By DANA BECKER
ANKENY - Mary Eide and Ellen Chalstrom will conclude their St. Edmond tennis careers at their second home - the state meet.
Eide, a two-time state placewinner, and Chalstrom, a four-time qualifier, begin play here on Thursday at the Ankeny Tennis Complex.
Eide garnered the No. 2 seed in Class 1A after placing third a year ago and will face Cedar Rapids Xavier's Allison Jasper in the opening round.
Chalstrom, fifth last year, draws Liz Rucker from Waverly-Shell Rock as a district runner-up. Rucker was a state qualifier last season.
GIRLS STATE TENNIS
First round singles matches
Carolyn Ahlers, LeMars vs. Stephanie Wills, West Burlington; Karley Williams, Fairfield vs. Jena Wilkinson, Independence; Liz Rucker, Waverly-Shell Rock vs. Ellen Chalstrom, St. Edmond; Onis Souissi, Glenwood vs. Courtney Schneider, Dubuque Wahlert.
Haley Resnick, Davenport Assumption vs. Emily Ahlers, Le Mars; Kate Walker, Red Oak vs. Makenzie Richmond, Centerville; Ashlee Sinnott, Waterloo Columbus vs. Hayley Folkerts, Waverly-Shell Rock; Allison Jasper, Cedar Rapids Xavier vs. Mary Eide, St. Edmond.
"I think both of our girls got about as good of draw as they could have hoped for," SEHS head coach Tyler Philipsen said. "With the success of the St. Edmond boys team (Aaron Chalstrom, Ellen's brother, won a state individual title and the Gaels claimed the team state crown last week), there is a buzz around tennis at the school right now.
"Hopefully, Mary and Ellen can feed off of that."
The overall top-seed is Carolyn Ahlers from LeMars. Eide has Haley Resnick of Davenport Assumption, the three-seed, on her side of the bracket, along with returning state qualifiers Kate Walker of Red Oak and Ashlee Sinnott of Waterloo Columbus.
"Ahlers and Mary were very close, but (Ahlers) had a better overall record and that got her the No. 1 seed," Philipsen said. "But, looking at the singles draw, it is really wide open this year.
"The top four seeds are all tough, but if a district runner-up gets hot over the two days, they could walk away with the title."
For Chalstrom, she is grouped with Ahlers and four-seed Courtney Schneider from Dubuque Wahlert.
"Ellen is away from Ahlers until the semis and has a lot of experience," Philipsen said. "Mary is in the same boat, with two years of state experience already.
"I think they both will use those past state matches when they get in trouble out on the courts."
Eide went 3-1 last year to claim bronze, while Chalstrom won her final four matches for fifth after falling in the opening round.