Fall prep preview | Coupeville volleyball

The Coupeville High School volleyball team, like all squads, loses players to graduation each year, but the Wolves have taken a hit in another area -- transfers.

Three players -- half a lineup -- who would have most likely started for Coupeville this year transferred to other schools over the past two seasons. To compound the problem, a fourth potential starter switched to soccer this fall.

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. 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.”

Although Coupeville returns only two starters, middles senior Bessie Walstad and sophomore Hailey Hammer, and one other letter winner, junior Breeannna Messner, Crebbin expects her club 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.”

Walstad was an all-league, honorable mention choice in 2011.

Some of the holes in the lineup, Crebbin said, will be filled by newcomers Megan Oakes (setter), Madeline Strasburg (outside hitter) and Amanda Fabrizi (defensive specialist).

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 takes part in the Oak Harbor jamboree at 9 a.m. today and goes to Cedarcrest at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6. The first home match is Thursday, Sept. 13, with South Whidbey at 7 p.m.

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