is very easy to let things get away when you’re shell-shocked, but we displayed a lot of fight and heart.

“That will be very important as we go forward,” he added. “We expect a lot of ourselves, and we expect to win, and sometimes you have to find a way to do that … and we did.”

The win lifts Coupeville to 3-0 in North Sound Conference play, 5-0 overall.

The Wolves sit in a tie atop the league with defending 1A state champ King’s (3-0, 5-1), which swept South Whidbey Wednesday in straight sets.

The Knights lone loss was a four-set defeat at the hands of North Creek, a 4A Kingco school currently sitting with a flawless 7-0 record.

Sole possession of first-place in the NSC will be on the line next Tuesday, Oct. 2, when Coupeville travels to Shoreline for the first of two regular-season meetings with their private school foes. King’s comes to Whidbey Oct. 23.

Wednesday’s warm-up match became a wake-up, after Coupeville was caught sleep-walking for close to an hour.

The less said about the first two sets, the better, as very little went positively for the Wolves as they tried to adjust to a team with a unique playing style.

After facing a hard-hitting South Whidbey squad Tuesday, the Wolves ran up against a Granite Falls unit which dinked, poked, blooped and tipped the ball all night, making up for a lack of raw aggression by keeping everything in play.

CHS trailed from start to finish in the first set, and had just a (very) brief 1-0 lead in the second frame before that also got away from them.

Hannah Davidson had several nice tips for winners in the early going, but while big hitters Emma Smith, Ashley Menges and Maya Toomey-Stout were able to lash a few sizzling spikes, they were few and far between.

Something finally seemed to spark for Coupeville in the third set, as Scout Smith led off things by becoming the first Wolf to make a sustained run at the service stripe.

With Menges and Emma Smith pulling off “surprise, you thought the ball was going that way, but it really was going the other way” tips, Scout Smith reeled off six straight points to open the set.

After that, the Wolves began to drop the hammer more frequently, whacking winners off of their rivals arms, legs and torsos, erasing most of the smiles on the Granite side of the net.

Unable to blunt Coupeville’s power game, or match it, the visitors backpedaled, continued to throw junk in the air, and watched in horror as their advantage rapidly slipped away.

Zoe Trujillo popped into the game and immediately connected on a winner, Davidson continued to be a strong force up front and Toomey-Stout had the cannon fully firing by that point.

Coupeville’s service game, which had been uncharacteristically off in the early going, clicked from the third set on, as well.

Chelsea Prescott zinged a wicked ace that smacked the floor and curled around a would-be receiver, before Menges displayed some prime-time power.

One of “Smashley’s” serves exploded underneath a rival’s feet with so much fury it marred the glossy finish on the gym floor and set the Granite player’s shoelaces on fire.

The fourth set was chock full of raw power, 99.3% of it coming from Coupeville’s gunners, though the Tigers made things interesting by rallying from a 20-12 deficit to knot things up at 21-21.

Granite thought it had retaken the lead on the very next point, but celebrated prematurely, as Emma Mathusek made a stunning dig on a ball that looked unplayable.

With a flick of her wrists, the unsung Wolf junior, who does all the back row dirty work that makes the highlight reel kills possible, sent the ball curling back over the net, where it sliced through three defenders and dropped in for a monumental point.

With the bleeding stopped, Coupeville rode an ace from Toomey-Stout and a kill from Trujillo to force a fifth set and completely deflate the last bit of air out of Granite.

The visitors did briefly hold a 3-1 lead in the final frame, but a couple of sweet tips from Prescott pulled the Wolves back even, then Toomey-Stout started killin’ girls.

The longer the match went, the harder “The Gazelle” seemed to hit, and her spikes in the fifth set were of the type which ripped out souls and sent the Wolf student cheering section into hysterics.

The yells just got louder when Lucy Sandahl made a splashy cameo, launching a wicked service ace to push CHS to the edge of victory.

And the final blow?

Vintage Toomey-Stout, flying up the middle, launching airborne, hanging there for an eternity, then introducing her clenched fist to the hapless ball, blasting a match-closing spike right through the heart of the Granite defense.

It was the 15th and final kill of her night, helping her top a balanced stat sheet which included 12 kills from Emma Smith, seven from Davidson and five from Prescott.

Mathusek racked up 18 digs, Scout Smith was the motor which made the Wolves run with 35 silky assists, and Prescott paced CHS at the service line with five aces, while Menges and Emma Smith added four apiece.


JV nipped:

Missing several ill players, the Wolf young guns took the opening set 25-17, then faded, falling 25-16, 25-10.

The loss drops the JV to 1-2 in league play, 2-3 overall.

The opening set was a mix of big hits, with Maddie Vondrak, Trujillo and Willow Vick hammering away, while Vondrak used her jumping ability and long fingers to rise above the net and continually snuff out Granite shots.

Jaimee Masters put the set on ice with a strong run at the service line, and things seemed to be completely in Coupeville’s favor.

It wasn’t to be, though, as Granite completely flipped the switch after that, limiting the Wolf highlights to a couple more put-aways by Trujillo and two perfectly-lobbed running tips by Vick.


Superheroes live amongst us:

The best play of the night didn’t come in either match, but right at the tail end of warm-ups for the varsity match.

Coupeville had its HUDL camera set up right behind the court on a tripod, and someone, or something, slammed into it, knocking the camera free.

As it fell towards the unforgiving gym floor, a half-scream went up, several Wolves lurched in slow motion, and then Vondrak, looking every bit the part of a superhero, came flying past multiple teammates and snagged the equipment mere centimeters away from it kissing the floor.

And then promptly slow-strutted away, possibly whispering “I’m Batman!!” under her breath as she went.

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   Coupeville grad Nick Streubel hangs out with family after a game. (Photo courtesy Nanette Streubel)

   He’s like a Greek god, he is. (Photo property of Central Washington University football)

Nick Streubel is healthy and the college football world trembles.

After missing all but one game last year thanks to an injury, The Big Hurt is back in the lineup for the Central Washington University football squad and the Wildcats can not be beaten.

A 17-10 come-from-behind win over North Alabama Saturday lifts CWU, ranked #9 in the last NCAA D-II poll, to a crisp 8-0.

The Wildcats have three regular season games left, all against league foes who they beat the first time around.

Central hosts Azusa Pacific for Senior Night Oct. 28 in a game which will be streamed by ESPN3, then hits the road to face Simon Fraser and Humboldt State the next two weeks.

Streubel, a three-sport star (football, basketball, track and field) during his days wandering Coupeville’s campus, is a red-shirt sophomore.

With six games under his belt this season, he has logged time as a lineman in 13 college games during his career.

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   An injury kept Maddie Vondrak on the bench Thursday, but she was invaluable as a sideline reporter. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The road warriors continue to rock.

Half the team has yet to play a high school volleyball match at home, but Coupeville’s JV spikers haven’t let unfamiliar courts throw off their game.

After running host North Mason off the floor to a 25-15, 25-14, 25-27 tune Thursday, the Wolf young guns are a crisp 3-0 on the season.

And now, finally, their new players will get a chance to play in front of their home fans for the first time, when Coupeville hosts Klahowya next Tuesday, Sept. 26.

While the trek to the wilds of Belfair (72.6 miles one way) made for a long day, CHS pulled things together quickly against their 2A opponents.

“The JV played well today after enduring the long trip to North Mason,” said Wolf coach Chris Smith. “Our bus legs had us playing a little slow out of the gate but we mustered up the energy.”

Raven Vick put the punctuation mark on both of the first two sets, ending the first with a service ace and the second with an emphatic kill.

Camped on the bench for a night with an ankle injury, Maddie Vondrak put in time as an unpaid assistant coach, and she was a treasure trove of info.

Documenting the Wolves high points (of which there were many), she hailed Chelsea Prescott, Maya Toomey-Stout and Zoe Trujillo for “aggressive swings” and Lucy Sandahl for “awesome sets and passes.”

Coupeville passed the ball strongly all night, with Emma Mathusek, Vick and Trujillo leading the way.

The Wolves stayed on the attack in the second set, with Sandahl firing multiple aces to key the offense.

Prescott was a constant threat, praised by Vondrak for “always reading, looking for spots when serving/hitting, reaching when hitting and nice covering.”

Her other fellow freshmen were on top of their game, as well, with Kylie Chernikoff delivering “an awesome hit on the 17th point,” while Savannah Smith had “good reads and transitions.”

With the win in hand for Coupeville, the two teams opted to play a largely meaningless third set, then promptly went to war whether it mattered or not.

Vondrak gushed over her teammates hustle and refusal to let plays die, even when the ball was seemingly dead in the net.

Whether it was Mathusek’s “awesome down-balls,” Sandahl dealing with “tricky tips,” or Chernikoff and Prescott spraying service aces, everyone chipped in on the victory.

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