Coupeville High School volleyball coach refuses to let her girls play the “What if” game.
Four players — all likely starters this season– will don different uniforms this fall. Over the past two years, three have transferred to other schools and a fourth chose to change sports.
How will the Wolves overcome? “Like we usually do, not looking back and talking about what ‘could have been,’ but instead, turning it around to look at it as an opportunity for someone to really step up her game,” said head coach Toni Crebbin.
She added, “We raise the bar and tell the girls that every day we strive to get better.”
Two of the transfers left last year, and the Wolves responded with a solid 9-9 season. Crebbin said, “We have years like last year to look back on, when we succeed when we’re not supposed to, and it encourages the girls that they can do it again.”
Regardless of the personnel, Crebbin expects the Wolves to be competitive in the Cascade Conference: “Our love of the game and heart will get us further than people expect us to…I expect we will be in a close fight to finish top four.”
This year’s club will center around its two returning starters, middles senior Bessie Walstad and sophomore Hailey Hammer, and letter winner junior Breeannna Messner.
Walstad was an all-league, honorable mention choice in 2011.
Newcomers Megan Oakes (setter), Madeline Strasburg (outside hitter) and Amanda Fabrizi (defensive specialist) will be called upon to plug some of the holes.
Crebbin said the Wolves’ strength is their attitude and their weakness is lack of experience. She added, “One thing that is both a strength and a weakness is that I have a lot of versatile girls that can play more than one position. That is a strength in that it gives me options and depth, but on the other hand I don’t have a lot of girls who really dominate in any one position.”
Coupeville heads north to take part in the Oak Harbor Jamboree at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, then has two away matches before hosting South Whidbey at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13.