Edmonds-Woodway’s Alec Mutulka hits a return shot during match against Stanwood on Oct. 4, 2018, in Edmonds. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Edmonds-Woodway’s Alec Mutulka hits a return shot during match against Stanwood on Oct. 4, 2018, in Edmonds. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Edmonds-Woodway boys tennis team wins Wesco 3A South

With a dramatic win at No. 1 doubles, the Warriors put an end to the Shoreline schools’ 6 years of dominance.

When Edmonds-Woodway High School tennis players Alec Matulka and Drew Boland rallied from a set down to win their No. 1 doubles match against Shorewood on Sept. 27, it wasn’t clear their match would be the deciding factor in determining the Wesco 3A South championship.

All the first-year partners knew was that they had given their team a 3-2 lead in a battle between unbeaten squads, with a pair of doubles matches still to play.

Once E-W’s 4-3 victory became official, the significance of the win by Matulka and Boland was clear.

“Really, what it came down to I feel like was No. 1 doubles,” said senior Will Molinaro, the Warriors’ No. 1 singles player. “… I was watching the whole match, and it was just an unbelievable match.”

After dropping the first set 6-3, Matulka and Boland dominated the second, 6-1.

“They totally shut down (Shorewood’s) momentum and turned it around for us,” Warriors tennis coach Dan Crist said of the second set.

After taking a lead early in the third set, a little drama unfolded as both doubles teams fought for the all-important team point.

“We were up 5-3, so it really looked like that momentum had carried through,” Crist said. “Then all the sudden they come back and win two games. That’s huge. The tough part is getting to 5-5. Once you get there, then you’re right back in it.”

Matulka and Boland eventually finished off the Thunderbirds’ No. 1 doubles pairing 7-5 in the third set, and the final two matches ended in a split, giving the Warriors the 4-3 victory.

The No. 1 doubles match was the only one of the seven that went the full three sets.

“We know that any of our matches can decide it,” Matulka said. “But it’s a great feeling to know that you really helped the team get the win.”

And it was even sweeter for the senior-laden squad to do it against a team that had knocked off Edmonds-Woodway in each of their past eight meetings since the Warriors’ dropped to Class 3A prior to the 2014-2015 school year.

“It felt good winning,” Boland said, “especially against Shorewood.”

Added Matulka: “They’re a really good team. It’s always great when you get to play against a really good team when it’s a close match. It was just really great to just win for the team, and to know that we won the league was a great feeling.”

The victory helped the Warriors reach their goal of capturing the conference title. They became the first non-Shoreline District school to win the championship since the Wesco 3A split into North and South Divisions prior to 2012 season.

A big factor in helping the team reach the top of the conference was the addition of Molinaro, a transfer student in his first year with the program.

“We had a decent team coming in to the start of the year,” Crist said. “… Anytime you add a guy at the top, you become a whole lot better.”

After reaching its initial goal in the title-clinching bout with Shorewood, the Warriors decided it was time to set a new goal to hit before the postseason rolls around.

“The first goal was to win the conference, and we accomplished that,” Crist said. “Now I think the second goal is they would like to finish undefeated.”

An accomplishment the Warriors were just two wins away from heading in to Tuesday’s matchup with Cascade.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Seattle Seahawks outside linebacker K.J. Wright (50) was deemed by the readers as the most important unrestricted free agent for the team to re-sign. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
POLL RESULTS: Wright is the priority free agent

Nearly half the responders said LB K.J. Wright should be at the top of the Seahawks’ re-signing list.

Arlington's Jack Sheward is hit in the leg as O'Dea's David Sessoms slides in for the tying run as Arlington lost 7-6 to O'Dea in a 3A baseball state regional game at Sherman Anderson Field on Saturday, May 18, 2019 in Mount Vernon, Wash. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
WIAA releases more season plans, local schedules to differ

The WIAA announced dates for Seasons 2 and 3. Wesco, Emerald Sound and others have their own plans.

Montana State head coach Jeff Choate walks on the sideline during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Washington State in Pullman, Wash., Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
Who will become UW’s next defensive coordinator?

Here’s a look at some possible candidates to replace the departed Pete Kwiatkowski.

FILE - In this Feb. 25, 2016, file photo, Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis. Thompson, whose 13-year run as Green Bay Packers general manager included their 2010 Super Bowl championship season, died Wednesday, Jan 20, the team announced Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. He was 68. Thompson was Packers general manager from 2005-17 and drafted many notable players on the current roster, including two-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers.  (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)
Former Seahawks, Packers executive Ted Thompson dies

The 68-year-old was Seattle’s vice president of football operations from 2000-04.

Bill to expand sports betting introduced in state Legislature

A similar proposal failed last year, but supporters say the new effort has bipartisan support.

Third-place finishers Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker pose with their medals in the championship ice dance at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Community sports roundup: More medals for local ice dancer

Kamiak graduate Jean-Luc Baker earns a bronze medal at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

Washington State offensive lineman Abraham Lucas (72) looks on during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Utah Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Archbishop Murphy grad Lucas will return to WSU next season

The All-Pac-12 second-team offensive lineman from Everett opts not to declare for the NFL draft.

Glacier Peak's Madison Rubino drives around Snohomish's Kaylin Beckman as Snohomish lost to Glacier Peak 50-39 in a non-league girls' basketball game on Monday, Dec. 9, 2019 in Snohomish, Wash. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
A list of local athletes set to play sports in college

The early signing period for all NCAA sports except football opened Wednesday.

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll tosses a football before an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Pete Carroll should stay — and reexamine the way he does things

It’s time for the highly successful Seahawks coach to re-evaluate what’s best for the team.

Most Read