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The Lightning hope to shine bright on their own courts

2021 Liberty High girls’ tennis preview

NORTH LIBERTY– The Liberty High girls’ tennis program started in 2019 and finished 2-14 with a 9-0 win over Waterloo East and a 7-2 win over Waterloo West. Hopes were high for a better season in 2020.
“We had everyone back and were looking for some nice improvement,” said Head Coach James Postman.
But the COVID-19 pandemic had other ideas as the remainder of the school year, and all spring sports, were cancelled shortly before the start of the season. 2020 also saw the graduation of seniors Grace Brusegaard, Starr Curry, Abby Fowler, Courtney Olson, Sushma Santhana and Megan Uden.
“We lost all of our experience,” Postman said.
The 2020 season consisted of a virtual Senior Night, a few emails and a preseason Zoom meeting, he added.
But, with the pandemic subsiding and a fresh season close on the horizon, Postman is cautiously optimistic going into 2021.
“We are really starting all over again. Two years ago was the first year for the program at Liberty,” he said.
Postman said his lineup is fairly wide open with three girls: junior Sydney Cayler, senior Olivia Mirabito and junior Sophie Faga having some varsity experience from 2019.
But, he added, “No one is coming back with consistent match play.”
Two freshmen, Ella Gilbert and Leela Strand, are new to the squad. Both play in United States Tennis Association (USTA) events and Postman is hoping they will contribute right away.
Postman, in his third year with the program after a 12-year run as an assistant to City High’s girls program, said Cedar Falls and Iowa City West High are going to be very good this season with Dubuque Senior fielding an improved team from 2019.
The season begins Monday, April 5, at home, for the junior varsity (JV) girls, and on Tuesday, April 6, at home, for the varsity.
When asked about any key dates or rivalry matches, Postman said, “I guess being able to finally play on our home courts all season will be what we look forward to most.”
Matt Hartman, in his second year with the program, will assist Postman.
2021 Liberty High girls’ tennis schedule (spectator policies and dates subject to change):
Monday, April 5 JV HOME vs. Iowa City West 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 6 Varsity HOME vs. Dubuque Wahlert 4 p.m.
Saturday, April 10 Varsity AT Cedar Rapids Washington 9 a.m.
Saturday, April 10 Varsity AT Linn-Mar 1 p.m.
Tuesday, April 13 Varsity AT Western Dubuque, Epworth 4 p.m.
Wednesday, April 14 JV AT Cedar Rapids Kennedy 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 15 Varsity HOME vs. Cedar Rapids Xavier 4 p.m.
Monday, April 19 JV AT Iowa City, City High 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 20 Varsity HOME vs. Iowa City West High 4 p.m.
Thursday, April 22 Varsity AT Iowa City, City High 4 p.m.
Saturday, April 24 Varsity HOME vs. Dubuque Senior 8 a.m.
Saturday, April 24 Varsity HOME vs. Dubuque Hempstead 12 p.m.
Tuesday, April 27 Varsity AT Waterloo West 4 p.m.
Wednesday, April 28 JV HOME vs. Linn-Mar 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 29 Varsity AT Cedar Rapids Jefferson 4 p.m.
Saturday, May 1 Varsity HOME vs. Cedar Falls 8 a.m.
Saturday, May 1 Varsity HOME vs. Waterloo East 12 p.m.
Monday, May 3 JV HOME vs. Cedar Rapids Jefferson 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, May 4 Varsity AT Cedar Rapids Kennedy 4 p.m.
Thursday, May 6 Varsity HOME vs. Prairie High School 4 p.m.
Thursday, May 13 JV AT Cedar Rapids Washington 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, May 19 JV HOME vs. Prairie High School 4:30 p.m.