Girls' tennis 2017: Teams, players to watch

Vale Caro leads defending Class 2A team state champion Cedar Rapids Prairie

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Here are The Gazette-area teams and players to watch during the 2017 girls’ tennis season.

Teams to watch:

Cedar Rapids Prairie — Coach Scott Leggat returns four seniors from the lineup that won the Class 2A team state championship. Two-time MVC Athlete of the Year Vale Caro, Karleigh Schilling, Anna Postnikov and Madie Renner all qualified for the individual state tournament last season.

Cedar Rapids Washington — Seniors Kelly King, Hannah Sherman and Eliza Sundermann comprise a potent top-half of the lineup. If second-year Coach John Gianforte can get wins from the bottom half of the order, the Warriors could surge in the MVC standings.

Decorah — Senior Kally Peterson — who placed fourth in 1A state singles last season — headlines a group that returns half of its lineup from the team that posted a 15-2 record and placed third at the 1A team state tournament. Coach Larry Berland is in his 41st season.

Players to watch:

Ellie Anderson, sr., Linn-Mar — MVC Valley Athlete of the Year and first-team all-MVC last season. Two-time Class 2A singles state qualifier, including a seventh-place finish last season. University of Denver volleyball recruit.

Vale Caro, sr., Cedar Rapids Prairie — Played No. 1 singles for 2016 undefeated 2A team state champions. Two-time MVC Athlete of the Year, three-time first team all-MVC. 2A doubles state runner-up last season, semifinalist in 2014. 2015 2A singles state quarterfinalist.

Bihotza James-Lejarcegui, jr., Iowa City High — Two-time 2A doubles state qualifier, including a seventh-place finish last season.

Kelly King, sr., Cedar Rapids Washington — Placed fourth in 2A state doubles and was first-team all-MVC last season. 2A singles state qualifier in 2015. Helped the Warriors win the 2014 2A team state title.

Emma Koch, so., Iowa City West — First-team all-MVC and sixth-place finisher in 2A state singles last season as a freshman.

Kally Peterson, sr., Decorah – Placed fourth at the 2016 1A singles state tournament.

Anna Postnikov, sr., Cedar Rapids Prairie – 2016 2A doubles state qualifier.

Karleigh Schilling, sr., Cedar Rapids Prairie — 2016 2A singles state qualifier, doubles state qualifier in 2015.

Hannah Sherman, sr., Cedar Rapids Washington — Three-time first team all-MVC (2016, 2015, 2014). Two-time 2A doubles semifinalist. 2014 2A singles state qualifier. Was second in lineup for 2014 2A team state champions.

Anna Spencer, sr., Decorah – Placed seventh at 1A doubles state tournament last season.

Wynne Vandersall, sr., Mount Vernon – 2016 1A doubles state qualifier.

Lucy Wagner, sr., Iowa City High — 2016 2A doubles state qualifier.

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