Girls' State Tennis: Consolation Dramatics

By Dylan Montz (Story) and Josh Christensen (Video), Reporters

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By Josh Christensen

CEDAR RAPIDS — Even though the Iowa City West girls’ tennis team didn’t get to play for the state championship Saturday, the drama was plenty intense when the team battled Ames for third place.

West lost to Urbandale, 7-2, in the morning semifinals, sending the Women of Troy to a consolation dual with the Little Cyclones.

West won four of the six singles matches, with senior Elena Wilson’s coming in dramatic fashion.

“That was incredibly nerve-racking,” Wilson said of her 3-6, 7-5, 1-0 (10-8) victory against Judith Fan. “But my team was right behind me at the other end of the fence, and they helped me get through that match. I couldn’t do it without them. It was so exciting, I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

After dropping the first set and finding herself down 4-1 in the second, Wilson came back to win 7-5 and force a super tiebreaker. In the super tiebreaker, Wilson fell behind 8-6 before rattling off four straight winners to take the match.

“(That) took a lot of guts,” West Coach Amie Villarini said. “She’s a fighter and she’s my hustle, hustler, fighter, queen. I’m really proud of her and I’m really proud of my seniors especially, again for their last matches coming up with some clutch wins in the end.”

The intensity stayed with Wilson and her doubles teammate — fellow senior Addy Riley — as the two played Ann Ku and Taylor Thoen to decide the meet. After losing to the same team in individual state tournament doubles Thursday, Riley said they knew what to do in Saturday’s match.

“We kind of had an idea how to play them, but we also had to turn it up when we needed to and try to work the point a little bit more instead of rushing ourselves and going for too much sometimes,” Riley said. “We got a little anxious.”

Wilson and Riley won their doubles match, 7-6 (7-1), 7-5, to give West a 5-4 victory for third place.

“This team has really grown through the season and we’re just really happy to make it this far,” Villarini said. “We thought we could have as easily been a championship team as well, but we’re very happy still getting third.”

In the title dual, Clinton defeated Urbandale, 5-4, getting a super tiebreaker win in doubles from Jordan Nelson and Gabby Haan over Brynn Reichardt and Kayla Dinshaw.

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