Sports

Wolves finish season; coach steps down | Volleyball

Has Hailey Hammer serves, her teammates (from left) Madeline Strasburg, Bessie Walstad, Breanna Messner and Megan Oakes get ready to rotate at the district tournament Saturday. - Jim Waller / Whidbey News-Times
Has Hailey Hammer serves, her teammates (from left) Madeline Strasburg, Bessie Walstad, Breanna Messner and Megan Oakes get ready to rotate at the district tournament Saturday.
— image credit: Jim Waller / Whidbey News-Times

A string of losses in close games added up to an early exit for the Coupeville High School volleyball team at the district tournament at Lynden Christian Saturday, Oct. 27.

In addition to the lost matches, Coupeville is also losing its long-time coach. Toni Crebbin announced to her players after the match that she is stepping down as the Wolves' head coach.

Coupeville (4-13) opened the tournament with a 3-1 loss to tough Nooksack Valley (10-7) and then fell 3-0 to Friday Harbor (9-8) and was eliminated.

Coupeville started with Nooksack Valley, the top 1A team from the Northwest Conference which went on to finish second in the tournament, and lost the first set 25-17. From there the Wolves battled the Pioneers in three close sets, 23-25, 25-22, 22-25.

Bessie Walstad recorded 11 kills and Hailey Hammer had nine kills and three aces.

Crebbin said, "The girls and I were really proud of how we played in that match and felt good coming into the Friday Harbor match. Not sure what happened, other than too much sitting around, but that game was a completely different story."

Against less formidable Friday Harbor, the Wolves lost 17-25, 23-25, 23-25.

Coupeville rebounded from the first-game loss to go up 18-11 in the second. The Wolves have had trouble holding leads all season and the Wolverines went on a 6-0 run to get back into the match and eventually took the lead 23-22.

Coupeville fell behind 5-1 in the third set, recovered to go up 9-8, trailed 16-11 and then tied it at 17.

The Wolverines moved to a four-point lead, 21-17, but behind three kills and an ace by Hammer, the Wolves tied it at 23 before Friday Harbor closed out the match and Coupeville's season.

Hammer finished with eight kills, five coming in the final game. Walstad added six kills and 13 digs.

Crebbin, referring to her resignation, said, "It has been a good 20 years, but it's time for a break. This has been one of the most enjoyable group of girls I have worked with. Who knows, maybe I will be coaching my daughters in club volleyball in a few years."

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