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Maddie Georges collected her 300th assist as a high school volleyball player Monday night. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Slip-sliding away.

For a half hour or more Monday night, the undefeated Coupeville High School varsity volleyball team looked very good.

Then, things splintered a bit, and now the Wolves have their first loss of the season.

It’s a non-conference defeat, and it came against Cedar Park Christian-Bothell, a solid private school foe — and former league rival — who exited with a 25-23, 25-14, 25-19 victory.

The loss drops Coupeville to 3-1, but the Wolves get a chance to bounce right back Wednesday when they travel to Darrington, where they’ll seek their fourth Northwest 2B/1B League win in as many matches.

Moving forward, CHS will try to avoid the pitfalls of Monday’s clash with the visiting Eagles, when it spent too much of the match playing from behind.

“Errors down the stretch hurt us a bit,” said Coupeville coach Cory Whitmore.

“When you’re climbing out of holes, and keep on having to do it, that’s always tough, especially against a team which takes cares of the ball reasonably well.”

Coupeville battled CPC every step of the way in the opening set, with the two teams combining for 12 ties, the final one at 23-23.

The Wolves got to that last stalemate thanks to a nasty spike off the fingertips of Lucy Tenore, which came shortly after freshman Savina Wells blistered another winner.

Coupeville’s big hitters, which include Olivia Schaffeld and Jill Prince, were clicking, and the Wolves matched the Eagles kill for kill.

But CPC slipped away with the opening frame after Coupeville sent a serve long at 23-23, then muffed a play right on top of the net while facing set point.

Schaffeld had opened play with a spike which tore a chunk out of the floor in the back corner of the court, before fab frosh Lyla Stuurmans unleashed a collection of heat-seeking missiles of her own.

Freshman Lyla Stuurmans popped five kills against Cedar Park Christian.

The cousin of former Wolf MVP Payton Aparicio is already making a name for herself, thunking winners from the left side, then stamping her feet on the ground in joy as her squad celebrates around her.

Whitmore has a very-young team this time around, with two freshmen (Stuurmans and Wells) and a sophomore (Schaffeld) starting, with another sophomore, Grey Peabody, showing great promise.

Toss in a collection of juniors, who had a pandemic-shortened sophomore campaign, and no active seniors, and the Wolves are still a work in progress.

Case in point, the second set.

Coupeville came out strongly, with Wells and Prince spraying winners, while Schaffeld and Tenore teamed up to stuff a CPC gunner at the net.

But after trailing just 13-11, things went sideways for a bit, with the Eagles mounting a 12-3 surge to close out the frame.

That downward trend from the Wolves carried over to the start of the third set, with CPC blowing out to a 5-0 lead, then stretching it out to 18-10.

While Coupeville’s young guns couldn’t get all the way back, they did find some nice grit in their game, playing the Eagles straight-up the rest of the way.

Schaffeld collected back-to-back winners, Prince staggered CPC with some ferocious blows, and the Wolf role players came full-tilt in the final stages of the match.

“That one right there, she was an animal on the back row,” Whitmore said as Ryanne Knoblich stopped to say good night to her coach.

“She and (libero) Alita (Blouin) are really finding their niche,” he added. “And while it won’t necessarily show up in the stats, Lyla passed really well tonight.”

While he would have liked getting a win against a tough-nosed rival, Whitmore remains positive, already looking forward to a chance for his players to fine-tune their games.

“We’ll learn from this,” he said. “We’ll head back to practice tomorrow and focus on the importance of the first half of every set.”

While the Wolves lost the match, two of their juniors did reach personal milestones, which were hailed by team manager Abby Mulholland.

Georges collected her 300th career assist midway through the night, while Blouin passed 100 digs.

 

Monday stats:

Alita Blouin — 19 digs, 1 assist, 1 ace
Maddie Georges 
— 1 kill, 5 digs, 14 assists, 1 ace
Taygin Jump 
— 1 dig
Ryanne Knoblich
— 4 digs
Jill Prince — 4 kills
Olivia Schaffeld 
— 5 kills, 1 dig, 2 block assists
Lyla Stuurmans 
— 5 kills, 4 digs
Lucy Tenore 
— 4 kills, 1 dig, 2 block assists
Savina Wells 
— 7 kills, 6 digs, 2 aces

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Jada Heaton, soaring in an earlier match, crunched two kills Monday night. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Consider it a bump in the road, with lessons learned.

At least that’s the hope for the Coupeville High School JV volleyball squad, which dropped its first sets, and first match, Monday night.

Facing off with non-conference foe Cedar Park Christian-Bothell, the previously-undefeated Wolves fell 25-16, 25-13, 25-23 at home.

The loss drops Coupeville to 3-1 on the season, though it will get a chance to jump right back into action.

The Wolf JV heads to Darrington Wednesday for a Northwest 2B/1B League rumble, before appearing Saturday at a tourney in Oak Harbor.

The clash Monday with CPC reunited Coupeville with a former rival from the 1A North Sound Conference, and the private school spikers certainly played up to past performances.

Controlling the action most of the way, the visiting Eagles closed the first set on a 7-1 run to bust open what had been a fairly close battle.

Coupeville’s only lead in the first frame came at 2-1, but the Wolves did force three ties, the last at 8-8.

That came courtesy a zinger of a serve from Gwen Gustafson, the lone Wolf to put together a strong run at the service stripe in the early going.

Gustafson also had two of her team’s three biggest hits in the first set, launching a pair of sharply-angled kills to complement one by teammate Madison McMillan.

The second set may seem lopsided if you just look at the score, but Coupeville was in it for the first half, with six ties and a lead as late as 10-8.

Jada Heaton delivered a resounding kill which ripped down the middle of the court, rising up and smacking the crud out of the ball, to fuel the run.

Meanwhile, McMillan artfully dropped a pair of tip winners, and Grey Peabody stuffed a CPC hitter just as the Eagle was about to unload.

Madison McMillan (left) and Isabel Johnson both filled up the stat sheet.

Unfortunately, Cedar Park then hit a major hot streak, closing the set on a 17-3 tear to officially seal the win.

Despite the match being decided, the two teams had time to kill, so played a third set for practice, and it was a tense affair not decided until the final second.

Isabel Johnson, Mia Farris, and McMillan were sharp at the service line, with the latter running off six straight points to stake CHS to a 23-21 lead.

Cedar Park finally broke her run, however, then closed out the set and match for the sweep.

 

Monday stats:

Taylor Brotemarkle — 1 dig, 11 assists, 1 ace
Mia Farris — 1 kill, 1 ace
Gwen Gustafson — 5 kills, 4 digs, 2 aces
Jada Heaton — 2 kills, 1 dig, 1 assist
Isabel Johnson — 6 digs, 2 aces
Madison McMillan — 4 kills, 6 digs, 4 aces
Grey Peabody — 2 kills, 1 solo block
Aby Wood  — 1 dig

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Carolyn Lhamon, as the Masked Photographer, leads off a look at CHS volleyball fans, coaches, and players. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Who was that masked man? And woman? And child?

Volleyball is the one Coupeville High School fall sport played indoors, and the ongoing pandemic requires all involved to cover up at games.

Wanderin’ photographer John Fisken, between clicking action on the court, snagged these pics of fans, coaches, and players modeling different face wear.

To see many more photos, from every sport currently being played — some with masks, many without, pop over to:

https://www.johnsphotos.net/

 

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Jill Prince dominates at the net for an undefeated CHS volleyball team. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

After a week off, Scott Hilborn and Co. open Northwest 2B/1B League play at home against La Conner.

The view is nice from the top.

Two of the four Coupeville High School fall sports teams which keep win/loss records find themselves in first place as of this morning.

The high-flying Wolf volleyball team sits alone at 3-0 in Northwest 2B/1B League play, while the CHS girls are tied at 1-0 with defending champs Mount Vernon Christian.

Now, both of those teams, and Coupeville’s football, boys soccer, and cross country programs head into a busy week.

The Wolf spikers host Cedar Park Christian-Bothell Monday in a non-conference bout, then travel to Darrington Wednesday for a league rumble.

After that, volleyball closes the week with an appearance Saturday at a tourney in Sultan.

Coupeville’s soccer squads each play twice in the week ahead, with the girls traveling to MVC Tuesday, before hosting non-league rival Granite Falls Thursday.

The Wolf boys host Grace Academy Tuesday, and are off to visit Friday Harbor on Friday.

Out on the gridiron, Coupeville returns to action after a week off, hosting La Conner Friday in a major league battle.

Rounding out things, the CHS cross country program — the one which doesn’t keep win/loss records — runs three times.

Tuesday, the Wolves are at Orcas, Friday they’re home at Fort Casey, and Saturday brings a visit to the Roller Coaster Trail Run, hosted by King’s.

Where things stand through Sept. 19:

 

Northwest League boys soccer:

School League Overall
PC Christian 4-0-0 4-0-0
Orcas Island 2-0-0 2-0-0
MV Christian 3-1-0 3-1-0
Friday Harbor 1-2-0 1-2-0
Grace Academy 1-2-0 1-2-0
La Conner 1-2-0 1-2-0
Lopez Island 1-2-0 1-2-0
Coupeville 0-2-0 0-2-0
CPC-Lynnwood 0-2-0 0-2-0

 

Northwest League football:

School League Overall
Friday Harbor 1-0 1-2
Concrete 0-0 0-1
Coupeville 0-0 0-2
Darrington 0-0 1-1
La Conner 0-1 0-2

 

Northwest League girls soccer:

School League Overall
Coupeville 1-0-0 1-1-0
MV Christian 1-0-0 4-0-1
Friday Harbor 0-1-0 0-4-0
La Conner 0-1-0 0-1-0

 

Northwest League volleyball:

School League Overall
Coupeville 3-0 3-0
La Conner 1-0 2-0
Darrington 1-1 4-1
MV Christian 1-1 1-1
Orcas Island 1-1 1-2
Concrete 0-2 0-2
Friday Harbor 0-2 0-3

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Chelsea Prescott thumps the ball during her senior season at Coupeville High School. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Even in defeat, Chelsea Prescott fills up the stat sheet.

The Coupeville High School grad played strongly Saturday, as she and her Medaille College teammates closed out the Buffalo State Women’s Volleyball Bengal Challenge.

The Mavericks fell in straights sets to Houghton College (25-18, 25-15, 25-16) and Alfred University (25-19, 25-22, 25-17), finishing 1-2 in the tourney.

Medaille is 3-6 on the season and returns to action Tuesday, Sept. 21 when it travels back to Buffalo State for a match with the Bengals.

Prescott and Co. are on the road for their next four matches, not playing on their own home court again until Oct. 6.

Saturday, the former Wolf picked up four kills and 11 digs against Houghton, then racked up a team-high five kills, a block assist and five more digs against Alfred.

During her freshman season of NCAA D-III volleyball, Prescott has played in all 27 sets, racking up 43 kills, 66 digs, seven service aces, four assists, a solo block, and four block assists.

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