116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS - Iowa City High junior Eve Small has dedicated herself to finishing what she started.
A three-time state singles qualifier who placed third as a freshman and second last year, Small has been dominant at No. 1 singles all season and seeks the final rung on the ladder, starting Thursday at the Class 2A state tennis tournament in Ames.
It's taken 'a lot of hard work” to get to this point.
'Doing the extra mile, training before practice,” said Small, a two-time Mississippi Valley Conference athlete of the year. 'With the hard work and the right mentality, it's definitely achievable.”
Small is the top seed in the 16-player bracket and will open with Haley Bankson of Bettendorf today at 10 a.m.
'We talked about it all season long,” City High Coach Fred Pedersen said. 'And what we decided to do was we're going to work as hard as we can and let the chips fall where they may.”
Other area qualifiers in 2A include district champions Jessica Pedersen of Cedar Rapids Kennedy and Cedar Rapids Washington freshman Hannah Sherman. Ellie Anderson of Linn-Mar and another Washington freshman, Kelly King, have difficult openers against returning state qualifiers. King opens with fourth-seeded Judith Fan of Ames and Anderson faces Waukee's Kayla Kuethe, who finished fourth last season.
The state doubles field is highlighted by the Washington duo of junior Lilly Hartman and senior Rina Moore. After finishing second last season without much playing time together, Hartman and Moore are seeded third and will open against Sam and Sarah Roemer of Norwalk.
'We've done a lot better this year,” Moore said. 'We've played all season together and kind of gotten our momentum going. Hopefully it will carry through to state and we'll just do as best as we can.”
Three other area doubles' teams also begin play today - Megan Jans and Brittani Langland of Iowa City West qualified as district champions, Iowa City High's Innes Hicsasmaz and Susanna Gianola and Vale and Magui Caro of Cedar Rapids Prairie.
'This is my first time at individual state so it also makes it really exciting,” Langland said. 'We're just going to play our best.”
Class 1A individual state will be contested at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex in Iowa City, with fourth-seed Allison Jasper of Cedar Rapids Xavier looking to improve on her quarterfinal appearance a year ago. Xavier teammate Kylie DeWees opens with Emma Rose from Boone.
Quarterfinals and consolations also are today, with semifinals and finals on Friday in both classes.
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