Four varsity regulars aid MHS girls’ tennis team

Turnout is high for Marshalltown girls’ tennis, both for first-time competitors and returning players with varsity experience. Four of the Bobcats’ returning players were singles and doubles players for the team in 2022, giving the team a foundation of experience heading into its first season as a member of the Iowa Alliance Conference. Head coach John Fiscus said this was an important positive step for the program and he is looking forward to facing his new (and familiar) opponents.

“We do have our new conference that we’re in and we’ll hopefully be quite successful in it, is what I’m expecting,” Fiscus said. “We have high hopes for us, and competition will be all over the board obviously but we’ll have more success this year.”

Leading the charge for Fiscus’s program will be junior Rebekah Downs and sophomore Kennedy Feldman, who ended the 2022 season as the top-two in the varsity lineup. Fiscus said he sees another step in their development coming, based on the preseason and on their play in matches and in practice at the end of last year.

“Real happy with both Kennedy and Rebekah,” Fiscus said. “Even at the end of last year, that was one reason I was so happy with them competing against each other. It just made me happy that they’re competitive, they have the spirit and they want to win.”

Senior leadership is also present from Brianna Hargraves, Emily Diggins, Claire Bohan, Chesni Uhde, Ava Lucas, Grace Bethel and others who are fighting for spots both at the back-end of the singles lineup and in the doubles spots.

Ellie Downs, Fiscus said, also has the potential to work her way into the varsity lineup during the season as a freshman.

With the new conference comes difficult opponents as well, including Ames and Mason City among others. Fiscus said the Bobcats have competed well in the past against some high-quality opponents, but not having to go against the CIML opposition regularly will help as well. The Bobcats’ start to the season includes matchups with Des Moines Hoover (March 30) and Des Moines East on April 4 before the matchup with Ames on April 6.

“We battled with Ames last year, it was just a 95-degree day when it had been cold all spring and we had kids dropping,” Fiscus said. “I’m looking forward to the Ames match. Wish it was a little bit later in the schedule, but we’ll take it when we can.”


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