116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Katelynn Kock and Kathryn Zylstra had a tremendous 2021 postseason.
As the No. 1 doubles team for the Cedar Rapids Washington girls’ tennis team, the duo came on strong to finish third in Class 2A. Not bad for a team that, by Kock's admission, relied a lot on their individual skills.
“Last year, I think we played like two singles players who got put together,” Kock said. “This year, we've played a lot more doubles and I think we are playing much more in sync.”
Now, after a full season of working together, the Warrior duo has sights on a state title. They are seeded No. 2 for the 2A state tournament, which begins Friday at the Waukee Northwest Tennis Complex. The Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex in Iowa City will host the 1A meet.
There also is a bit of a revenge factor for the Washington pair. They lost a hard-fought, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2, decision to West Des Moines Dowling's Kenzie Klein and Ava Petersen. The Maroons pair is the top seed this year.
“After we finished last year and got third, the thought right away was that we wanted to do doubles again,” Zylstra said. “It was a very tough loss in the semifinals. We're playing much more smoothly together this year.
“I don't want to jinx it, but I think we have a really good shot to win it this year.”
Washington Coach Brandon Hornback would love to see a rematch in the finals, but was quick to caution that there is much work to do before that match could take place.
“They do want a shot at them,” Hornback said. “They are preparing every day and getting ready for state. If they play like they have so far this season, there is no reason they shouldn't be in the finals.”
Kock and Zylstra aren't the only Warriors in the state meet. Liberty Wickham and Chloe Palmer also are in the doubles draw while Mya Messenger qualified in singles.
“It shows the depth of our team up and down the lineup,” Hornback said. “We've continued to develop and improve as the season has gone along.”
Cedar Rapids Xavier's doubles team of Ally Burger and Courtney Carstensen will look to repeat as 1A doubles champions. They were awarded the top seed.
After winning the regional title last week, both players said they wanted the chance to defend their title. Coach Matt Foxhoven said they complement each other well on the court.
“They know what they have to do to win a match,” he said. “Occasionally we have to get on them from time to time, but they always respond.”
Saints senior Ella Tallet will play singles where she is seeded No. 3.
The Decorah doubles team of Annalise Skrade and Mara Holland are seeded No. 4.
Iowa high school girls’ state tennis tournament
When: Friday-Saturday (Play begins at 10 a.m. both days)
Where: Class 2A: Waukee Northwest High School; Class 1A: Hawkeye Recreation and Tennis Complex.
Tickets: $10 per day. Online tickets must be purchased through Bound.
CLASS 2A SEEDS
Singles: 1. Allison Szalay, West Des Moines Dowling; 2. Claire Gu , West Des Moines Valley; 3. Maya Mallavarapu, Cedar Falls; 4. Kira Smith, Ankeny.
Doubles: 1. Kenzie Klein/Ava Petersen, West Des Moines Dowling; 2. Katelynn Kock/Kathryn Zylstra, Cedar Rapids Washington; 3. Elizabeth Alves/Andrea Porubcin, Bettendorf; 4. Abby Struble/Anna Current , Clinton.
Other Gazette area qualifiers: Singles: Ella Gilbert, Iowa City Liberty; Sasha Postnikov, Cedar Rapids Prairie; Mya Messenger, Cedar Rapids Washington. Doubles: Kalley Novak/Morgan White, Cedar Rapids Kennedy; Liberty Wickham/Chloe Palmer, Cedar Rapids Washington; Lydia Welch/Grace Hobson, Cedar Rapids Prairie.
CLASS 1A SEEDS
Singles: 1. Le Yuan Sun, Shenandoah; 2. Mary Rolfstad, Davenport Assumption; 3. Ella Tallett, Cedar Rapids Xavier; 4. Catherine Straus, Spirit Lake-Okoboji.
Doubles: 1. Ally Burger/Courtney Carstensen, Cedar Rapids Xavier; 2. Avery Hogan/Chloe Butler, Waterloo Columbus; 3. Allison Narmi/Landry Miller; Council Bluffs St. Albert, 4. Annalise Skrade/Mara Holland, Decorah.
Other Gazette area qualifiers: Singles: Allison Pavlovec, Decorah. Doubles: Natalee Hartman/Gracie Goad, Marion.