The Snohomish girls tennis team continued its dual-meet dominance with another perfect regular season.
The Panthers finished 16-0 in dual meets this spring, outscoring opponents by a combined 100-12 margin.
It marks the fourth time in five years Snohomish has gone unbeaten in dual meets. The Panthers have won 37 consecutive dual meets and are 90-6 over the past six seasons.
“They love to practice hard,” longtime Snohomish coach Dick Jansen said of this year’s team members. “I think that really is the secret to our success — the way we perform in practice and the way the kids love to practice in match conditions.
“All the drills that we do are kind of aimed at what’s going to happen during a match. And so when it happens to them, they’re prepared.”
The Panthers are led by the senior trio of team captains Katri Shields, Tessa Rugg and Maddi VanAssche.
Shields and Rugg each lost only one match as Snohomish’s top two singles players this spring, but will pair up to play doubles in the postseason, Jansen said. Shields and former teammate Kiana Akazawa reached state as a doubles pair each of the past two seasons, placing fifth in the Class 3A state tournament last year.
VanAssche, who also reached the 3A state doubles tournament last season, lost only one match with partner Megan Lever as the Panthers’ top doubles pair this spring.
“It’s work ethic,” Jansen said of the senior trio’s success. “They’ve been with the program for four years, they’ve paid their dues and they have a lot of experience under their belt.
“They’re not surprised by any kind of situation that they may be in. … When adversity rears its ugly head, as it will, they know what they have to do to get back in a match and be successful.”