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CHS net guru Ken Stange and his boys tennis squad nabbed their second-straight Best Sportsmanship award from the Emerald City League. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They still like us.

For the second-straight year, the ultra-exclusive, private school-dominated Emerald City League bestowed its Best Sportsmanship award to the Coupeville High School boys tennis team.

The award is a testament to longtime Wolf net guru Ken Stange, and the lessons he has imparted to his players.

CHS competes in the North Sound Conference for every sport except one, and that’s boys tennis, as South Whidbey is the only other school from that six-team league to heft rackets.

So the two Whidbey schools linked up with the ECL, widely considered the toughest 1A tennis league in the state.

The other schools involved include Eastside Prep, Bear Creek, Overlake, The Bush School, Seattle Academy, and University Prep.

Despite being one of only two public schools in the league, and the farthest trip for the Seattle-based private schools, Coupeville has held up well.

The Wolves finished in fourth-place in 2018, and, with a very-thin roster this year, which forced a number of forfeits at #2 singles, still won three league matches.

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Coupeville senior Mason Grove made a stand for public schools Saturday, winning a match at the Emerald City League postseason tourney. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The season started on windy, rain-spattered outdoor tennis courts in Coupeville, and wrapped up on swanky, dry indoor courts in Redmond.

Six CHS netters made their final stand Saturday at the Emerald City League tournament, which doubles as Bi-Districts.

Facing off with foes from state title contenders like Seattle Academy and University Prep, none of the Wolves advanced, but one did make a dent in the armor of the private schools.

Senior Mason Grove, who bounced between singles and doubles this season, went out swinging by himself, but not before taking down a Bear Creek player in a third-set tiebreaker.

That sent him on to the double-elimination portion of the tourney, but also threw him headlong into battle with two of the best players in the region.

Fellow Wolf singles player Drake Borden almost made it through the first round as well, winning the first set of his match.

His opponent, also from Bear Creek, came back to take the second set however, then won an epic 12-10 tiebreaker to eliminate Coupeville’s #1 player.

Both Wolf doubles duos went down in the first round, bringing an end to the 2019 season.

Saturday was the final action for four Wolves, as Grove, James Wood, Zach Ginnings, and Thane Peterson graduate next spring.

Borden, a junior, and Andrew Aparicio, a sophomore, can return for another run at postseason glory next year.

Coupeville and next door neighbor South Whidbey are the only public schools playing in the ECL, an eight-team, private school dominated league widely regarded as the best 1A tennis conference in the state.

 

Complete Saturday results:

 

Drake Borden:

Lost to Bouke Spoelstra (Bear Creek) 1-6, 6-3, 12-10

 

Mason Grove:

Beat Robert Jiang (Bear Creek) 3-6, 6-3, 10-6
Lost to Tyler Wurzer (University Prep) 6-0, 6-0
Lost to Josh Davydov (Seattle Academy) 6-0, 6-2

 

James Wood/Zach Ginnings:

Lost to Nicholas Arron/Mattias Keaunui (University Prep) 6-0, 6-0

 

Andrew Aparicio/Thane Peterson:

Lost to Sammy Yang/Declan Vail (Overlake) 6-0, 6-2

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James Wood is one of five seniors on the Coupeville High School boys tennis squad. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The only action Tuesday was on the sidelines.

Denied a chance to play a final match in front of their home fans when The Bush School ran out of players, the Coupeville High School boys tennis team still gathered at the courts.

Basking in the glow of their forfeit win, the Wolves nine-man roster sipped hot chocolate provided by coach Ken Stange and held Senior Night festivities under cloudy skies.

Five of Coupeville’s nine players graduate in spring 2020, and Tuesday was about saying farewell to James Wood, Mason Grove, Koby Schreiber, Thane Peterson, and Zach Ginnings.

The Wolves still have the Emerald City League tournament this weekend (or next week, if rain hits Sammamish as expected), but Senior Night, even in a slightly different version, offered Stange a chance to honor his team as one.

“It’s been a pleasure working with my Fab 5 from the Class of 2020,” the Wolf coach said in his prepared remarks. “The five of you gave me a combined 17 seasons.

“There were many road trips and ferry rides, and quite a few important discussions about where to eat after the match.

“Tons of practices … sun, wind, rain. Wins and losses and new doubles partners, mixed in with some Around the World and Sitting Duck, or is it Sit and Duck?

“Nonetheless, these are the memories I have – the memories we share. Thank you for the memories.

“More importantly, thank you for trying hard and for enjoying yourselves.”

Schreiber, Grove, and Ginnings played all four years for CHS, with Peterson putting in three seasons and Wood ruling the court the past two years.

All will depart with a solid cache of memories.

“The people on the team and especially our coach have been amazing,” Peterson said.

“In the past few years we have been faced with teams that have much more skill than we do, but I have found that even if we lose I still had a lot of fun in the match.”

That was a sentiment echoed by his fellow seniors.

“I’m grateful for all the amazing help and support I’ve gotten from teammates, coaches, friends, and family,” Wood said. “As it was only my second year playing tennis, I’m proud to say I have had some of the most fun I’ve ever had in a long time.

“It opened up the reality of all the fun games there are out there, and I couldn’t have done it alone,” he added. “This year was one to remember.”

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Zach Ginnings teamed up with James Wood Monday to play #1 doubles. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Mason Grove had the day’s closest match, fighting hard at #2 singles against a state powerhouse.

They’ll do Senior Night without a game.

The regular season came to an unexpectedly early end Monday for the Coupeville High School boys tennis team, as the Wolves earned an odd split.

On the court, CHS fell 5-0 to state title contender Seattle Academy at the Amy Yee Tennis Center.

Off the court, the Wolves accepted a forfeit win from The Bush School, which was supposed to return to Whidbey Tuesday to finish a match postponed by rain.

Bush, citing a lack of players, regretfully declined to make the trip.

With the split, Coupeville finishes at 3-11 in Emerald City League play, 4-11 overall.

The Wolves will still hold Senior Night festivities Tuesday at 4 PM, but then will return to practice, and not a match.

The Emerald City League tournament is up next, with play starting Saturday at Sammamish High School.

 

Complete Monday results:

1st Singles — Drake Borden lost to Josh Davydov 6-0, 6-0

2nd Singles — Mason Grove lost to Mack Dougan 6-3, 6-4

1st Doubles — James Wood/Zach Ginnings lost to Will Nordin/Dmitri Vladimir 6-2, 6-1

2nd Doubles — Miles Davidson/Andrew Aparicio lost to Spencer Bryant/Eli Podell 6-0, 6-1

3rd Doubles — Thane Peterson/Logan Martin lost to Rhys Fiebig/Hudson Lennard 6-3, 6-0

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Thane Peterson exits the court Friday in Bear Creek, having won at #2 singles, lifting Coupeville to a 3-2 win. (Ken Stange photo)

Drake Borden stormed to a win at #1 singles. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It’s a winning streak.

Garnering a sweet bit of revenge for a loss earlier in the week, the Coupeville High School boys tennis squad eked out a 3-2 win Friday at Bear Creek.

The win avenged a loss to the same team, by the same score, Wednesday afternoon on Whidbey.

Coming on the heels of a win Thursday against Friday Harbor, it also gives the Wolves their first winning streak of the season.

CHS sits at 2-10 in Emerald City League play, 3-10 overall heading into the final week of the regular season.

The Wolves travel to Seattle Academy Monday, then host The Bush School Tuesday for Senior Night.

The ECL championships are set for Saturday, Oct. 19.

Friday’s road win came down to #2 singles, where Thane Peterson punched Coupeville’s ticket with a straight-sets win.

 

Complete Friday results:

Varsity:

1st Singles — Drake Borden won 6-4, 6-3

2nd Singles — Thane Peterson won 6-3, 6-3

1st Doubles — James Wood/Mason Grove won 6-1, 6-2

2nd Doubles — Zach Ginnings/Andrew Aparicio lost 2-6, 6-4, 12-10

3rd Doubles — Miles Davidson/Logan Martin lost 6-1, 6-2

JV:

3rd Singles — Koby Schreiber lost 6-2, 6-0

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