116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
After both dropped their singles matches, it was a determined team of Declan Coe and Hugh Courter that took the court for Cedar Rapids Xavier in doubles at Tuesday's Class 1A state team title match with Pella.
Coe and Courter bounced back and provided the winning point as the Saints (15-1) downed the Dutch, 5-2, in Des Moines to defend their team title.
In Class 2A, Iowa City West endured a marathon day of tennis, lasting almost 12 hours. The Trojans, after rallying to win all three doubles matches in a 5-4 semifinal win over Pleasant Valley, came up short in the final match with Waukee, falling 5-3 in Des Moines.
Xavier cruised to a 5-0 semifinal win over Spencer, but Coach Jim Potts knew it would be a little more difficult against Pella in the final.
"They are a very tough team," Potts said of the Dutch. "Overall, I thought our singles players did a really good job, even though we lost at three and four."
Coe dropped a three-set decision at No. 3 singles while Courter fell in two sets, which forced the match to doubles.
"Our No. 2 doubles team was more or less on a mission," Potts said. "They came out and played some of the best tennis I have seen them play this year and it seemed right that they finished their match first and clinched it."
The title was the third in the last five seasons for Xavier. Senior Matthew Schmit has been part of two of those teams. He combined last weekend to win the doubles title with Brady Horstmann. He said this was a special team in 2021.
"It means a lot to be a part of this team," he said. "This has been one of the most fun season's I've had as a tennis player. This group of guys has been a lot of fun and we came to practice every day and never got down on ourselves."
West was unable to repeat as 2A champion, but it wasn't due to a lack of resolve. In the semifinal win over Pleasant Valley, Mukundan Kasturirangan won his singles match, taking both his sets in tiebreakers to keep the Trojans (17-2) alive to even play doubles. West won all three against the Spartans, including a pair of three-set triumphs.
The Trojans couldn't repeat the magic in the finals against Waukee. Again they fell down 4-2 after singles and did get a win from Samir Singh and BJ Wolf at No. 3 doubles, but the Warriors secured the state title when Will Ecklund and Steve Danna downed Eli Young and Jayden Shin, 6-4, 6-3