116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Kathryn Zylstra and Katelynn Kock had the luxury of getting to watch a lot of action during the first day of the girls’ state tennis tournament.
The young Cedar Rapids Washington duo had plenty of time to look at other matches going on at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Center because of their dominance on Wednesday.
Zylstra, a sophomore, and Kock, a freshman, had the No. 4 seed coming in and some thought they could be potential upset victims because of their youth. All they did was steamroll a pair of Des Moines area opponents to earn a spot in Thursday’s semifinals.
In the opening round, they downed West Des Moines Valley's Isabella Dobrinov and Nithya Myneni, 6-2, 6-3, and followed that up with a 6-1, 6-0 triumph over Allie Christensen and Dasha Svitashev of Johnston.
"Honestly, I wasn't too surprised," Washington Coach Brandon Hornbeck said. "In my opinion, they are among the best in the state when they are at the top of their game. They had a good day today and the results were what we expected."
Kock echoed her coach's sentiments, but was quick to point out that the semifinal match against the top-seeded team of Ava Petersen and Mackenzie Klein from West Des Moines Dowling will be completely different.
"I thought we played amazing today," she said. "I think tomorrow we're definitely going to have to play at the top of our game if we want to make the final.
Zylstra, whose older brother, Grayson, finished fourth in last week's Class 2A boys’ singles state tournament, said there is a bit of a sibling rivalry going.
"I have to do a little bit better than he did," she said with a smile. "I definitely have to one-up him this week."
Iowa City West's top team of Caroline and Julianna Mascardo, seeded third, were equally as impressive in earning a spot in the other semifinal against Mira Keeran and Maya Maliavarapu of Cedar Falls. They blanked Washington's other doubles team of Josie Norris and Mya Messenger, 6-0, 6-0, in the opening round and followed that up with a 6-1, 6-2 quarterfinal win over Urbandale's Katy Carver and Lily Dykstra.
In singles, Iowa City West's Ella De Young is still alive in the consolation round. After posting an easy first-round win, she dropped a three-set match to Abbie Peterson in the quarterfinals. She then won in the consolation round and will be in action Thursday in the consolation semifinals.
Three other Gazette-area players, Ayva Bohr of Cedar Rapids Prairie, Sarah Dockery-Jackson of Iowa City High and Ella Gilbert of Iowa City Liberty all lost in the first round and were eventually eliminated in the consolation rounds.
In the 1A tournament at Byrnes Park in Waterloo, things could not have gone better for Cedar Rapids Xavier. Senior Miyako Coffey, the No. 2 seed, rolled through her first two singles matches and will play in the semifinals Thursday against Kinsie Zinnel of Boone.
The Saints placed two teams into the doubles semifinals. No. 2 seed Courtney Carstensen and Ally Burger dropped just one game in two matches to make the final four. Teammates Avery Link and Ella Tallett were the only unseeded tandem to make the semifinals. They ousted No. 4-seeded Mara Holland and Annalise Skrade of Decorah in the opening round, then swept past Council Bluffs St. Albert's Landry Miller and Allison Narmi in the quarters.
Saints Coach Matt Foxhoven was understandably happy with the results.
"Miyako did a good job of controlling the matches point-to-point," he said. "Courtney and Ally did a great job of putting their opponents on defense early and capitalized on balls at the net.
"Ella and Avery had two very tough matches, but did a great job of keeping their composure and playing their game. All the girls game out ready to play today."
Three Gazette-area doubles teams are alive in the consolation round. Holland and Skrade bounced back with two wins and will face their Viking teammates, Morgan Brauer and Cady Peterson, in Thursday’s consolation semifinals. Brauer and Peterson also lost in the first round, then battled back to win their next two matches.
Union's sister duo of Belle and Alexa Weber won their first-round match, lost in the quarterfinals, then won to earn a berth in the other consolation semifinals.
All play begins Thursday with consolations at 9:30 a.m. and semifinals at 10, followed by the four placing matches.