Wolves’ strong season comes to an early end at state / Volleyball

Although Coupeville High School did not win a match at the state tournament this weekend, it is hard to call the Wolves’ volleyball season anything but a success.

The Wolves returned to the state tournament for the first time since 2004 and finished the season with a 13-5 record, tying for the most wins in a season in school history.

This fall, Coupeville also collected its second consecutive Olympic League crown, not losing a set in conference play while earning a 9-0 record.

“We are very happy to have had this great experience to cap off a fun season with a fantastic group of student-athletes,” coach Cory Whitmore said. “They worked extremely hard to get to this point, and we are very fortunate to have taken the season to the last possible week.”

Castle Rock 3, Coupeville 1

The unranked Wolves were bracketed with Washington’s first, fourth and sixth-ranked 1A teams at the state tournament held in Yakima at the SunDome Friday and Saturday, Nov. 10 and 11.

Coupeville fell 3-1 (25-8, 22-25, 25-8, 25-9) to sixth-ranked and unbeaten Castle Rock in the first round. The Rockets went on to finish in sixth place.

“In all but the second set, our serving was a struggle — we were attempting to be too aggressive and so lost our consistency,” Whitmore said. “In the second set, we were able to find their weak points, which kept their offense out of sync and we we able to turn their offense into ours.”

Emma Smith had four kills for the Wolves. Kyla Briscoe, Mikayla Elfrank and Payton Aparicio had two each.

Ashley Menges and Aparicio had two aces apiece.

“Our back row defense was our strongest stat this past weekend in both our matches,” Whitmore said.

That defense against the Rockets was led by Hope Lodell and Aparicio was 13 digs.

Lakeside 3, Coupeville 0

The Wolves dropped into the consolation bracket to face top-ranked Lakeside of Nine Mile Falls Friday night. The Eagles won every set of every match this season before losing to fourth-ranked King’s in the state opener. King’s used that win to springboard to the state title.

Lakeside eliminated Coupeville 3-0 (25-12, 25-10, 25-16).

“In all three sets we came out a bit flat but competed hard, swinging at their blocks and serving much more consistent than versus Castle Rock, allowing our defense to slow down their very strong and balanced offense,” Whitmore said. “Their offense attacked the ball hard but we put up a solid block that slowed their first attack down, then we had a very balanced back row game.”

Elfrank fired three kills, and Smith, Katrina McGranahan and Aparicio had two; Menges added three aces.

Defensively, Lodell and Aparicio had seven digs, Menges six, Lauren Rose five and Briscoe four.

“We set a goal to make it to state, and with the milestone achieved, this group can hold their heads up high, knowing that they left all they had out there on the court through four-plus years of hard work and dedication,” Whitmore said. “I’m so proud of what this group of seniors has accomplished in its time with Coupeville volleyball and very much look forward to next season with a group looking to follow (the seniors’) legacy.”