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The Gazette KCRG
Posted March 30, 2011
2011 Prep tennis: Teams to Watch

BOYS TENNIS

CEDAR RAPIDS KENNEDY

Coach: Craig Bova

2010 record: 12-5 overall, 10-3 in the Mississippi Valley Conference, placing second in the Mississippi Division; fourth at 2A state team tournament

Top returners: Bryce Blomberg, sr.; Riley Galbraith, jr.; Ethan Gascho, sr.; Brandon Hendrickson, jr.; Nolan Nietert, sr.; Robert Sweet, sr.; Dan Wasta, sr.

Synopsis:Kennedy has reached the Class 2A state team tournament the last three seasons. The team returns four of the six individuals who competed in the substate final last year, which advanced to place fourth at state. Balance is a strength for the Cougars.

CEDAR RAPIDS WASHINGTON

Coach: Dave Meyer

2010 record: 11-5 overall, 10-3 in Mississippi Valley Conference, placing second in the MVC Valley Division

Top returners:Mitch Anderson, jr.; Mitch Blades, so.; Ian Fischer, sr.; Charlie Hammond, sr.; Clayton Hoyt, jr.; Alex Intlekofer, sr.; Cole Rhatigan

Synopsis: The Warriors return five of their top six players from last season, including state runner-up doubles team in Hammond and Blades. Anderson, who was a state placewinner in doubles for Linn-Mar last season, adds strength to the squad.

LINN-MAR

Coach:Chris Wundram

2010 record: 16-2 overall, 13-0 in Mississippi Valley Conference, winning MVC Valley Division title

Top returners:Jack Frank, sr.; John Kuster, jr.; Tyler McCann, jr.; Blake Young, jr.; Gavin Young, sr.

Synopsis: Linn-Mar has developed a strong tennis program and was a swing away from reaching the state team tournament last year. The Lions have won 23 straight MVC meets, winning two straight MVC titles. Depth is a key for the Lions, who is led by Tyler McCann, a member of the state placewinning doubles team.

GIRLS TENNIS

CEDAR RAPIDS WASHINGTON

Coach:Dan Reyner

2010 record: 12-6 overall, 9-4 in Mississippi Valley Conference, winning the MVC Valley Division

Top returners:Olivia Brooks, jr.; Katie Hammond, jr.; Kristin King, so.; Anri Moore, jr.; Lanie Sabin, jr.; Shea Sabin, jr.; Jenny Vestle, jr.

Synopsis: The Warriors were talented a year ago, but were very young. The team has matured and will feature a strong group of returning players, led by junior Katie Hammond, who placed seventh in state singles last year. Washington should benefit from experience gained a year ago.

CEDAR RAPIDS XAVIER

Coach: Lindsay Dunkirk

2010 record: 11-8 overall, 8-5 in Mississippi Valley Conference

Top returners: Laura Birky, jr.; Sarah Chalhoub, jr.; Lisa Cowden, sr.; Maggie Gates, jr.; Taylor O’Brien, sr.

Synopsis: Xavier returns five of its six starters from last season, including two with state tournament experience. The group provides a strong nucleus for the Saints and first-year head coach Lindsay Dunkirk, a four-time state qualifier for the Saints, reaching the 1A state finals in 2004.

IOWA CITY WEST

Coach:Kay DiLeo

2010 record: 19-2 overall, 12-1 in Mississippi Valley Conference, placing second in the MVC Mississippi Division and second at the 2A state team tournament

Top returners:Olivia Lofgren, jr.; Tessa Meisner, jr.; Lilli Oetting, sr.; maia Pugh, jr.; Addy Riley, so.; Ashlin Riley, sr.; Lola White-Baer, sr.; Elena Wilson, s0.

Synopsis: West has a little unfinished business, reaching the 2A state team finals but dropping a tough match to Ames in the finals. West has strong individuals and the depth to be extremely successful this season, returning all but one key player from last year’s team.

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