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Girls state tennis: Schedule, top-seeded players and storylines to watch
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Girls state tennis: Schedule, top-seeded players and storylines to watch

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Lincoln Southwest vs. Lincoln Southeast, 5.4

Lincoln Southeast's Camilla Ibrahimova returns a shot in a singles match against Lincoln Southwest's Natalie Thompson on May 4 at Woods Tennis Center.

The girls state tennis tournaments begin Thursday in Omaha and Lincoln.

Class A

Site: Omaha's Koch Family Tennis Center.

Schedule: Thursday—First-round matches, 8 a.m.; Friday—Semifinals and consolation matches, 8 a.m.; fifth- and seventh-place matches, 11 a.m.; championship and third-place matches, 1 p.m.

Defending state champion: Lincoln Southeast.

Top seeds

No. 1 singles: 1. Mary Faulk, Millard North (24-1); 2. Clare Plachy, Lincoln Pius X (27-3); 3. Camilla Ibrahimova, Lincoln Southeast (25-4); 4. Elsa Jurrens, Omaha Marian (18-8).

No. 2 singles: 1. Cece Ulrich, Lincoln Pius X (29-1); 2. Riya Kannapareddy, Millard North (22-3); 3. Lainie Fanton, Lincoln Southwest (27-5); 4. Sofia Sarroub-Le Sueur, Lincoln East (22-13).

No. 1 doubles: 1. Caroline Miller/Allyson Keitges, Lincoln Southeast (27-4); 2. Elly Johnson/Kristina Le, Lincoln East (32-7); 3. Grace Bartolome/Ella Dean, Lincoln Southwest (28-6).

No. 2 doubles: 1. Lauren Mendlick/Ava Schroeder, Omaha Marian (22-1); 2. Averie Dodds/Lily Rippeteau, Lincoln Southeast (24-2); 3. Ella Ford/Meg Hove, Lincoln Southwest (27-6).

The team race

If meets like the Omaha Westside Invitational are any indication, the Class A state race will likely come down to the final matches. Lincoln Southeast won the Westside crown, but Millard North was only four points behind and Lincoln Southwest was at or near the top at tournaments this spring. Lincoln Pius X's championship wins in the Spartan and Papillion-La Vista invites and the Heartland Athletic Conference meet show the Thunderbolts are among the favorites, too.

What else to watch

* Millard North freshman Mary Faulk is the player to beat in Class A. Her only loss came to Pius X's Clare Plachy, who is the No. 2 seed. Plachy, the HAC champion, and Faulk split their regular-season meetings.

* Lincoln Southeast's Caroline Miller will seek her second No. 1 doubles title, this time with teammate Allyson Keitges. The No. 1 doubles field will be very competitive with three teams from Lincoln capable of winning state gold. Southwest's Grace Bartolome and Ella Dean won a HAC title.

Class B

Site: Lincoln's Woods Tennis Center.

Schedule: Thursday—First-round matches, 8 a.m.; Friday—Semifinals and consolation matches, 8 a.m.; fifth- and seventh-place matches, 11 a.m.; championship and third-place matches, 1 p.m.

Defending state champion: Omaha Duchesne.

Top seeds

No. 1 singles: 1. Meena Satpathy, Omaha Duchesne (27-1); 2. Megan Hodgson, McCook (39-2); 3. Ashlyn Kucera, Grand Island CC (28-2); 4. Crystal Craft, Norris (28-3).

No. 2 singles: 1. Madeline Starr, Norris (29-1); 2. Joslyn Hammond, McCook (38-3); 3. Ayonya Birthi, Grand Island CC (29-2); 4. Molly Looper, Lincoln Christian (26-8).

No. 1 doubles: 1. Ina Satpathy/Paulina Gilgenast, Omaha Duchesne (25-1); 2. Olivia Koetter/Elsa Wilcox, McCook (41-1); 3. Scarlett Lunning/Quinlan Sullivan, Omaha Skutt (12-3).

No. 2 doubles: 1. Abigail Brewster/Bridget Duffy, Omaha Duchesne (23-2); 2. Haily Asche/Carolyn Maser, Grand Island CC (26-2); 3. Lexi Hauxwell/Emily Kjendal, McCook (39-3).

The team race

With the top seeds at No. 1 singles and Nos. 1 and 2 doubles, Omaha Duchesne is the favorite to repeat in Class B. But McCook has contenders in each division and Grand Island Central Catholic, led by Ashlyn Kucera at No. 1 singles, looks to challenge the Cardinals. Norris has a chance to rack up some points, too.

What else to watch

* After winning a share of No. 1 doubles gold in 2019, Omaha Duchesne's Meena Satpathy will look to add to her collection at No. 1 singles. She's the top seed. Her only loss was to Lincoln Pius X's Clare Plachy.

* Norris' Madeline Starr was playing No. 2 doubles at state two years ago, and now she's the top seed at No. 2 singles. The senior's lone loss came to Lincoln Pius X's Cece Ulrich, who is the No. 1 seed in the Class A tournament. Norris has never had a state champion in girls tennis.

Reach Clark Grell at 402-473-2639 or cgrell@journalstar.com. On Twitter at @LJSSportsGrell.

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