OTTUMWA – Sam Reynoldson and Zach Smith took second place in the South Central Conference Meet at No. 1 doubles, helping lead the Clarke boys to a second place finish as a team.
Reynoldson and Smith played close matches in all three of their contests, taking the one 7-5, 7-5 and dropping the first set in the other before responding in a third set tiebreak 4-6, 6-4, 1-0.
In the finals, the Indians’ duo matched up with Knoxville’s Ben Wallace and RJ Roberts, a doubles pairing they had beaten earlier in the season 8-6 in a shorter, condensed match.
Wallace and Roberts snuck out a 6-4, 7-5 win, fighting off multiple Clarke set points.
The match was played with no advantage, meaning that any game that goes to deuce is decided by one point, ultimately swinging the momentum in favor of whoever can edge out those crucial points.
Head coach Jeff Ehrhardt believed dropping a few points in the deuce games was the difference.
“We got nervous. We played no ad. Two points changes the first set. We win one point in that game we win that game and set,” said Ehrhardt.
Across the board, every Indian member that entered the tournament picked up at least two wins, paving the way to a second place finish as a team.
Ryan Bobolz picked up an opening round win before facing the eventual conference champ, falling 6-0, 7-5.
Ehrhardt was proud of the way his senior fought to stay in the match, despite dropping the first set without winning a game.
“A big surprise was Bobolz, especially his second set against Tyler Wells of Knoxville,” said Ehrhardt. “He just stayed with his game and kept hitting the ball and putting them back in play and playing within himself.”
Evan Hagen also picked up a win in the first round, before falling and then grabbing a second win in the consolation.
The No. 2 doubles pairing of Brandon Chavez and Nathan Porter followed suit with a first round win and a bounce back consolation win.
Knoxville went on to win the SCC tournament as a team, besting Clarke for the second time this season.
UP NEXT – The boys will head to the district tournament where they will continue to face tougher teams, including Boone and Ballard.
“Its going to be tougher. We got Boone and Ballard. I think we got some shots. Sam and Zach should have a good shot,” said Ehrhardt. “There are also 8 teams there so that makes them tougher.”
Tyler Wells, (Knox), def. Ryan Bobolz,(Clarke), 6-0, 7-5; Bobolz, (Clarke), def. Bauer, (Cent), 10-4; Zmolock, (DC), def. Bobolz, (Clarke), 10-7; Bobolz, (Clarke), def. Amante, (Albia), 6-1, 6-1.
Stan Kutsel, (Char), def. Evan Hagen, (Clarke), 6-2, 6-2; Hagen, (Clarke), def. Bonnett, (Albia), 10-5; Snyder, (DC), def. Hagen, (Clarke), 10-7; Hagen, (Clarke), def. Reece Sells, (Cent) 6-3, 7-5.
Reynoldson/Smith, (Clarke), bye; Sam Reynoldson/Zachary Smith, (Clarke), def. Zoutte/Short, (Knox), 7-5, 7-5; Reynoldson/Smith, (Clarke), def. Han/Williams, (Cent) 4-6, 6-1, 1-0; Wallace/Roberts, (Knox), def. Reynoldson/Smith, (Clarke), 6-4, 7-5.
Padilla/McKin, (Albia) def. Brandon Chavez/Nathan Porter, (Clarke), 6-1, 6-1; Chavez/Porter, (Clarke), def. McFarland/Garcia, (DC), 10-4; Thatcher/Sullenger, (Char), def. Chavez/Porter, (Clarke), 11-9; Chavez/Porter, (Clarke), def. Hughes/Dell, (Cent), 6-0, 5-7, 1-0.