Heartbreak at state

YAKIMA — Eyes glazed over, Coupeville senior Taniel Lamb sipped a cup of water as she stared in disbelief at court number four at the SunDome.

And who could blame her?

The Wolves, ranked number one in the state, just suffered a five-game loss to Freeman that not only eliminated them from placing in the state tournament, but marked the fourth straight year they’ve met the same fate in the consolation semifinals.

“We just can’t break this curse,” CHS head coach Toni Crebbin said.

The loss was especially tough for Lamb and six other seniors, who were a part of Coupeville’s first-ever state volleyball team in 2000.

“We really would have liked to have seen a championship match, but things happen,” Lamb said in disappointment. “We just couldn’t pull it together as a team and — I don’t know.”

Unfortunately for the Wolves, Saturday’s consolation round defeat couldn’t have come in more heartbreaking fashion.

After winning its first two games 25-19 and 25-14 over Freeman, Coupeville stumbled in the next three, losing 25-23, 25-16, 22-20.

Game five was a back-and-forth, resulting in six lead changes and 11 ties.

“It was just a roller coaster ride the whole time,” Crebbin said.

Down 15-14 and looking defeat in the eyes, the Wolves sent the match into overtime behind an emphatic kill to the back line by junior Kirsty Croghan. CHS went up on the next play when senior Heather Fakkema bumped the ball over the net between two Freeman players.

In need of one more point for the win, the Wolves couldn’t get it done.

The Scotties tied the game on a mis-hit from Coupeville and went on to control four of the next five match-point opportunities before finally putting the contest away on an ace.

“They just woke up on the other side of the net and found out what worked for them,” Crebbin said of the Freeman comeback.

Laura Crandall was 22-for-23 serving with four aces and 11 kills. Lamb was 17-for-18 with 17 kills and one block and Mindy Horr had 43 assists.

A Coupeville victory would have moved them into a fourth and seventh place contest, assuring them a first-ever placing at state.

Saturday’s loss marked the final game for Heather Davis, Annie Larson, Kristina Morris, Horr, Crandall, Lamb and Fakkema.

La Conner 3, Coupeville 1

Coupeville knew first-hand its quarterfinal match-up would be no easy task.

“We knew it could go either way,” Crebbin said. “We didn’t bring it at all and hats off to them — they did.”

After getting the best of La Conner once in the regular season and once in a district championship playoff, the Wolves couldn’t keep momentum going Friday night.

CHS beat La Conner 25-23 in game one, but then fell in three straight games, 25-19, 25-19, 25-21, eliminating a chance for a state championship.

Brave sophomore Kathy Paul led La Conner at the net with six kills and three blocks, while Courtney Blunt added three kills and three aces.

The majority of the La Conner points, however, came from Coupeville mistakes. The Wolves averaged 11 errors a game, putting up 44 for the match.

Coupeville 3, Zillah 1

After dropping their first game 26-24, Coupeville cruised to 25-15, 25-16, 25-15 victories over the Zillah in its first round match up.

Horr led the way with 17 aces, and 24 assists, while Croghan had four kills, four block and two aces. Lamb added seven kills, followed by Crandall with five.

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