Ellen Chalstrom and Mary Eide return for the St. Edmond girls tennis team this year as seniors looking to make a final impact on the courts.
Both Chalstrom and Eide qualified for the Class 1A state singles draw last year, with Eide placing third and Chalstrom securing fifth.
Along with returning letterwinners Madeline Baldwin, Jazmine Myers, Claire Crimmins and Emilee Mobley, the Gaels and head coach Tyler Philipsen have high expectations.
"I can tell the girls are ready to go and getting excited," Philipsen said. "We should be very competitive in all of our regular season meets and are hoping to improve upon our postseason run last year."
As a team, St. Edmond lost in the regional finals to Waterloo Columbus, which went on to finish second in state.
Eide also has a fourth place medal on her resume, while Chalstrom has qualified all three years for state.
2013 GAEL GIRLS TENNIS
Seniors - Mary Eide, Ellen Chalstrom, Claire Crimmins, Jazmine Myers, Emilee Mobley, Taylor Nixon.
Sophomores - Madeline Baldwin, Yeobun (Iris) Baek.
Freshmen - Lilly Peterson, Rylan Johnson, Myca Lee, Rachel Willerth, Yeon Ju Kim.
April 2 - Fort Dodge; 8 - Clear Lake; 9 - Iowa Falls-Alden; 12 - at Storm Lake; 22 - Boone; 23 - at Iowa Falls-Alden; 25 - at Carroll Kuemper; 27 - at Sioux City Heelan Invitational.
May 2 - at Webster City; 11 - team regional tournament; 13 - Webster City; 16 - individual regional tournament.
"Mary and Ellen both had excellent years, and I know they are looking to get right back to state again," Philipsen said. "They both have had excellent careers at St. Edmond."
Philipsen anticipates a lot of continuity in the lineup, as Baldwin, Myers, Crimmins, Mobley and Taylor Nixon will comprise the back end of the starting unit with Eide and Chalstrom.
"Claire and Emilee, and Jazmine and Madeline, are both going to be very tough doubles teams to beat," Philipsen said. "They played well last year and I feel like they will be even better this season.
"We were without Mary (for the loss to Waterloo Columbus, as she had qualified for state track), and I feel like if we have our complete lineup all year, we can make a run a the state team event."
The Gaels won back-to-back individual state titles in 1999 and 2000, as Erin Kersten and Katherine Trevino claimed crowns.
St. Edmond opens its season on April 2 against intra-city rival Fort Dodge.