Wednesday will mark the end of the season – and perhaps the end of some careers – for a handful of girls tennis players in North Iowa.
Fortunately, those players will have an opportunity to extend their seasons at the 2019 Regional Tennis Tournaments (singles and doubles), which take place at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
Five area teams (Charles City, Clear Lake, Hampton-Dumont, Osage and Mason City) will be in action. Mason City is set to compete at Cedar Falls (Class 2A, Region 5), and the remaining four schools will be at Waverly-Shell Rock (Class 1A, Region 5). The top two singles and doubles teams at each site advance to the state tournament.
Here's a brief look at each team's record and lineup, as well as a player to watch:
Mason City (6-5)
1. Bailey VanDusseldorp
2. Tiegan Barkema
1. Grace Henrich, Lauren Andrews
2. Peyton Carpenter, Eden Lewerke
Player to watch: Bailey VanDusseldorp
Mason City finished with a winning season after going 4-8 a year ago, and coach Jim Cornick points to a surplus of returning experience as the reason. Among those battle-tested players: VanDusseldorp, a junior who holds a 6-6 record. That mark might not seem impressive upon first glance, but a look into her opponents proves otherwise.
"She’s 6-6 overall, but four of her losses are to top-six girls in the state; they’re really good," Cornick said. "She’s a real solid player.”
Along with singles and doubles regionals, Mason City will compete at Cedar Falls on Saturday for team regionals. The Mohawks defeated Waterloo, West on Saturday. They'll be tasked with Cedar Rapids, Kennedy and Cedar Falls.
Clear Lake (1-5)
1. Maranda Harrison
2. Jessica Theobold
1. Kaylee Nosbisch, Stephanie Penning
2. Kaley Meyer, Kara Reineke
Player to watch: Maranda Harrison
Clear Lake coach Cat Aragon-Bauer is in her first season as the Lions' tennis coach, but she's aware of the progress Harrison has made heading into her senior year.
Aragon-Bauer said Harrison and Chloe Mueller placed third in state doubles last season, but the coach has seen Harrison make strides in her final stint for the Lions.
“She’s competitive," Aragon-Bauer said. "She knows the sport, and she tries really hard to play fairly, but she’s also a very hard hitter. She’s really moved up in our group and has really shown great leadership. She’s able to play well with all the other girls; there’s some pretty tough ones over in Decorah and Waverly, and she plays with them very well."
1. Amanda Schuessler
1. Erica Nasstrom, Victoria Schwarting
2. Grace Mallory, Lauren Swenson
Players to watch: Erica Nasstrom, Victoria Schwarting
First-year head coach Klaire Chisholm has high expectations for her top doubles team Wednesday. Nasstrom and Schwarting, the top two singles players for the Green Devils, will team up in hopes of advancing to the state tournament.
Chisholm said the tandem has played together in only one meet, but she was impressed with the duo's chemistry.
"They play really well together," Chisholm said. "I have really high hopes for them because they know what's going on, they know what to look for, they know how to get the win. It'll definitely be exciting to watch them."
Charles City (7-5)
1. Jodi Sindlinger
2. Amy Boggess
1. Kayla Kellogg, Taylor Walters
2. Lauren Connell, Jacie Wink
Player to watch: Jodi Sindlinger
Charles City coach Brian Parrott doesn't remember the last time the Comets won seven matches. After a successful regular season that saw Parrott's squad finish with a winning record, the Comets are looking forward to intense competition Wednesday. The leader of that group is Sindlinger, a multi-sport athlete.
"She's a real good competitor," Parrott said. "I would say she's a born leader. She's a great player to have at No. 1 and around the other girls. They look up to her."
1. Triston Rew
2. Jadin Beyer
1. Bianca Tielke, Brianna Grover
2. Erin Plagge, Faith Grover
Player to watch: Triston Rew
Hampton-Dumont coach Derek Turner said Rew has competed in only three events this season, but he wouldn't be surprised if she picked up multiple victories Wednesday morning at Waverly-Shell Rock.
"She’s got a pretty good chance to make a run," Turner said.
Rew won her first-round singles match last season before falling to the second-seeded player. With another year of experience, Turner thinks the senior could get over the hump.
"I think she has the tools to make an upset," he said.