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Published: Tuesday, April 23, 2013, 11:26 p.m.

Snohomish doubles team clinches victory over Jackson

Panthers' doubles play key in 5-2 meet victory over Timberwolves

  • Snohomish's number one doubles team of Lexi Armbruster (left) and Amy Stevens high-five after a point in their match against Jackson.

    Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    Snohomish's number one doubles team of Lexi Armbruster (left) and Amy Stevens high-five after a point in their match against Jackson.

SNOHOMISH -- Snohomish High's three doubles teams have been consistent winners for Panthers tennis all season and brought a 32-1 mark with them to Tuesday's match against Jackson.
Their strong play continued against the Timberwolves.
Seniors Amy Stevens and Lexi Armbruster, Snohomish's No. 1 doubles team, defeated Jackson's top team of Maddie Haugen and Lilly Jacobsen 6-3, 6-3. That gave Snohomish its fourth win of the meet and assured the Panthers, the top 4A team in the Wesco North, of a 5-2 victory over Jackson at Snohomish High School.
"They wrapped it up for us. Over a very seasoned (Jackson) doubles team," Snohomish head coach Dick Jansen said. "That was a huge win for us."
The Panthers' No. 3 team of Paige Helms and Marin Jacobson also won, beating Sarah Kim and Anna Hong of Jackson 6-3, 6-1. The Timberwolves won a hard-fought match at No. 2 doubles, Nicole Castro and Lynnae George defeating Courtney Barton and Julianne Chryst 7-6 (8-6 in a tiebreaker), 6-3.
Abrams praised Jackson's No. 2 duo for its performance against Barton and Chryst, who suffered their first loss of the year, 13 matches into the season.
"You've got to give kudos to that Jackson team," Abrams said. "They're tough. We're 34-2 in doubles matches this year, so when someone beats one of our doubles teams I have to tip my hat to them."
Jackson head coach Judi Montgomery said the Snohomish doubles teams provide a big challenge for her young squad.
"Those are the toughest doubles teams we have played against," Montgomery said.
The sunny match featured two of the top teams in the area. Jackson and Snohomish had two combined losses coming into the match, both against Kamiak (9-1 league, 9-2 overall). Jansen said Snohomish (10-1, 12-1) expected a battle between his Panthers and Jackson (8-2, 9-2).
"You knew this one was going to be tough," Jansen said. "Our girls came through there."
Snohomish even ended up with a larger final margin than Jansen expected.
"I figured it would be 4-3 one way or the other," he said. "These come down to a point here and there."
The victory avenged two 4-3 losses to Jackson last season.
"I was kind of hoping we'd do that again," Montgomery said. "It's just such a great competition every time we play."
Snohomish's top two singles players got the Panthers off to an early lead Tuesday. Caroline Dreher and Alexis Stockwell won at Nos. 1 and 2 singles, respectively, to give Snohomish an early boost. Stockwell, a senior, was playing up from No. 3 doubles because of an injury to Meredith Coad, the Panthers' usual No. 2. Stockwell has lost only one match all year, according to Jansen.
The Panthers also got a gritty win from No. 4 singles player Julianna Lepoidevin, whose match was the last of the day to finish. She edged out Jackson's Melanie Mortensen 7-6 (7-4), 6-3. By that point the meet had been decided in Snohomish's favor.
"This is why you play. These kind of matches really make the girls better. They go through adversity," Jansen said.
The Timberwolves' second victory of the meet came from freshman Hannah Mietzner*, who won a back-and-forth battle at No. 3 singles. Mietzner beat Snohomish's Emma Studley 6-4, 7-5.
"That was as tough a match as she's played all season," Montgomery said. "I thought she just played very sturdy tennis."
Montgomery also praised Castro and George for their win at No. 2 doubles, saying it was a big victory for the pair of sophomores.
"That was huge for our team," Montgomery said. "Both are sophomores and both are soccer players, so they have great feet. I watched some points and they were communicating great. That's the way doubles has to be played."
The Jackson coach also hopes her doubles teams can learn from watching such a strong Snohomish squad.
"Their doubles are so well-coached," Montgomery said. "You've got to get to the net and play aggressive. ... What I hope they take away is how to win a doubles game. Doubles games are won at the net."
At Snohomish H.S.
Singles--Caroline Dreher (S) def. Quinn Michael, 6-0, 6-3; Alexis Stockwell (S) def. Emily Sandquist, 6-1, 6-2; Hannah Mietzner (J) def. Emma Studley, 6-4, 7-5; Julianna Lepoidevin (S) def. Melanie Mortensen, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3. Doubles--Amy Stevens-Lexi Armbruster (S) def. Maddie Haugen-Lilly Jacobsen, 6-3, 6-3; Nicole Castro-Lynnae George (J) def. Courtney Barton-Julianne Chryst, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4; Paige Helms-Marin Jacobson (S) def. Sarah Kim-Anna Hong, 6-3, 6-1. Records--Jackson 8-2 league, 9-2 overall. Snohomish 10-1, 12-1.
*Correction, April 24, 2013: Hannah Mietzner's last name was misspelled in the original article.

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