Dodger trifecta advances to state

Jaci Cochrane had little trouble showing the rest of the state just how impressive she is as a freshman, rolling to a Class 2A regional title at Dodger courts on Thursday.

Cochrane, along with the Fort Dodge doubles team of Kari Grindberg and Emily Knight, advanced to the state tennis tournament, which takes place May 30-31 in Cedar Rapids.

“I am ecstatic for our girls who qualified,” FDSH head coach Karine Feddersen said. “Kari and Emily have been a doubles threat all season and were able to prove it. Jaci was confident and solid. She plays at a level that is unbeatable.”

Cochrane, who has played in several nationally-recognized meets around the U.S. as a youngster, earned a 6-0, 6-0 victory in the finals over Judith Fan.

Cochrane scored three straight 6-0, 6-0 wins to reach the finals.

Grindberg and Knight lost to a doubles team from Ames (Taylor Thoen and Ann Ku) in the finals, 6-4, 6-2, but still advance as runners-up.

The Dodger pair actually earned the No. 1 seed over the Little Cyclones. They picked up a 6-2, 6-1 victory vs. a doubles team from Sioux City North, and a 6-4, 7-5 win vs. the second Ames team in the semifinals.

“The strength of our team was validated, as everyone for Fort Dodge made it through the first round of play,” Feddersen said.

Kjerstin Grindberg and McKellen Glassell went 1-1 as the other doubles team, while Ayenna Cagaanan also posted a 1-1 mark.

The singles field boasts returning third and fourth place finishers from a year ago in Eve Small of Iowa City High and Liera Bender from Johnston. Both earned regional titles.

Ku was a state doubles champion last year with Sophia Smarendescu.

Fort Dodge had qualifiers in doubles a season ago, as Anna Bowser and Kelsey Schingren advanced to the consolation quarterfinals.