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Iowa high school girls’ state tennis Day 1: Cedar Rapids Washington doubles team rolls to semifinals
Katelynn Kock and Kathryn Zylstra trying to repeat as Class 2A state champs
Katelynn Kock and Kathryn Zylstra took the first two steps to defending their Class 2A state doubles title on Friday in Iowa City.
Their wait time was almost as long as their time on the court, but the Cedar Rapids Washington duo did not let it bother them as they rolled to easy wins during the first two rounds at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Center.
They opened with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Linn-Mar’s Kara Kueper and Lauren Steigerwaldt and followed it up with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Samara Peterson and Megan Yuan of Ankeny Centennial.
“They had to wait for an open court to start, so they had a lot of down time before their first match,” said Washington Coach Nina Marquardt. “Once they got out there, they were sharp and settled in against Linn-Mar.”
Then, because their quarterfinal opponents needed three sets to advance, Kock and Zylstra had another long wait before getting back on the court.
“Once they got out there against (Peterson and Yuan), they settled in and had a lot of fun.” Marquardt said. “They moved really well together, had a great dynamic and I think they walked off the court valuing this last year of playing together.’’
Kock and Zylstra, seeded second, are on course to avenge an earlier loss this season to top seeds Maya Mallavarapu and Madison Sagers of Cedar Falls. The Tiger duo also advanced with two solid wins.
⧉ Related article: Photos: Day one of 2023 Iowa high school girls’ tennis Class 2A state meet
Before that match can happen, the semifinals must first be navigated. Kock and Zylstra will meet No. 3 seed Maddie Hockmuth and Allexis Moen of West Des Moines Valley while the Tiger duo will play No. 4 seed Anna Current and Sescie Haan of Clinton.
“Valley had a pretty close match, but they were able to pull it out in the end,” Marquardt said. “I think Katelynn and Kathryn match up pretty well with them. I know they are looking forward to (Saturday)”
Iowa City West senior Julianna Mascardo was the only unseeded player to make the semifinals. She outlasted No. 4 seed Ava Petersen of West Des Moines Dowling, 7-5, 7-5, in the quarterfinals after opening with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Dubuque Hempstead’s Sydney Thoms.
“(Mascardo) played a great match today,” West Coach Brenda Guan said. “That was some of the best tennis I’ve seen from her yet. She was patient, consistent, and clutch. I am excited to see what she can do tomorrow.”
Mascardo will meet No. 1 seed Abbie Peterson of Ankeny Centennial in the semifinals.
In 1A play at Waterloo, Marion’s doubles team of Michaela Goad and Natalee Hartman advanced to the semifinals. The No. 3-seeded team topped Leah Harris and Mary Jacobson of Grinnell in the opening round, 6-2, 6-2. They followed that up with a tough three-set win over Spirit Lake's Abbie Oleson and Taylor Schneider, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5.
They will meet Ella Dilulio and Helen Son of Davenport Assumption in the semifinals, The Knights’ duo upset top-seeded Avery Hogan and Kate Holton of Waterloo Columbus in the quarterfinals.