116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Home / Sports / Iowa Prep Sports
Iowa high school girls’ tennis 2023: Gazette area players and teams to watch
Nina Marqurdt takes over a 2A state title contender at Cedar Rapids Washington
Here are some Gazette area players and teams to watch during the 2023 Iowa high school girls’ tennis season.
Girls’ tennis teams to watch
Iowa City West — After a year of turmoil in 2022, the Trojans are starting fresh under new coach Brenda Guan. Following a third-place state finish in 2021, most of that team elected not to play last season, citing harassment and bullying tactics against former coach Amie Villarini, which was found to be without merit after an investigation by the Iowa City Community School District. Senior Jay Mascardo and junior Maggie Shin were part of that team and have returned to the roster.
West is ranked sixth in the preseason Class 2A state poll put out by Iowa HS Tennis. Sophomore Sasha Postinkov, a Cedar Rapids Prairie transfer, was a state singles qualifier in 2022. Junior Delmira Jara, along with sophomores Claire Hahn, Marie Stier and Jane Lam all saw varsity action in 2022.
“They are hungry to contribute to the legacy of this program,” Guan said. “I’ve espoused some tough policies, but they have all responded with receptiveness.”
Cedar Rapids Xavier — It will be a rebuilding year for Coach Matt Foxhoven. His Saints, ranked No. 4 in the preseason poll, were the Class 1A state runners-up in 2022. That team included state singles champion Ella Tallet and doubles champs Ally Burger and Courtney Carstensen. Those players are now playing collegiately. In fact, only one regular, junior Avery Link, is back from that team.
Seniors Ali Schuchmann and Isabel Barnes have waited their turns and this will be their chance to shine in their final prep seasons. Others expected to contribute include junior Olivia Cobb and sophomores Isabel Tobin and Ruby Smith.
“We have four new girls in the lineup but they have played a lot of tennis this year and have tournament experience,” Foxhoven said. “We have USTA tournament experience but not a lot of high school match play experience so getting girls up to speed quickly will be key.”
Cedar Rapids Washington — One of Foxhoven's former Xavier players, Nina Marqurdt, takes over a 2A state title contender at Washington.
“It will be fun to watch her get her coaching career started with a really solid team,” Foxhoven said.
A solid team might be a bit of an understatement. The Warriors, ranked second behind West Des Moines Dowling in the preseason state rankings, return two of the state's top players in senior Kathryn Zylstra and junior Katelynn Kock. The duo combined to win the 2A doubles title and lead Washington to a third-place finish in the team race. Kock is ranked second and Zylstra fifth in the preseason singles rankings. Seniors Mya Messenger (singles) and Chloe Palmer (doubles with 2022 graduate Liberty Wickham) also were state qualifiers. Senior Peyton Caldwell also returns.
Girls’ tennis players to watch
Ella Gilbert, Iowa City Liberty, jr. — Finished sixth in Class 2A singles in 2022.
Natalee Hartman, Marion, jr. — Finished seventh in Class 1A doubles with 2022 graduate Gracie Goad.
Kateylnn Kock, Cedar Rapids Washington, jr. — Won 2022 Class 2A state doubles title with teammate Kathryn Zylstra.
Mya Messenger, Cedar Rapids Washington, jr. — Class 2A state qualifier in 2022
Chloe Palmer, Cedar Rapids Washington, sr. — Class 2A state doubles qualifier with 2022 graduate Liberty Wickham
Sasha Postinkov, Iowa City West, soph. — Class 2A state qualifier in 2022 while playing for C.R. Prairie.
Annalise Skrade, Decorah, sr. — Finished third in Class 1A doubles with 2022 graduate Mara Holland
Kathryn Zylstra, Cedar Rapids Washington, sr. — Won 2022 Class 2A state doubles title with teammate Katelynn Kock