Prep Sports

Girls' tennis 2018: Teams, players to watch

Kennedy, Prairie, Iowa City West top teams in area

Xavier's Sarah Abu-Nameh, playing Franny Roche of Waterloo Columbus at the girls' Class 1A regional tournament in Waterloo last spring. returns for her sophomore season after placing sixth in the state as a freshman. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Xavier's Sarah Abu-Nameh, playing Franny Roche of Waterloo Columbus at the girls' Class 1A regional tournament in Waterloo last spring. returns for her sophomore season after placing sixth in the state as a freshman. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

Gazette area girls' tennis teams and players to watch this spring.

Teams

Cedar Rapids Kennedy — The Cougars were 8-7 last season and Coach Erin Seely returns a veteran cast. Senior Shelby Cook was a first-team all-Mississippi Valley Conference selection last year and returns to the No. 1 singles spot. Another senior, Veena Venkatesh, played at No. 2. Juniors Lily Gust, Reya Sands and Emma Teggatz also return. Sophomore Megan Gifford is a promising newcomer. “We have two great senior leaders,” Seely said in reference to Cook and Venkatesh.

Cedar Rapids Prairie — The Hawks lost state 2A singles runner-up Vale Caro to graduation. Veteran Coach Scott Legatt returns seniors Anna Postnikov, Megan Grimm and Beth Uthoff from a team that finished 13-3 and won an MVC title. Legatt believes the race for the league title is “wide open” this season. Freshmen Avya Bohr and Amanda Grimm are expected to play big roles for the Hawks.

Iowa City West — Coach Amie Villarni’s team finished 20-2 overall last season, taking third at state in Class 2A. Sophomore Jessica Moonjely finished unbeaten in singles while junior Emma Koch was part of the 2A doubles championship team with 2017 graduate Abby Jans. Senior Meg Moreland along with juniors Kaily Speer and Vivian Mitchell also return. “We have most of the team returning,” Villarni said. “We have two strong newcomers in (freshmen) Audrey Koch and Caroline Chandler.”

Individuals

Sarah Abu-Nameh, Cedar Rapids Xavier, soph. — Finished sixth in the Class 1A state singles tournament in 2017.

Shelby Cook, Cedar Rapids Kennedy, sr. — Finished with an 8-3 singles record and was an all-conference performer for the Cougars in 2017.

Emma Koch, Iowa City West, jr. — Finished with a 10-6 singles record and combined with Abby Jans to capture the Class 2A doubles championship. Also a member of West’s Class 5A state basketball title team last month.

Jessica Moonjely, Iowa City West, soph. — Was undefeated in singles play as a freshman in 2017.

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Anna Postinkov, Cedar Rapids Prairie, sr. — Combined with 2017 graduate Maddie Renner to finish sixth at state doubles.

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