Falcons volleyball team splits matches with Lakewood, Coupeville

Beating Lakewood was the hope. The South Whidbey High School volleyball team learned it was easier said than done in its 3-1 loss last week.

South Whidbey stayed in contention through the match. The Cougars won the first two games 26-24 and 25-22.

“The stats show we won that game,” said South Whidbey head coach Mandy Jones.

The Falcons won the third game 25-22 but couldn’t rally in game four and lost 25-18, despite remarkable performances from Linden Firethorne, Brittany Wood and Alissa Coupe.

Firethorne, a junior, led the game with 23 kills and six blocks. Wood, a junior, added 31 digs and senior captain Coupe had 40 assists.

To keep playoff hopes alive, South Whidbey (5-6) had to beat rival Coupeville High School (3-9). In the previous meeting the Falcons defeated the Red Wolves 3-1 at Coupeville.

The Falcons fended off the Red Wolves 3-2 at South Whidbey High School on Thursday night. South Whidbey won the first game 25-15. Jones credited her team’s good communication and passing for winning the first game.

Coupeville came back and won the second game 25-22, and won the third game in extra point play, 29-27. Jones gathered her team before the fourth game for a piece of encouragement and advice.

“I asked them, ‘What is the only thing that is going to get us this win?’” Jones said. “If we have fun.”

Jones’ tactic worked and the Falcons won the fourth game, 25-17, to force a fifth game.

Jones subbed in freshmen Chantal Brown for some key serves, and senior Kelsey Taylor had a solid tip to win the match point, 15-11.

“It’s so huge that they didn’t fold,” Jones said. “I told them to stay calm and play their game.”

Wood improved her stats with 32 digs and seven kills. Coupe had 40 assists and Firethorne and recorded 23 kills, respectively. Sophomore Hannah Calderwood added nine kills and five blocks for South Whidbey.

South Whidbey is tied with Granite Falls for fourth place in the Cascade Conference. If the two teams remain tied at the end of the season, they will play a tiebreaker game to decide third and fourth place in 2A Cascade Conference.

Third place will play at South Whidbey High School in district competition.

“We have to beat Cedarcrest,” Jones said. “We always play better when we’re away for some reason. Not that I know why.”

The Falcons traveled to Duvall for a critical match against Cedarcrest (3-8) on Tuesday, Oct. 19. Cedarcrest beat South Whidbey at South Whidbey High School earlier in the season.

“I’ll need [South Whidbey] to step up their excitement level more than what it’s been,” Jones said.

Then South Whidbey hosts King’s High School (11-0) on Thursday, Oct. 21.

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