Here are five storylines to keep an eye on during the high school girls tennis season:
1. After four straight league titles, is this the year someone dethrones Glacier Peak?
The Grizzlies are on the hunt for their fifth consecutive league title dating back to their time in Wesco 3A South, including back-to-back league championships since moving up to Class 4A at the start of the 2016-2017 school year. Glacier Peak had a 48-match conference winning streak snapped on March 27 in a 5-2 loss to Lake Stevens.
2. Snohomish has been dominant since moving to 3A
The Panthers have ran the table since dropping from 4A to 3A at the start of the 2016-2017 school year. Snohomish has been completely dominant while winning back-to-back Wesco 3A North titles, dropping just 10 of 167 possible matches and compiling a 24-0 league mark.
Snohomish graduated a state-placing doubles pair and lost longtime coach Dick Jansen to retirement, but the Panthers return all-Wesco 3A North performers senior Megan Lever and junior Celia Forster.
3. New Wesco 3A North and Wesco 3A/2A South scheduling allows more top-level, late-season matchups
Just as the boys teams did in the fall, squads from Wesco 3A North and Wesco 3A/2A South are playing a condensed league schedule, which pits each team against each other only once. Previously teams played each other twice in league play.
The new format allows traditionally stronger programs to challenge themselves late in the season before the district and state tournaments. Some late-season nonleague matchups to look out for include Edmonds-Woodway vs. Snohomish, Glacier Peak vs. Snohomish, Shorecrest vs. Edmonds-Woodway and Lake Stevens vs. Stanwood.
4. South Whidbey doubles team returns after a runner-up finish at state
Senior Mary Zisette and junior Allison Papritz finished second at the 1A/2B/1B state tournament after falling in three sets in the championship match. The pair led the Falcons to a third-place team finish and highlight a program that had 47 girls turnout for its team, over 10 percent of the school’s 443-student enrollment reported in October 2018.
5. New coaches at the helm
Six area teams welcome in new coaches this season, including traditional local powers Snohomish and Glacier Peak.
Other programs entering the season with new leaders include King’s, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace and Oak Harbor.