If the rest of the Class 2A girls’ tennis scene isn’t familiar with City High, they better start.
City (9-0) has now won their first nine meets of the season, following an 8-1 win over West High (10-1) Tuesday at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex in Iowa City.
City exited after the first round of the state tournament each of the last two years despite also being a two-time Mississippi Valley Conference champion.
The Little Hawks want more, and that opportunity could be there, especially considering the depth. The team returned every starter from last year to this year.
“The unity of the team is much better this year,” City coach Fred Pedersen said. “I talk to them all the time about helping each other out.”
Like many times before, senior Eve Small paced the Little Hawks Tuesday.
Small defeated West’s Megan Jans 10-1 at No. 1 singles, and then paired with Innes Hiczamas to notch a win over Jans and sister, Abby, 10-2 at No. 1 doubles.
Perhaps the Women of Troy were more than overmatched — at least on this day.
“I knew that they were going to be tough, we all knew they were going to be tough,” West coach Amie Villarini said. “They mentally started to play with fear and were afraid of losing. Two girls who lost their first matches today, they just mentally weren’t prepared. This is all a learning experience for them. Some of them got rattled who were never rattled before.”
While the Little Hawks are losers of just four matches all season — one Tuesday and then a 6-3 win over Cedar Rapids Prairie earlier this month — the stretch run of the season is still upcoming.
But it is easy to ponder how deep of a run into the spring City can make.
“I’m very optimistic about how we’ll place,” Small said. “I think that we’ve all increased our games just over this season. Everyone has matured as players. We should really have a good chance in all our singles and doubles in the postseason.”
City High 8, West High 1
Singles – Eve Small (C) def. Megan Jans 10-1; Innes Hiczamas (C) def. Hannah Smigel 10-2; Brittani Langland (W) def. Susanna Gianola 10-4; Kit Finley (C) def. Abby Jans 10-1; Lucy Wagner (C) def. Simran Sarin 10-2; Bihotza James (C) def. Abby Walling 10-3.
Doubles – Small/Hiczamas (C) def. M. Jans/A. Jans 10-2; Gianola/James (C) def. Smigel/Langland 10-5; Finley/Wagner (C) def. Sarin/Sharon Xiang 10-2.