The Wesco 3A North boys tennis title is back in the hands of the Spartans.
Stanwood capped an incredible week by topping perennial powerhouse Snohomish 5-2 on Friday that featured five matches going to the third and deciding set.
“It’s not very often the two teams vying for the league title meet in the final league match of the season,” head coach Ryan Ingram said. “It was pretty tense. And it was pretty special to get the win. I’m just so proud of our guys. When it got tight, they stepped up. They showed a lot of grit.”
Huston Rawls, playing in the No. 1 singles match, lost the first set, then rallied to secure the win.
“He had a fantastic match,” Ingram said of the match he won 4-6, 6-4, 7-5. “It was back and forth. Everyone crowded around that court in the end to watch.”
It helped to secure the Spartans’ first league title since 2014.
“As a team, this was our primary goal, this was our main focus,” Ingram said. “So now we’ll work on postseason prep and begin to figure out pairings for postseason.”
The Spartans finish league play a perfect 7-0 (10-2 overall) — and a perfect 5-0 last week. Stanwood beat Monroe 6-1 on Oct. 4, Mountlake Terrace 7-0 on Oct. 5, Cascade 7-0 on Oct. 6 and Marysville-Getchell 6-1 on Oct. 6 before taming the Panthers on Oct. 7.
The Spartans played Marysville-Getchell on Monday in a nonleague contest and will host Edmonds-Woodway on Wednesday in another nonleague match to cap the regular season. Postseason play starts Oct. 19 at Arlington.
- Oct. 4: Stanwood 6, Monroe 1. Singles: Huston Rawls (S) def. Parker Mann 6-0, 6-1; Morgan Zill (S) def. Jackson Kennedy 6-0, 6-0; Brandt Gilbertson (S) def. Jacob Shafer 6-1, 6-1; Garrett Allison (S) def. Henry Conradt 6-1, 6-1. Doubles: Connor Wickstrom and Cam Bailey (S) def. Joseph Gunter and Reid Schaeffer 7-6(3), 6-2; Caden Kaasa and Josh Gunter (M) def. Blake Reid-Riley McNicol 6-1, 6-2; Ayden Medina and Ethan Eichler (S) def. Keller Nienau and Luke McMullough 6-4, 6-3.
- Oct. 5: Stanwood 7, Mountlake Terrace 0. Singles: Huston Rawls (S) def. Aden Le 6-3, 6-2; Morgan Zill (S) def. Kai Magbuhat 6-4, 6-3; Brandt Gilbertson (S) def. Trace Fagan 6-4, 4-6, 10-2; Garrett Allison (S) def. Nathaniel Ballard 6-0, 6-1. Doubles: Connor Wickstrom and Cam Bailey (S) def. Jeremy Perreoult and Matthew Choi 6-2, 6-2; Blake Reid and Ayden Medina (S) def. Hans Bahm and Aiden Simons 6-2, 2-6, 6-1; Ethan Eichler and Colby Campbell (S) def. Ben Ketchum and Andrew Young 6-1, 6-2.
- Oct. 6: Stanwood 7, Cascade 0. Singles: Huston Rawls (S) def. Bodie Williams 6-2, 6-1; Morgan Zill (S) def. Dallin Agler 6-0, 6-0; Brandt Gilbertson (S) def. Jacob Hahn 6-2, 6-4; Garrett Allison (S) def. Yuvraj Ajimal 6-0, 6-0. Doubles: Blake Reid and Aidan Link (S) def. Kevin Jacks and Charlie Pak 6-1, 6-2; Connor Wickstrom and Cam Bailey (S) def. Zack Coats and Andrew Hayashi 6-0, 6-0; Ethan Eichler and Ayden Medina (S) def. Gio Manabat and Moses Tran 6-2, 6-2.
- Oct. 7: Stanwood 6, Marysville Getchell 1. Singles: Huston Rawls (S) def. Mason Devereux 6-4, 6-2; Morgan Zill (S) def. Jaden Lash 6-0, 6-0; Brandt Gilbertson (S) def. Keegan Brennan 6-0, 6-0; Garrett Allison (S) def. Owen Dudder 6-0, 6-0. Doubles: Kane Selapack and Marshall Campbell (MG) def. Blake Reid and Aidan Link 6-3, 6-3; Connor Wickstrom and Cam Bailey (S) def. Ryder Hurley and Coby Kolling 6-0, 6-1; Ayden Medina and Ethan Eichler (S) def. Trenton Bond and Connor Olmsted 6-0, 6-1.
- Oct. 8: Stanwood 5, Snohomish 2. Singles: Huston Rawls (Stan.) def. Will MacDonald 4-6, 6-4, 7-5; Cade Strickland (Sno.) def. Morgan Zill 6-0, 6-0; Brandt Gilbertson (Stan.) def. Dylan Schwartzmiller 6-1, 3-6, 6-1; Garrett Allison (Stan.) def. Brendan McKinley 6-1, 6-3. Doubles: Trevor VanAssche and Max Andrews (Sno.) def. Blake Reid and Aidan Link 6-3, 2-6, 6-1; Connor Wickstrom and Cam Bailey (Stan.) def. LJ Caldwell and Alex Schwieger 7-5, 3-6, 6-4; Ayden Medina and Ethan Eichler (Stan.) def. Leif Hodkinson and Caleb Podoll 7-6 (7-3), 6-2.
The Stanwood girls ran away with the silver division title at the Hole in the Wall Invite on Saturday at Lakewood High.
The Spartans were led by individual champion Leia Jones (1st, 18:50.4), Lael ten Hoopen (20th, 20:29.2) and Kate Bladek (40th, 21:15.6). There were about 300 runners from 35 teams in the silver division, which are for teams with average times of more than 22 minutes for the 5k race.
The JV girls team won the bronze division, which featured 300 runners from 29 schools. The Spartans were led by Lauren Hruschka (2nd, 22:47.9), Megan Grennell (5th, 23:38.5) and Kylee Powell (6th, 23:45.5).
“They all did a good job of sticking together,” head coach Mike Evans said. “The girls and boys are starting to see the importance of this team philosophy evolve. The captains are starting to make the team theirs.
“Then everyone starts pulling real hard for each other; everyone tries to meet their goals,” he said. “It was great to even see the parents’ support, they were out cheering. We appreciate it.”
In addition to the top finishers, the Spartans posted a combined 28 personal best times for the 5k races.
“That many PRs in a week is just phenomenal,” Evans said.
Stanwood boys placed ninth out of 44 teams in the silver division, led by Owen Palmer (35th, 17:17), Wouter Van Veen (42nd, 17:27.5) and Ryker Belles (70th, 17:51.2).
A few days earlier on Oct. 6, both the Spartan boys and girls teams won a league meet against Lynnwood, Everett and Archbishop Murphy.
The boys were led by Belles (3rd, 18:01), Palmer (5th, 18:12) and Alex Shepler (6th, 18:43). The girls took six of the top 10 spots, and were led by Jones (1st, 20:45), ten Hoopen (2nd, 21:13) and Bladek (5th, 21:59).
“We’re knocking on the door of the postseason,” Evans said.
The Spartans head to a league meet Wednesday at Arlington and then prep for the Wesco championships Oct. 23 at the Arlington Airport.
Stanwood rebounded from their first loss of the season with a 3-1 win Oct. 7 at Shorecrest.
“It was nice to see them play with a little bit more of a fire,” head coach Megan Amundson said of the hard-fought 25-20, 28-26, 20-25, 25-22 win over the Scots.
Barrett Anderson led the team with 15 kills, seven aces and 21 digs, Olivia Rueckert added 12 kills, Karli Neigemann had 19 digs, Grace Henkel had 27 assists and Cailyn Conley had four blocks.
“Karli (Neigemann) has really stepped up for us in the libero role,” Amundson said.
Baylor Hezel switched from libero to an outside hitter position after an injury to Emma Floyd.
“Libero is definitely a leadership position — you run the back court, and I feel like in the last two matches, (Neigemann) has stepped up to lead.”
The win comes on the heels of a 3-1 (26-24, 25-19, 10-25, 25-17) defeat to Archbishop Murphy on Oct. 5. In that match, the Spartans were led by Henken’s three aces, 22 assists and nine digs; Anderson’s four aces, 13 kills and six digs; and Jolene Henrikson’s two aces, one kill, five digs and two blocks.
“I think we struggled offensively to expose some of the holes on their defense,” Amundson said of the loss. “It doesn’t matter who is across the net as long as we take care of our game. I think we had gotten away with not taking care of our game. … We came with a little more intent in practice the next day.”
The Spartans traveled Monday to Monroe for a game after press deadline. Stanwood then hosts Lynnwood on Tuesday and travels to Edmonds-Woodway on Thursday.
Another meet, another step forward for this young Spartan squad.
Stanwood beat Everett 92-78 on Oct. 7, powered by 45 best times.
“What made Thursday fun was that girls were dropping not just hundredths of a second, but dropping several seconds in their races,” head coach Rita Peterson said.
Darlena Schmitt posted three best times and dropped more than 12 seconds throughout the meet, Peterson said.
Lauren Barrie also recorded three best times and is edging closer to a wildcard spot or two into the district meet in a few weeks, she said.
The Spartans travel Thursday to Lake Stevens.
- Oct. 7: Stanwood 92, Everett 78: 200 Yard Medley: Megan McCoy, Bee Goulet, Audri Day, Ella Hess (1st, 2:18.81). 200 Yard Freestyle: Audri Day (1st, 2:26.68). 200 Yard IM: Ella Hess (1st, 2:42.14), Jazmyn Legg (3rd, 2:50.42). 50 Yard Freestyle: Megan McCoy (2nd, 31.27). 100 Yard Butterfly: Jazmyn Legg (2nd, 1:26.59), Lauren Barrie (3rd, 1:27.33). 500 Yard Freestyle: Audri Day (1st, 6:39.70), Presley Polasek (3rd, 7:28.42). 200 Yard Freestyle Relay: Megan McCoy, Ella Hess, Jazmyn Legg, Audri Day (1st, 1:59.66), Katelin Hannum, Mattea Ingram, Nicole Surdyk, Sarah Henderson (3rd, 2:11.85). 100 Yard Backstroke: Ella Hess (2nd, 1:12.93), Megan McCoy (3rd, 1:21.61). 100 Yard Breaststroke: Bee Goulet (1st, 1:29.30), Fatih Dilworth (2nd, 1:31.6). 400 Yard Freestyle Relay: Sarah Henderson, Darlena Schmitt, Bee Goulet, Lauren Barrie (2nd, 5:09.31), Katelin Hannum, Nicole Surdyk, Lydia Howe, Presley Polasek (3rd, 5:11.03).
After a 4-0 loss at undefeated Archbishop Murphy on Oct. 5, the Spartans got back on track by gutting out a 1-0 home win Oct. 7 over Shorecrest.
The Spartans and the Scots traded a handful of shots in the first half, but neither team mounted a significant challenge to either keeper.
“We just have to keep making those runs and eventually one will come through,” head coach Lori Stunz said.
Then, with about 10 minutes left in regulation, Maggie Flickner found Maya Macdonald in the middle at the top of the box and was able to loft a shot over the keeper for the go-ahead goal.
“They stayed competitive and never gave up and kept fighting and eventually made it work,” Stunz said. “Maya (Macdonald) noticed that the keeper was a bit off her line, and she just took it one touch volley over the keeper. It was a smart shot.”
The Spartans then survived a late free kick by the Scots at the edge of the box that ricocheted off the outstretched fingertips of keeper Madison Reis-Elbara, off the crossbar and back into play, securing the victory for Stanwood.
“Madison (Reis-Elbara) set it up nicely and stayed focused,” Stunz said of her keeper positioning defenders for the free kick. “It forced them to play it high and it worked out for us.”
Next for the Spartans is a trip to Lynnwood on Tuesday and a home match against Edmonds-Woodway on Thursday.
“Now, we want to pick up a few more W’s and look to get seeded well into districts,” Stunz said. “We need to keep the foot on the gas pedal.”