Prep Sports

Girls' tennis regionals: Xavier duo advances in 1A; Iowa City West sweeps titles

CEDAR RAPIDS — By their own admission, the Xavier doubles team of Emily Jasper and Nina Marquardt can be a little streaky.

“We definitely struggled on some points today,” Jasper said following Wednesday’s Class 1A regional singles and doubles tournament at the Veterans Memorial Tennis Center. “In the end, we were able to pull through.”

The Saints duo earned a spot in the state tournament, set for May 30-31 at Byrnes Park in Waterloo, with its runner-up finish. Jasper and Marquardt fell to Camanche’s Natalie Goble and Marly Bussa, 6-3, 1-6, 6-0 in a title match that saw the Saints pair play at both ends of the spectrum.

“That’s kind of the way they have been all year, up and down,” Xavier Coach Matt Foxhoven said. “We’ve worked hard on the mental side of their game to put away things when they can and fortunately today, they did it when it counted.”

The duo missed a state berth last year and almost missed out again. They pulled out a 7-6 (7-4), 2-6, 6-4 over Dubuque Wahlert’s Anna Herrig and Abby McDonald in a tense semifinal match to earn the state bid.

“After we split sets we had to come back with a new attitude,” Marquardt said. “We just had to remember how we can play and roll with it.”

Wahlert claimed both singles state slots as Anna Freiburger downed teammate Caroline Hutchinson, 6-2, 6-1, in the final.

Xavier’s Maddie Abu-Nameh lost a tough three-set decision to Hutchinson in the semifinals.

“Maddie had a tough match,” Foxhoven said. “She had some issues come up late in the match and unfortunately she couldn’t get through.”

Iowa City West sweeps 2A titles

Iowa City West took both the singles and doubles titles in the 2A regional it hosted. Jessica Moonjely downed Iowa City High’s Bihotza James-Lejarcegui, 6-2, 6-1, in the singles final while sisters Emma and Audrey Koch defeated Jefferson’s Maddle Slagle and Emma Lassen, 6-2, 6-1.

“Jessica believed in herself and upset the No. 1 seed former regional champ and state qualifier,” West Coach Amie Villarini said. “Jessica had her only singles loss to Bihotza last year.

“(Emma and Audrey) are playing solid doubles and learning and improving with every match,” she continued. “They too are realizing their potential and are building more confidence.”

At Waterloo West, Kennedy’s duo of Shelby Cook and Veena Venkaesh won the regional title, defeating Waterloo West’s Yasmine Buchanan and Minela Ikanovic, 6-2, 6-0.

At Bettendorf, Prairie’s Anna Postnikov finished second to Pleasant Valley’s Lily Feldman in singles while at Clinton, the Linn-Mar duo of Whitney Guthrie and Piper Boysen took second behind Dubuque Hempstead’s Joyce Sun and Erin Connolly.

In a 1A regional at Decorah, the Vikings duo of Carina Yee and Vita Domnenko took second, earning a state berth.

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