Varsity Girls’ Tennis Coach Ready for Season

Innes Hicsasmaz, Reporter

Despite winter’s best efforts, warmer weather is around the corner, and with it comes high school tennis season. With the first meet just weeks away, Fred Pedersen, head coach of City’s varsity girls’ team, is ready for the upcoming season.


“I’m really excited. We have four girls coming back that played varsity all at one, two, three, and four. We have some girls that played JV that are stepping up and we have some new freshmen, so it should be a really exciting year.”


City is the reigning MVC champion, undefeated in the conference last year with a 19-2 overall record. They fell to West High in the first round of the state tournament.


“As hard as the girls have been working in the off season, to continue working this hard during season, and then have that carry over into our matches. I think if they buy into that, we’ll have a great year.”


Pederson has coached City High’s varsity girls for the past eight years. Before that he was a coach for both men’s and women’s tennis at the University of Oklahoma, leading the school to its highest ranking ever to #6 in the nation.


“I think girls, I’m sorry to say this, are mature at an earlier age. That’s the biggest difference. High school boys can be a little headstrong. I think with girls there’s a little bit more socializing that you have to be aware of.”


Pedersen has had teams go to over 30 district team championships. He is also one of the directors of the North Dodge Athletic Club tennis program, teaming up with West High’s head varsity girls’ coach, Amie Villarini, and college placement consultant and former British doubles #1 player, Sarah Borwell.


“In the last ten years, I think the athletes are stronger and faster, I think the technology with the equipment has improved, so the game’s much faster and the game’s much more powerful. That’s the biggest change.”


With half of last year’s team gone and graduated, the bottom four positions have been filled by top junior varsity players.


“New girls coming in at five and six, seven and eight, that’ll be a challenge that we face. But I think the girls that are playing one through four will be great mentors for the girls coming in, so I really don’t see that as being a challenge.”

The team will face Cedar Rapids Washington on April 8.