Emma Smith returns to lead the Coupeville attack this fall. (Photo by John Fisken)

Emma Smith returns to lead the Coupeville attack this fall. (Photo by John Fisken)

Prep preview / Coupeville volleyball

The Coupeville High School volleyball team will enter the new North Sound Conference with plenty of momentum.

The Wolves are coming off two straight Olympic League titles. Last fall Coupeville tied the school record for most wins in a season, 13, and qualified for the state tournament for the first time since 2004.

The North Sound Conference, however, features schools with stronger traditions of success than the Olympic League.

Undaunted, Coupeville coach Cory Whitmore is “excited about the change in leagues.”

“The North Sound Conference will provide very strong volleyball night-in and night-out. If you can compete against teams in this league, you can compete against teams at nearly every level.

“The opportunity to prepare and compete and learn from a team experience is what high school athletics are all about. I’m very proud of the attitude this team has already taken toward the challenge.”

The Wolves will face the task with four returning letter winners: seniors Ashley Menges and Emma Smith and juniors Scout Smith and Maya Toomey-Stout.

Among the key newcomers is Hannah Davidson, who returns to Coupeville after a year in California. Moving up from the junior varsity are juniors Emma Mathusek and Zoe Trujillo and sophomore Chelsea Prescott.

The team’s strength, Whitmore said, is its communication.

“This group is a close group of friends that work very well together, and communication is a large part of the game they have worked on, on and off the court.”

He added that the club should be tough from the service line.

A lack of height is his biggest concern.

“We will have to be tough defensively in the back row and find ways of slowing the ball down,” he said.

“We will need to play tenacious defense and very smart offense to beat strong opponents in our league and district. Success will be measured by our ability to put up a fight with any team across the net.”

The Wolves will play in the Oak Harbor Jamboree at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, then open the season with Friday Harbor in Coupeville at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6.

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