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Posts Tagged ‘volleyball’

Mikayla Elfrank, destroyer of softballs. (Jordan Ford photo)

   Elfrank, powered by her snazzy socks, flies in for another bucket on the hardwood. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

You can run, but she’ll still pound the ball off your face.

It’s not how much time you have, it’s what you do with that time.

Mikayla Elfrank didn’t get the full tour as a Coupeville High School athlete, as she started off down South in Falcon territory, not joining the Wolves until midway through her sophomore year.

Now, at the tail end of her prep career, an ankle injury has stolen part of her basketball season and is denying her a chance to play a spring sport.

Doesn’t matter.

Elfrank accomplished more than enough in her limited run, reaching electrifying heights rarely touched, making her a slam-dunk pick for induction into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

Off the field and court, the three-sport star is a whip-smart, well-spoken young woman who I have no doubt will be a great success in life.

Spend any time speaking to Elfrank and you can’t help but come away impressed with her.

She exudes a quiet confidence mixed with a genuine warmth, and is the rare athlete, young or old, able to look at their career and assess it honestly and straight-forward.

If she has a slight weakness, it may be that she is a little too modest about her own talent.

I’ve seen you play three sports across three years, Mikayla, and I can say this — you have been one of the most entertaining athletes I have ever covered.

It’s not because she’s big on personal celebration or chest-thumping, but it’s because she possesses a big-game explosiveness rarely seen in these parts.

If Hunter Smith is the cool rider, the Wolf who hums along, day after day, game after game, always hitting the high notes, Elfrank is like a roller coaster turned into a human.

When she is on the volleyball or basketball court, or stalking the softball field, she has an uncanny ability to bounce back at a moment’s notice, turning what might be a bad game for her team around in a split second.

When Elfrank strikes, it is with a white-hot intensity.

A spike that ricochets off of a rival’s face with enough force to almost come back over the net.

A coast-to-coast breakaway in which she shreds three backpedaling defenders before slapping the ball high off the backboard for a game-busting layup.

A home run to dead center field that not only clears the fence in Sequim, but puts a dent in a carnival ride being set up in the great beyond, scattering workers who jump like a bomb has dropped on their heads.

In her time as a Wolf, Elfrank has been the queen of the big moment, giving Coupeville fans a jolt of electricity and making opposing coaches throw their hands up in frustration.

They can’t stop her, they can’t contain her, and they know it.

A lot of athletes have come and gone here in Cow Town, and a very select few stand apart for being able to genuinely channel a mix of excitement and danger in every game they play.

Elfrank, like Madeline Strasburg or Lathom Kelley before her, rises above being talented and sits in that pantheon of Wolves who make you feel like you got your money’s worth every night, win or loss.

She and her teammates had some big moments, winning Olympic League titles in volleyball and basketball, going to state as spikers and narrowly missing on the diamond. They also had some tough defeats.

Win or lose, Elfrank never backed down from a challenge, never stopped fighting until the final buzzer, and repped the Wolf uniform with class and skill.

It would have been nice to have a full four years of her in red and black, with no injuries, but what we got to witness will stand the test of time.

An extraordinary young woman, on and off the competitive field, Mikayla will live on at the top of this blog, enshrined under the Legends tab.

Cause that’s what she is, today and forever.

Through every spike, every bucket, every laser throw from the hole at short, she was building a legacy, whether she knew it or not.

Thank you, Miss Elfrank, for making every game an adventure.

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   Payton Aparicio, here delivering a blistering kill, won team MVP and “Spirit of a Wolf” awards Tuesday at the volleyball banquet. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

   Maddie Vondrak (top) made sister Peytin proud, winning the JV team’s Most Improved.

It was a season-long celebration for the Wolves.

Payton Aparicio was a busy bee Tuesday night.

The Coupeville High School senior capped a stellar volleyball career by copping two awards, team MVP and “Spirit of a Wolf,” at her team’s awards banquet.

The shindig brought a close to the most successful season in program history since 2004.

Guided by second-year coach Cory Whitmore, CHS won a record-tying 13 matches.

It also captured a second-straight Olympic League crown (while winning all 27 sets it played in conference), advancing to state for the first time in 13 seasons.

Sophomore swing player Maya Toomey-Stout joined Aparicio as a double winner, bringing home Most Improved (varsity) and Most Inspirational (JV).

Senior Lauren Rose picked up Most Inspirational for the varsity.

In awards previously announced, Hope Lodell was the Olympic League MVP, with Mikayla Elfrank, Katrina McGranahan and Rose tabbed as First-Team All-Conference picks.

Coupeville’s JV team, which went 12-1 under first-year head coach Chris Smith (falling only to 2A Port Angeles), honored Emma Mathusek as MVP.

Lucy Sandahl shared Most Inspirational with Toomey-Stout, while Maddie Vondrak earned Most Improved.

Letter winners:

Payton Aparicio
Kyle Briscoe
Mikayla Elfrank
Hope Lodell
Ashley Menges
Katrina McGranahan
Lauren Rose
Emma Smith
Scout Smith
Maya Toomey-Stout
Allison Wenzel

Participation certificates:

Megan Behan
Kylie Chernikoff
Catherine Lhamon
Jaimee Masters
Emma Mathusek
Heidi Meyers
Charlotte Nolle
Chelsea Prescott
Lucy Sandahl
Savannah Smith
Zoe Trujillo
Raven Vick
Willow Vick
Maddie Vondrak

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“I can touch the moon, mom!” (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

“I … am … outta here!!”

“That’s gonna leave a mark.”

“And then South Whidbey said they could beat us…”

“She’s like a freakin’ Terminator out there…”

“They gave us sass, so we made ’em eat grass!!”

“We’re going to state!” (Konni Smith photo)

“Eat hot death from above!!” (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

“I love you, sis.” (Beth Stout photo)

   “Hey coach, I found your old MySpace account … wait, is that a mullet!?!?!” (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

I’ve written a lot of words here on Coupeville Sports, but I realize where my page hits really come from.

Photos. Photos. And, yes, more photos.

Whether snapped by Shelli Trumbull or John Fisken or David Stern or any of a thousand Wolf moms (and dads), glossy pics are the real power behind the throne.

So, as we head into a new sports season, I decided to take a quick look back at the one which just finished, and do something I haven’t done before — pick my favorite pics.

These 10 aren’t necessarily the ones which got the most clicks (team photos are always a magnet), and they don’t cover every fall sport.

But, at this moment, they are some of my personal favorites — ones which I think capture the essence of high school sports in a special way.

So, which one do you like the most? Let me know.

Our poll for the “Photo of the Fall” kicks off at 7 PM Sunday and goes 48 hours, ending at 7 PM Tuesday.

Vote as often as you like. Wild West rules, no restrictions whatsoever.

What does the winner get? A nice warm glow in their chest(s), so, they got that going for them, which is nice.

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Kyla Briscoe pounds home a winner. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Ready to rain down terror on hapless foes.

Katrina McGranahan (left) and Mikayla Elfrank form an impenetrable wall.

Six players firing as one.

It was one of the most dominant seasons ever put together by a Coupeville High School sports team.

The 2017 Wolf spikers tied the program record for wins (13), went to state for the first time since 2004 and captured a second-straight Olympic League crown.

Oh, and CHS also won all 27 sets it played against league foes Klahowya, Port Townsend and Chimacum.

You read that right.

Merely going 9-0, and joining girls basketball as the only Coupeville varsity programs to hit that mark in league play, wasn’t enough. These Wolves needed total freakin’ domination.

For league perfection, for rewriting the record books, and for their success on the floor, in the classroom and in the community, the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame welcomes the 2017 CHS varsity spikers to our hallowed digital halls.

After this, you’ll find them hanging out at the top of the blog, under the Legends tab.

It’s easy to forget that, just four years ago, when this year’s seniors were freshmen, Wolf volleyball went 1-11 during the first season of the Olympic League.

It was all uphill from there, bouncing to six wins and a district playoff victory over Seattle Christian, then 11 wins and a league title, before culminating in an inspired 2017 campaign.

Coupeville twice won five matches in a row, beat a pair of large-school 2A teams (North Mason and Port Angeles) and overcame a schedule in which it played 13 of 18 matches on the road.

Its only losses in the regular season were to Bellevue Christian, which went to state, and 2A Sequim, and CHS came up big in the postseason.

After a tough brawl in a rematch with BC to open districts, the Wolves swatted Cascade Christian — the school which sent them home as sophomores — to punch their ticket to state.

Once it hit Yakima, Coupeville found itself in the “Group of Death,” wedged in with undefeated Castle Rock, undefeated defending state champ Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls) and eventual new state champ King’s.

The Wolves didn’t go down easy, though, taking a set from Castle Rock and holding their own in the midst of the madhouse that is the state volleyball tourney.

Even at the end, Coupeville’s spikers displayed the kind of poise and big-play mentality which served them well all season.

This was a squad which produced a league MVP in Hope Lodell, First-Team All-Conference picks in Mikayla Elfrank, Katrina McGranahan and Lauren Rose and a record-buster in Payton Aparicio.

The latter drilled 18 service aces in a late-season match, shattering the previous school record of 13, set by Jessica Riddle back in 2010.

The Wolves were rich in seniors — Kyla Briscoe, bouncing back after missing a year from injury to become a spike-happy wild woman at the net, and always-dependable Allison Wenzel complete the Magnificent Seven.

But while their graduation will leave a hole, the future is bright.

Two juniors, two sophomores and one freshman also saw floor time for Coupeville, and the JV (12-1) and C-Team (4-0) form an especially-strong farm system.

In just two years on the job, CHS coach Cory Whitmore has taken what previous coaches set up, and kicked the program into a different gear.

His current players have held free clinics for the lil’ kids who are the future of the program, and the numbers of participants they have pulled in has been astounding.

Even as Coupeville volleyball celebrates highs it hasn’t seen in a decade-plus, there is an unmistakable feeling this is just the beginning.

But, when we get a couple of years down the line and see things play out, we’ll still be able to look back and honor the team which launched the new revolution.

Today, we induct the 2017 varsity spikers into our lil’ Hall o’ Fame, 12 young women (and their support crew) who sent a bolt of lightning through Wolf Nation.

Inducted together, as a team:

Payton Aparicio
Kyla Briscoe
Mikayla Elfrank
Hope Lodell
Katrina McGranahan
Ashley Menges
Chelsea Prescott
Lauren Rose
Emma Smith
Scout Smith
Maya Toomey-Stout
Allison Wenzel
Cory Whitmore
(head coach)
Ashley Herndon (assistant coach)
Chris Smith (assistant coach)
Kayla Rose (manager)

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   Wolf senior spiker Hope Lodell was named Olympic League MVP. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It was a season of domination, right down to the end.

The Coupeville High School volleyball squad drilled its Olympic League foes this season, winning all nine matches, and, for that matter, all 27 sets.

So it came as no surprise when the Wolves received 50% of the All-Conference selections, including, for the second-straight year, MVP.

This time around the highest honor went to senior Hope Lodell, who moved to libero for her final year, but never lost her reputation for carving up foes as “The Surgeon.”

Sliding over to replace a legend in Valen Trujillo, Lodell adapted her game to fit her new job and excelled on a nightly basis.

Whether scraping digs off the floor or firing wicked aces which burnt the top of the net and caused dad Mike to lose his mind, she went out all guns blazing.

After helping lead CHS to a league title, a tie for the most wins in program history (13) and its first trip to state since 2004, Lodell exits holding numerous marks on the school volleyball record board.

Also getting honors for Coupeville were fellow seniors Katrina McGranahan (last year’s MVP), Mikayla Elfrank and Lauren Rose, who were all named First-Team All-League.

Chimacum junior Renee Woods, Port Townsend senior Alana McCleese and Klahowya sophomore Rachel Bailey rounded out the First-Team roster.

Klahowya sophomore Maile Lueck was tabbed as the defensive player of the year.

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