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Marysville's Rasmussen, VanderStoep get to know each other on the court, win division title
STANWOOD — Just a couple of weeks ago playing as a doubles team was completely out of the realm of possibility for Andrew VanderStoep and Chris Rasmussen.
“We had only played one match together before (the Wesco North division tournament),” said VanderStoep.
Fast forward to Oct. 20 and the two Marysville-Pilchuck players are holding the first division championship ribbons for the Tommies in more than a decade.
“We thought we’d make it to districts,” said Rasmussen. “But we weren’t thinking about winning it.”
But they did it in dominating fashion, defeating Arlington’s Austin Taylor and Jake Prunier 6-2, 6-1, helping themselves earn the No. 1 seed in the district tournament.
“That’s huge for them,” said Marysville-Pilchuck coach Robert Sherry. “Now they’ll get to face the No. 4 seed from the south.”
The top four doubles teams advanced to the district championship.
Becoming a strong doubles team usually takes more than a few weeks as players need to get a sense of what their teammate is capable of.
“You hear about a team finding themselves to peak in a tournament and really gelling, and that’s what those two did,” said Sherry. “They had the skills to perform well, they just had to put it together.”
The two defeated Joey Zingarelli and Spencer Nash of Stanwood 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 in the quarterfinal before earning a trip to the final with a 6-4, 7-6 win over Snohomish’s Luke Martinson and Zak Martinson.
Not facing easy competition, the two were quick to credit each other for keeping them in matches.
“Our focus and just feeding off each other was what helped us,” said Rasmussen. “Our game’s play to each other.”
“Yeah,” Vanderstoep added. “He’s a lot cooler-headed than me.”
Also, an aggressive style kept the Arlington duo from mounting a comeback in the championship match.
“They attacked the net — that was really the difference — and we didn’t have an answer for that,” said Arlington coach Sean Cunningham.
Also earning a trip to districts was singles player Corey Coombs, who defeated Stanwood’s Jonathan Wolf 6-1, 6-0 in a loser-out match.