Sescie Haan battles back to become singles champion at individual state qualifiers

May 6—CLINTON — It has been an exciting week for Clinton junior Sescie Haan. Last week alone she became a 2x MAC Champion in singles and doubles play as well as a 2x MAC Champion in track and field, being a part of the winning distance medley and 4x200 meter relay teams. Monday afternoon she added to that, qualifying for the individual state tennis tournament with a first place finish in the Class 2A Region 8 singles tournament.

The River Queens hosted the individual state qualifiers at the Max Lynn tennis courts, welcoming seven other schools to Clinton.

Haan came into the day with the number one seed and was protecting that title all day, winning her first match 6-1 and 6-0 before taking the semifinal match 7-5 and 6-1.

In the championship round she found herself in some trouble, dropping the first set 1-6 to last years 7th place finisher at state, Iowa City Liberty's Ella Gilbert.

"I just knew I had to focus and play my game to be able to win. The support from my team, coaches and family is unmatched and really pushed me through my long sets," Haan said.

Haan quickly caught fire in set two, returning the favor with a 6-1 win of her own to even things up and force a winner take all third set. In that third set she honed in on her endurance and was able to take the victory 6-2. Her win over another top opponent in the state gives her an even greater chance at a top seed at the individual state tournament on May 25th and 26th.

"Gilbert has an amazing style of play, she is a retriever, but also can beat the heck out of the ball if you give her any opportunity," Clinton head coach Cindy Rasche said. "Thank goodness Sescie understands how to hit a huge ball plus she can hit short angles, drop shots and can play the net. She owns an all around game."

Although she was the only Queen to qualify, Elizabeth Grinnall and Maddie Rowden came extremely close but fell in the semifinals 2-6 and 3-6. However, they battled back to take third with a 6-1 and 6-3 win. They are now alternates for the state meet.

Lou Gonzalez and Josie Srp won their first doubles match of the day before falling to Dubuque Senior's Madyson Arrington and Lacey King. Katie Atkinson also dropped her first singles match of the day.

The Queens will host the second and third rounds of the Class 2A regionals next Tuesday at 9 a.m.