The Coupeville High School volleyball team finished third in the 12-team South Whidbey Invitational Tournament Saturday, Sept. 9.
The Wolves went undefeated in pool play, beating the South Whidbey junior varsity (25-22, 25-13), Lopez Island (25-13, 25-9) and Friday Harbor (25-12, 25-18).
That placed Coupeville into the championship bracket where it lost to Nooksack Valley and the South Whidbey varsity.
“I was happy with what we accomplished today, taking steps toward our long-term goals, both at the varsity and JV level,” coach Cory Whitmore said.
Whitmore praised the play and off-season work of Mikayla Elfrank and her connection with setter Lauren Rose.
Payton Aparicio and Ashley Menges powered the Wolves at the service line, Whitmore said, and Hope Lodell excelled in back-row defense.
“Payton has worked incredibly hard to improve her role, but as an outside, she has to serve, pass, block, dig and hit,” he added. “She shouldered the load really well and remained incredibly reliable in each set.”
Whitmore also liked the play of Katrina McGranahan, Kyla Briscoe, Emma Smith, Scout Smith and Allison Wenzel, who “filled their roles well and had strong moments.”
The Coupeville junior varsity was invited to play as a replacement for a team that chose not to attend.
Whitmore said he was happy from what he saw from the JV team and how it handled playing mostly varsity opponents.
“Lucy Sandahl did a great job working as the setter the entire day,” Whitmore said. “She worked incredibly hard for her teammates and did a nice job of managing the passes given to her, setting up her hitters for success.
“We took sophomores Maya Toomey-Stout, Emma Mathusek, Zoe Trujillo, Raven and Willow Vick and freshmen Chelsea Prescott, Savannah Smith and Maddie Vondrak.
“I was happy to see our sophomore group play together, with a lot of ball control and composure, and then our freshman middles learn at a rapid pace, holding their own just fine.”
The JV Wolves finished in the top eight of the 12-team tournament and displayed “progress and comfortability” against varsity competition, according to Whitmore.
The Wolves (1-0) begin defense of their league title when they travel to Chimacum (0-1) for a 6:15 p.m. match Tuesday, Sept. 12.