116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Both teams made their mark last week.
Cedar Rapids Xavier and Iowa City West's boys’ tennis teams saw their players come away with titles in the singles and doubles state tournament.
Tuesday, the focus shifts back to the team as the semifinals and finals are contested.
Xavier (14-1), the two-time defending Class 1A team champ, is a heavy favorite to win again behind the play of Brady Horstmann, Declan Coe and Hugh Courter.
West (15-0), which has been ranked No. 1 all season, is seeded second in 2A.
Semifinal action begins in both classes at 8:30 a.m. with consolation and championship matches to start approximately one hour after completion of the first two duals. The 1A matches will be at the Waveland Tennis Courts in Des Moines with 2A play slated for Waukee Northwest.
Coach Jim Potts’ team has a chance to make a bit of history. The Saints could become just the 10th school in the history of prep tennis to have the singles and doubles champions and then go on to win a team title. The 2017 Iowa City West team was the last boys’ team to claim all three titles.
“It’s happened a couple of times, but not many for sure,” said Courter, who combined with Coe to take the doubles title last week in Waterloo. “If we are able to pull it off, it would be a first for Xavier.”
Potts is aware the opportunity the Saints have does not come along often.
“I was just looking at that the other day,” he said. “Not many teams get an opportunity like this. I think we will be pretty motivated to play.”
The Saints meet No. 4 Spencer (17-0) in their semifinal match. If they advance, they would meet the winner of Pella (13-0) and Dubuque Wahlert (10-5) in the final.
For Iowa City West, the motivation may come in the seedings. Coach Marshal Moellers’ team has been ranked No. 1 all season, but was given the No. 2 seed behind Pleasant Valley.
When interviewed before the seedings were released, Moellers was concerned about how his team will respond on the state stage.
“We know what we can do in practice,” he said. “What we need to do now is execute when it really counts. So far this year, they have shown that they are capable. Going to team state, we know we have to remain dialed in if we want to win that state title.”
West's strength will likely be its depth. The Trojans' top two singles players, senior Luca Chackalackal and freshman Seth Smigel, placed in the top eight. No. 3 and 4 players Jayden Shin and Samir Singh combined to win the 2A doubles title.
“We’ve got good players from top to bottom,” Chackalackal said. “We've been a good team all season and if we play the way we are capable, we can definitely bring a state title home.”
The Trojans (15-0) open with Waukee Northwest (12-0). Pleasant Valley (19-0) meets West Des Moines Valley (14-1) in the other semifinal.