Sports

Wolves clinch trip to Yakima

ANACORTES — What a difference a day can make.

A mere 24 hours after losing the Northwest A/B volleyball title 3-1 at La Conner, Coupeville regained its composure and defeated the Braves 2-1 in a best-of-three district title tiebreaker on Wednesday, clinching a state berth in the process.

“It’s one thing to beat La Conner because they are a very good team, but after losing last night and coming back to win tonight it feels so awesome,” CHS junior Kirsty Croghan said.

The Wolves’ 16-25, 25-22, 29-27 victory over the Braves was by no means an easy task.

Appearing to carry a hangover of the previous night’s defeat, Coupeville started out slow in game one.

CHS committed 12 unforced errors, including four botched serves en route to the loss.

“Game one was a little shaky,” head coach Toni Crebbin said. “We missed serves, which is something we don’t normally do.”

The Wolves quickly turned it around in game two — and they did it behind the effort of an unlikely hero.

Junior Jennifer Bailey, who sees minimal time off the bench, came and provided the Wolves much-needed energy in front of the net.

“I mixed things up with Jen in there and she really sparked it tonight,” Crebbin said.

Bailey had six of her 11 total kills in game two, including an emphatic game-winning spike.

“I was really nervous when I first went in, but my teammates really helped me believe,” Bailey said. “They told me I can do it in practice and they said I could do it in a game too.”

Coupeville maintained its momentum in game three behind an all-around team effort. The Wolves connected on 13 kills from five different players in the third game. Senior Taniel Lamb had five of those kills, one block and served the match-winning point.

“That was the best I’ve seen her play,” Crebbin said. “She had one kill last night and that was it.”

Down 24-19, La Conner rallied from match point five times to tie. Coupeville, however, never allowed the Braves to take the lead in overtime.

“That was us tonight,” Crebbin said. “When we’re on we just mix it up, we don’t have one person we have to go to.”

Croghan matched Bailey’s effort at the net with 11 kills, junior Beth Mouw had nine and Lamb had six. Senior Mindy Horr added 30 assists and three service aces.

The victory provided the Wolves (11-1) a district title and guarantees them a trip to the class A state tournament, Nov. 12-13 in Yakima. CHS, ranked third in the state’s latest poll, plays for state tournament seeding today, Nov. 6 at home in a four-team tournament. The Wolves begin at 5:30 p.m. against Bellevue Christian. The winner faces the victor of the Bush-Life Christian match at 7:30 p.m. for one of the top two seeds in state. The losers will battle it out for third and fourth.

La Conner 3, Coupeville 1

Coupeville struggled on Tuesday in the final regular-season match of the year, losing 25-22, 19-25, 25-20, 25-14 at La Conner. The Wolves committed 47 errors in four games, while the Braves showed little sign of let down.

Kathy Paul, Jaynie Hancock and Melissa Meister led an aggressive attack at the net for La Conner with 10 kills apiece.

The victory gave the Braves the Northwest A/B title, but Wednesday’s loss moves them into a difficult situation this weekend. La Conner must come out on top of a three-team tournament in order to get a fifth and final seed to state.

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