River Queens 12 hour day leads to State Tournament

May 14—CLINTON — It was a long 12 hours for the Clinton River Queens on Tuesday morning as they hosted the second and third rounds of the IGHSAU Class 2A Team Regionals.

After beginning to warm up at 8 a.m., the Queens took on their first match of the day against Dubuque Senior. Due to the rainy weather, their matches were played indoors at the River Cities Tennis & Pickleball Complex. Clinton and Dubuque Senior had two courts while Marion and Linn-Mar had the other two.

The Queens cruised past Senior, winning 5-1 and not having to play any doubles matches. Marion was able to beat Linn-Mar to stay undefeated at 10-0.

However, a dog fight ensued when the 17-2 Queens met Marion.

Sescie Haan showed off her range of skills, winning her singles match at the one slot 6-2 and 6-1. Elizabeth Grinnall also won her singles match, defeating Kadia Cole 6-0 and 6-0.

Maddie Rowden lost a close one at the number two slot to Natalee Hartman 1-6, 6-4 and 9-11. Katie Atkinson, Lou Gonzalez and Nora Brown all also were defeated in two sets to put the Queens on thin ice down 4-2 in team play.

It did not bother Clinton because doubles is one of their strong suits.

Haan and Rowden were in a tough battle, winning set one 7-6 before finishing off set two with a 6-2 win. Grinnall and Atkinson stayed strong at number two doubles, winning in two sets 6-3 and 6-0.

"It's a good thing the queens always play good doubles, because everyone had to win," Clinton head coach Cindy Rasche said. "Atkinson hit some great deep loopers that would be returned short to Grinnall at the net for some blistering overheads for winners."

A back and forth day where both teams were shining in their strengths came down to one final doubles match.

Both Gonzalez and Josie Srp were locked in, cruising to a set one victory 6-0 to really put the pressure on Marion. The Wolves responded well but Gonzalez and Srp closed things out in set two with a 7-5 win to earn the Queens a place in the final eight as well as give them a state birth.

The clock hit about 8:15 when it was all said and done to cap off a long and tiring but exciting day.

Clinton now looks to their next challenge, the first round of the state playoffs when they host Cedar Rapids Washington at the Max Lynn Tennis Courts on Saturday at 10 a.m.

"We are getting blessed on Saturday to be hosting again in Clinton," Rasche said. "There's nothing like getting to play on your own home turf."

Sabers heading back to state meet

DEWITT — After a third place finish in Class 1A a year ago, the Central DeWitt Sabers are looking for another placement at the IGHSAU State Team Tennis Meet.

On Friday the Sabers were able to win their first two postseason matches with ease to advance to the regional semifinals against Maharishi.

Against Maharishi, the Sabers were able to clean sweep their way to a 5-0 win and not even have to touch doubles play.

At number one singles Saydie Roling defeated Poojita Mukadam 4-6, 6-3 and 10-6. Brooke Bloom and Isabelle Pierce each were able to win in two sets. Bloom 6-0 and 6-3 while Pierce won both sets 6-2.

Brooke Kent battled at the four slot, picking up the win over Aparajita Kalra 6-3, 1-6 and 11-9. Ana Henningsen put the finishing touches on the day at the sixth and final slot with a 6-0 and 6-1 win.

The Sabers will take on Dike-New Hartford at the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Complex in Iowa City on Saturday at 10 a.m. as they look to advance back to the final four.