Glenwood girls reach first tennis final four, but face five-time defending champ in semifinals

While most of Iowa’s top girls teams had players in the state singles and doubles tournaments Wednesday and Thursday, Glenwood was not a part of that group.

The Rams didn’t advance anyone individually. But it’s how they reacted to that setback that allowed them to be where they are now, coach Callie Ohm said.

Glenwood will make its first final four appearance in program history Friday, when it meets Waterloo Columbus in a 9 a.m. Class 1-A team semifinal at Byrnes Park in Waterloo.

“After the initial feeling of losing, we were just realizing that we still had a very good chance to make the final four for team,” Ohm said. “I think most of the girls had a pretty good outlook on the rest of the season.”

Glenwood does have experience. It’s the same six who comprised last season’s lineup: Ellie Osterloh at No. 1 singles, Brooklyn Taylor at No. 2, Erin Stanley at No. 3, Ruby Crow at No. 4, Brielle Smith at No. 5 and Sierra Stouder at No. 6.

Osterloh plays a little bit in the offseason, but most of the Rams are multisport athletes who have excelled in a number of arenas.

“They’re just fighters,” Ohm said. “They just go out there and try their best, and they don’t really like to get beat.”

The Rams will be facing a Columbus program that has been dominant. The Sailors are seeking their sixth straight 1-A team title and 20th crown in all. They haven’t needed to play doubles in their past three state finals matches.

On Thursday, Northern Iowa recruit Olivia Fain teamed with Taylor Hogan to win the 1-A doubles title for Columbus.

Regardless, Ohm doesn’t expect her athletes to be overwhelmed by the moment. She thinks they will relish the challenge.

“Our girls will compete,” she said.

Red Oak doubles team 2nd in 1-A

The postseason run by the unseeded Red Oak doubles team of Sydney Streicher and Sophie Walker ended Thursday in the Class 1-A state championship, where they lost 6-0, 6-1 to top-seeded Fain and Hogan.

After defeating the third- seeded team in their opening match Wednesday, Streicher and Walker outlasted second-seeded Madi Overmann and Katie Wichman of Waverly-Shell Rock 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 in Thursday’s semifinal.

Fain became the first girl in Iowa history to win state titles in singles, doubles and co-ed doubles and be a member of a team champion.

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