Prep boys tennis preview: 5 storylines to watch

Here are five storylines to watch from the local boys tennis scene this fall:

1. Jackson is loaded with talent. The Timberwolves return Anuj Vimawala, who placed seventh in singles at last spring’s 4A state tournament, along with Andrew Hyun (a state-tournament qualifier in doubles last year) and All-Wesco 4A picks Daniel Sohn, Andrew Kim and Kevin Lee. Vimawala, “a tall left hander with a big serve (who) can do it all,” according to Jackson coach David Hutt, and Cascade’s Yevgeniy Kolomiyets are “easily” the two best players in the conference, according to Hutt. “The matchup between Yev and Anuj is the highlight for 4A. Definitely worth watching,” Bruins coach Brian Cherniak said. “(Yev) finished first in Wesco 4A last year, but didn’t place at state. He’s got a very big serve.” Glacier Peak also should finish near the top of the conference, Hutt said. Kamiak’s Aidan Norris advanced to the 4A state tournament in doubles last season and will lead the Knights this season as a singles player.

2. Snohomish will look to retain its dominance as the clear Wesco 3A North favorite.The Panthers haven’t lost a Wesco match since the 2014-15 season. “Snohomish is the clear favorite. To be cliche, Dick Jansen never rebuilds, he just reloads,” Arlington coach Ben Mendro said. The Panthers have the conference’s top player in Landon Strickland, who qualified for last spring’s 3A state tournament in doubles. “Beyond that, it’s a crapshoot,” Mendro said. “A lot of teams, including mine, graduated a lot of top players, so it will depend on how last year’s young junior-varsity players step up. I would probably peg Everett as the only (team) with a chance to challenge Snohomish.”

3. The Shoreline schools will battle atop the Wesco 3A South. Shorewood coach Arnie Moreno is expecting a battle for the top three spots in Wesco 3A South between his squad, Shorecrest and Edmonds-Woodway. The Thunderbirds have depth, with all-conference selections Gunnar Thorstenson, Steven Lin and Andrew Counter returning. The Scots will be led by Faiz Khan. He was part of a team that won the 2016 2A state doubles championship as a freshman, and last year won the District 1 3A South singles title. “He is really strong at the baseline and is a smart player who knows how to construct points well,” Shorecrest coach Robert Mann said. “He played No. 1 all season last year and has been working really hard all summer to improve his game even more.”

4. Everett’s Ryan Burt is ready to take the next step. Burt moved up to the No. 1 singles spot last year as a sophomore and struggled, dropping nine of his 12 regular-season matches before rallying to earn a spot in the 3A District 1 tournament. “This year his goal is a berth to the state tournament,” Seagulls co-coach Jim Conner said. Burt, who was the starting center fielder on Everett’s baseball team last spring, gave up summer baseball to focus exclusively on his tennis game, playing regularly against former Seagulls standout Ulises Aceves at the Mill Creek Tennis Club and traveling to California to work with former professional Erik Van’t Hof. “His game has really blossomed,” Conner said. “He now has a serve that has serious pace, much improved footwork added to already great footspeed, aggressive net play and points constructed in lethal manner. His new game is a combination of power and finesse and is fun to watch.”

5. Coaches are at the center of the Arlington-Stanwood rivalry. Sean Cunningham, who coached at Arlington from 2008-16 and took over as Stanwood’s girls coach last spring, is now the Spartans’ boys coach as well. “Sean and I coached together here at Arlington for several years, so it will be fun to butt heads with him in league play,” Mendro said. “We both have young, unproven teams, so it will be interesting to see what happens.”

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Sports

X
Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for Feb. 26-March 3

The Athlete of the Week nominees for Feb. 26-March 3. Voting closes… Continue reading

X
Silvertips prove they can contend with WHL’s best

Everett slugged it out with Eastern Conference contender Moose Jaw in an entertaining 8-7 shootout loss over the weekend.

Glacier Peak’s Jo Lee (2) shoots the ball during a 4A semifinal game between Glacier Peak and Richland at the Tacoma Dome on Friday, March 1, 2024 in Tacoma, Washington. Glacier Peak fell, 70-59. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Five locals named to state basketball all-tournament teams

Everett senior Alana Washington and King’s sophomore Kaleo Anderson led the way with first-team selections.

Seattle Mariners' Dominic Canzone looks for a pitch during a spring training baseball game against the Oakland Athletics, Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Peoria, Ariz. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
Dominic Canzone ranks high on the list of Mariners’ top breakout candidates

The team is bullish on the bulked-up outfielder’s abilities.

FILE - Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Dec. 16, 2023, in Detroit. The Broncos told Wilson, Monday, March 4, 2024, that they are going to release him next week, just 18 months after signing the Super Bowl-winning quarterback to a five-year, $242 million contract extension. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson, File)
Broncos inform Russell Wilson they’ll release him

Denver will take a record $89 million hit in dead cap charges over the next two seasons.

X
State basketball roundup for Saturday, March 2

State basketball roundup for Saturday, March 2: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report… Continue reading

Richland’s Landen Northrop (1) shoots the ball during a 4A semifinal game between Glacier Peak and Richland at the Tacoma Dome on Friday, March 1, 2024 in Tacoma, Washington. Glacier Peak fell, 70-59. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Glacier Peak boys fade late against Richland in 4A state semifinals

An 11-0 closing run by the Bombers hands the Grizzlies a 70-59 loss.

Mead’s Teryn Gardner (24) moves with the ball during a 3A semifinal game between Snohomish and Mead at the Tacoma Dome on Friday, March 1, 2024 in Tacoma, Washington. Snohomiosh fell, 56-50. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Snohomish girls get rolling too late, fall to Mead in 3A state semifinals

Snohomish makes a valiant second-half push, but comes up short 56-50 against the well-balanced top seed.

X
State basketball roundup for Friday, March 1

State basketball prep roundup for Friday, March 1: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To… Continue reading

Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Matt Brash delivers during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Sunday, Aug. 20, 2023, in Houston. (AP Photo/Kevin M. Cox)
Mariners get relieving injury update on Matt Brash

The hard-throwing reliever won’t need surgery. Plus, updates on injuries to Gregory Santos and Luis Urias.

Washington quarterback Michael Penix speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Friday, March 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Penix Jr. confident he’s answered concerns at NFL combine

Varying national reports have stated the UW quarterback has impressed teams in formal meetings

Snohomish junior Tyler Gildersleeve-Stiles hits the floor trying to get the ball during a WIAA 3A Girls Basketball quarterfinal against Arlington on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Snohomish girls lock down Arlington, advance to 3A state semifinals

The Panthers run away a 45-25 victory in a rubber match between the Wesco rivals.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.