Girls State Tennis: Washington, Kennedy Duos Pull Upset

By Dylan Montz (Story) and Scott Saville (Video), Reporters

Cedar Rapids Washington's Rina Moore lunges for the ball while playing with Lilly Hartman against Urbandale in the Class 2A doubles first round at the state tennis tournament at Veterans Memorial Tennis Center on Thursday, May 30, 2013, in Cedar Rapids. (Liz Martin/The Gazette-KCRG)

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By Grant Burkhardt

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — A busy first day at the Class 2A girls’ state tennis meet on Thursday also proved to be an “intense” with two three-set wins for Cedar Rapids Washington sophomore Lilly Hartman and junior Rina Moore.

The Warriors squad opened play Thursday with a three-set win against Urbandale’s Kayla Dinshaw and Brynn Reichardt 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 and advanced to play No. 2 seeded Dana Watermann and Ali Grampp of Bettendorf. The Warriors were able to pull off the upset winning in the final two sets 6-7, 7-5, 6-3.

“It’s a big win,” said Washington coach Liz Bertrand. “Either way it goes, it’s an upsetting loss for the other team. They played great tennis, very aggressive. And at different points in the game, it went both ways so it was hard to see who had it.”

Hartman felt momentum began to really shift in favor of her and Moore after the win in the second set. She also knew staying aggressive was going to be, perhaps, the biggest key in securing an upset win.

“We knew they were a really talented team, but we knew we could hang in there with them and we had to play our best if we were going to beat them,” Hartman said. “I thought we played really well.”

Bertrand —a 23-year-old first-year coach for the Warriors— knew coming into the season there were some things she wanted to instill within her players. Taking each point, game and set one step at a time an avoiding the “big picture” would be an important lesson.

“I wanted them to learn and master as many tennis skills as possible, but I also wanted them to be as honest and great of players as they are,” Bertrand said of her team. “I think that’s just as important as anything else so I’m really proud of how they played.”

On Friday, Hartman and Moore will go up against the Cedar Rapids Kennedy tandem of senior Sarah Lasecki and freshman Jessica Pedersen. The Cougars came away with a championship quarterfinal upset of their own Thursday when they beat No. 3 seeded West Des Moines Valley seniors Jenni Aldrich and Lucy Korsakov 6-1, 6-3.

“I think it’s all mental,” Moore said about what preparation for the semi-final match against Kennedy on Friday. “I think we have all the skills to be able to [win.]”

Others in Class 2A

No. 2 seeded Iowa City High sophomore Eve Small earned a berth in the state championship semi-finals on Friday by defeating West Des Moines Valley’s Delaney Parman in the first round 6-0, 6-0. In the second round, Small held off Clinton’s Griffin Rasche in a 6-1, 6-3 victory.

Small will take on No. 3 seeded Liera Bender in the state championship semi-final Friday morning.

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