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Lady Indians win conference, fall in team regional opener

Clarke boys tennis season comes to a close

OTTUMWA – After meeting in a tournament finals for the second time this season, Deseree Stubbe and CeJay Blakely knocked off Megan Linskens and Sydney Sickels again to take the South Central Conference doubles crown 6-4, 6-4.

Brittany Beckett fell to Alex Griggs of Knoxville in the singles tournament finals 7-5, 6-1 after just missing a couple opportunities to close out the first set up 5-2.

Meredyth Olson lost in the first round in her singles match, but responded with a win in the consolation round.

Overall the Lady Indians finished with 27 team points, easily enough for them to win their eighth conference title in the last nine years.

Team season ends in Pella

PELLA – Clarke girls team tennis season came to an end Monday with a 5-2 defeat at the hands of Oskaloosa.

Tiebreakers were once again a major deciding factor in the outcome of the overall match. Stubbe and Blakely fell in a decisive third set tiebreaker 6-4, 3-6, 15-13 at No. 2 doubles.

The duo had multiple match points, but was unable to pull out a contested victory.

Beckett also went into a winner-take-all third set tiebreaker at No. 3 singles where she fell 4-6, 6-3, 10-3.

Both No. 2 doubles and No. 3 singles won their opening sets before losing the second.

Linskens and Stubbe picked up the Lady Indians lone two wins at No. 2 and No. 4 singles, respectively.

Linskens was on the winning side of a third set breaker, taking her match 6-1, 3-6, 10-6. Stubbe cruised through her match to a 6-2, 6-3 win.

Blakely fell in her match at No. 5 singles, while Olson also dropped her No. 6 singles match.

Sickels dropped her match at No. 1 singles 6-1, 6-2.

“They were very disappointed. They knew we had a good chance to have a deep run, but that’s how things go,” said head coach Jeff Ehrhardt. “Hopefully we can respond Wednesday (May 16) at individual. We knew we had a good chance.”

With the Lady Indians season over, only individuals will have a chance to make a deep postseason run starting May 16 at Norwalk.

Boys season comes to a close

BOONE – In the Class 1A district tournament on May 9, Clarke boys tennis wasn’t able to earn enough points to continue its season as a team or get any individuals to a shot at state.

Sam Reynoldson and Zach Smith earned at No. 3 seed in the doubles draw, but quickly ran into a tough Boone opponent that was unseeded in the second round.

In a full third set, Reynoldson and Smith fought back from down 5-3 to take a 6-5 lead before ending up in a 6-6 tiebreak. In the tiebreaker the two led 5-4, before dropping three consecutive points and the match 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5).

For Smith, a senior, marked a tough way to end his high school tennis career.

“Just heartbreak. If we would have won that we would have been playing to go to state,” said Ehrhardt. “Brutal way to end your career.”

On the other half of the doubles bracket, Brandon Chavez and Nathan Porter advanced out of the first round with a 6-3, 6-1 win before dropping their second round matchup to a Ballard squad 6-2, 6-2.

“They were playing well, probably the best we played all year they were just a little bit better than us,” Ehrhardt said.

Tough draws in the singles tournament played a similar story as Timber Kent fell to the No. 3 seed 6-0, 6-0. Evan Hagen lost 6-3, 6-2 in his opening round match as well.

“I was very happy with the way the season went. You always want more of course, but we graduated our top four (from last year),” Ehrhardt said. “I thought we had a very successful season to finish 5-4 and second in the conference.”

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