116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
There was good news and bad news for the area's top boys’ tennis teams before the start of postseason play.
In Class 1A, top-ranked Cedar Rapids Xavier got a favorable district assignment. The Saints are the lone ranked team in the eight-school grouping at Fairfield.
Meanwhile, the regular season ended in a rough way for perennial Class 2A contender Iowa City West. Not only did the Trojans drop a 7-2 decision to now No. 1-ranked Waukee on Saturday, they may have lost senior Mukundan Kasturirangan to a knee injury.
District play for singles and doubles, which will also determine team qualifiers for substate play, will be held at sites around the state Wednesday in Class 1A and 2A.
All winners and runners-up qualify for the singles and doubles state tournament on May 28-29. Class 1A will be held at Byrnes Park in Waterloo with 2A slated to be held at Veterans Memorial Tennis Center in Cedar Rapids.
Substate team play for the boys, pitting the second and third-place finishers from Wednesday’s district play, is scheduled for Saturday.
Xavier Coach Jim Potts was pleased with the placement of teams this season. In past years, the Saints (13-1) have been in the same district with Dubuque Wahlert, which led to some good players either being underseeded at state or missing the meet altogether. The No. 3 Golden Eagles (11-3) are hosting a district that includes area schools Marion and Independence.
"I’m glad that the state split up the top-ranked teams this year," Potts said. "We’re very fortunate to be one of them. We’re looking forward to competing with (the other teams) at the Fairfield district. It has been hard to know what to expect since we don’t have any common opponents to compare with."
Potts said the process for picking who plays singles and who plays doubles changes each year. For the singles and doubles tournament, two players play singles and four others play doubles.
“I ask my players at the beginning of the year what their preference is,” he said. “This gives me a feeling where we’re at to start with.
“The goal each year is to do what’s best for the team, and this year is no different. It will be fun to see how things work out.”
Junior Brady Horstmann (10-4) and senior Matthew Schmit (13-1) have been Xavier's top two singles players throughout the year.
In 2A, second-ranked Iowa City West (14-1) is hosting a district and will, like Xavier, be the only ranked team in the field that includes City High and Liberty.
The concern for the Trojans could be the possible loss of Kasturirangan. West's No. 3 singles player defaulted his match at Waukee last Saturday in the fourth game. If he is unable to play Wednesday, he could not play in state singles or doubles, but could return to the lineup for future play in the team tournament.
West Coach Mitch Gross said Kasturirangan was scheduled to see a doctor on Tuesday to determine the severity of the injury.
"We won't know his status until then," Gross said.
Cedar Rapids Prairie also is hosting a 2A district that includes Metro rivals Jefferson and Washington. No. 5 Linn-Mar was assigned to the Bettendorf district while Cedar Rapids Kennedy will be in the North Scott grouping.
(Districts including Gazette-area schools)
(All play begins at 8 a.m.)
At Bettendorf: Bettendorf, Davenport North, Davenport West, Dubuque Hempstead, Linn-Mar, Western Dubuque
At Iowa City West: Burlington, Davenport Central, Iowa City High, Iowa City Liberty, Iowa City West, Ottumwa
At North Scott: Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Clinton, Dubuque Senior, Muscatine, North Scott, Pleasant Valley
At Cedar Rapids Prairie: Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids Jefferson, Cedar Rapids Prairie, Cedar Rapids Washington, Mason City, Waterloo, West
At Fairfield: Cedar Rapids Xavier, Centerville, Davis County, Fairfield, Fairfield Maharishi, Fort Madison, Keokuk, Mount Pleasant
At Dubuque Wahlert: Camanche, Davenport Assumption, DeWitt Central, Dubuque Wahlert, Independence, Maquoketa, Marion
At Waverly-Shell Rock: Aplington-Parkersburg, Clear Lake, Decorah, Hampton-Dumont, Oelwein, Union, Waterloo Columbus