Sure, Abby Bergsten has played in the state tennis tournament, but she’s still hoping to venture into uncharted territory.
That’s because the Council Bluffs Lewis Central sophomore is trying — at the very least — to earn the best finish in school history when the event starts Thursday at the Veterans Memorial Tennis Center in Cedar Rapids.
No Titan has finished better than Lindsey Oltmans’ sixth-place showing in 2000.
But after an impressive sophomore year in which she’s won all 10 of her matches, Bergsten hopes her name can appear in the Lewis Central record books.
“It would mean a lot,” Bergsten said. “It’s something that I’ve definitely worked towards.”
Bergsten is one of three singles players from western Iowa at state, joining Red Oak’s Kate Walker and Glenwood’s Onis Souissi in Class 1-A. Two doubles teams also have qualified, both in 1-A: Zoey Baker and Grace Blomstedt of Red Oak and Rachel Tucker and Grace Newman of Glenwood.
Bergsten is the lone WI 2-A qualifier. Her coach saw plenty of dedication every day in practice.
“She’s just a powerhouse,” Lewis Central coach Clay Cunningham said. “She makes a commitment and practices every day. She doesn’t give up.”
Unseeded Bergsten’s state quest begins Thursday morning when she faces unseeded Judith Fan of Ames.
Bergsten admits she was thrilled just to be there a year ago. She won her first match before falling in the quarterfinals 6-1, 6-0.
“It was kind of overwhelming at first,” Bergsten said. “I was kind of nervous last year, obviously, being a freshman, but I think this year I’ll be more relaxed and hopefully can play a little better.”
Iowa State Tennis Meet
At Veterans Memorial Tennis Center, Cedar Rapids
Abby Bergsten (CB Lewis Central) vs. Judith Fan (Ames)
At Prairie Ridge Sports Complex, Ankeny
Onis Souissi (Glenwood) vs. No. 4 Courtney Schneider (Wahlert). Kate Walker (Red Oak) vs. Makenzie Richmond (Centerville)
Zoey Baker/Grace Blomstedt (Red Oak) vs. Geanne Bouchard/Claire Bouchard (Xavier). Rachel Tucker/Grace Newman (Glenwood) vs. Rachel Westergard/Natalie Delaney (Spirit Lake)