West High Sweeps Singles and Doubles Titles at Regional Tennis Meet

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Photo by Jeff Yoder

Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

IOWA CITY – Last week the West High boys tennis team swept the top two spots in both single and doubles at the district meet for the second consecutive season.

 Jessica Moonjely knew about the recent district success for the boys program.

“The boys have done it quite a few times,” Moonjely said. “It’s amazing.”

On Wednesday it was Moonjely and her teammates on the West High girls tennis team turn to dominant.

West High swept the singles and doubles titles at the Class 2A, Region 8 tournament at West High while qualifying three entries for the individual state tournament later this month.

Moonjely and Audrey Koch knocked off teammates Vivian Mitchell and Caroline Mascardo in an all-West High doubles championship while sophomore Caroline Chandler cruised to a singles title.

It marked the first time in seven seasons under head coach Amie Villarini that West High had two entries face off in a regional title match and the three state meet entries is the most for a Villarini-coached team.

“I am just super thrilled with how it went, this is what you hope for,” Villarini said. “This was the plan was to try to come out with this kind of result.”

West High was impressive while securing state meet spots for three of its four entries

Moonjely and Koch entered as the top-seeded doubles tandem and didn’t drop a set on their way to the regional title.

The duo dispatched of the Cedar Rapids Washington tandem of Liberty Wickham and Josie Norris 6-2, 6-1 in the quarterfinals and swept the fourth-seeded City High team of Abigail McCormick and Irene Samuelson 6-0, 6-0 to reach the title match.

Koch was a state doubles champion with her older sister Emma last season while Moonjely was a regional singles champ a year ago.

As a doubles team Koch and Moonjely improved to 12-0 on the season with a 6-1, 6-2 win over teammates Mitchell and Mascardo in the title match.

“That was definitely our goal today to be efficient,” Koch said. “It was weird playing teammates in the finals I would have had it no other way because I am glad we are both going to state but it was odd. I was hitting with them and it seemed like a drill we would be doing in practice but I’m really excited that both teams made it to state. That’s exciting.

Chandler was even more dominant on her way to the singles title.

The sophomore didn’t drop a set in three wins on Wednesday capping her first regional singles performance with a 6-0, 6-0 sweep of third-seeded Ayva Bohr of Cedar Rapids Prairie.

“I felt really good today,” Chandler said. “I was really excited for that match, she is a great player, but I was exciting to have an opportunity to play singles and show what I could do.”

Chandler entered as the fourth seed and opened play with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Linn-Mar senior Cassie Smith.

She reached the finals with a 6-2, 6-3 win over top-seeded Caroline Carter of City High to secure her first trip to the state meet.

“I don’t think the seeding really affected her, obviously she proved the seeding wrong,” Villarini said. “I am really proud of her for coming out and winning this whole thing even though she was a four seed and proving that she was better than that four spot.”

Carter defeated teammate Kelsey Law 6-1, 6-0 in the third place match while the City High doubles team of McCormick and Samuelson also finished third.