After going at least more than four decades without a state qualifier, the Lake Stevens High School boys tennis team is sending a doubles pair to state for the second consecutive season.
Lake Stevens senior Tyler Cochran and junior teammate Ethan Hoglund won the Class 4A Northwest District doubles title last week, earning a 6-4, 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-3) win over Glacier Peak seniors Kyle Nget and Ethan Stutzman in the championship match.
The victory qualified the Vikings’ pair for the 4A state doubles tournament May 29-30 in the Tri-Cities.
“It’s really awesome,” Lake Stevens coach Mark Hein said. “I’m really proud of these guys. … These two guys kind of epitomize the progress we’re making as a program.”
It marks the second consecutive season that Cochran has been part of a state-qualifying doubles team. Cochran, who also is a two-time state qualifier in diving, teamed with Drew Sellars last season to reach the 4A state doubles quarterfinals. They were believed to be the first Lake Stevens boys tennis players to advance to state in at least four decades, according to Hein.
Sellars graduated this past spring, but Hoglund was ready to fill the void as Cochran’s doubles partner. Though he wasn’t competing in last season’s state tournament, Hoglund traveled with his teammates to the Tri-Cities and soaked up the experience.
“He and Tyler, even on the way home (from state), were talking about how they wanted to get back there as a doubles team,” Hein said. “And they really did it together. This whole offseason, they spent time (training) just the two of them. They play in tournaments together. It meant a lot to them to make it to state, and it’s well-deserved.”
Nget and Stutzman, meanwhile, bounced back to win the 4A district second-place match and advance to state.
In the 4A district singles tournament, Jackson junior Brady Thomas defended his crown and earned his second consecutive state berth with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 win over Glacier Peak junior Dario Ristovski. Thomas placed second in last season’s 4A state singles tournament.
Ristovski, who reached the 4A state singles quarterfinals last season, rebounded to win the district second-place match and advance to state.
In the Wesco 3A North tournament, Snohomish senior Macen Strickland won the singles title and Oak Harbor seniors Micah Franklin and Nick Krantz claimed the doubles crown.
In the Wesco 3A South tournament, Lynnwood’s Nicolas Desgrippes won the singles title and the Shorecrest pair of junior Ben Silber and sophomore Zaid Khan captured the doubles crown.
The 3A district tournament takes place Tuesday and Wednesday at Arlington High School.