Denison-Schleswig senior Sean Moran and freshman Colin Reis went 3-2 overall in matches to place sixth in the Class 1A State Doubles Tennis Tournament that took place Friday and Saturday at the Byrnes Park Tennis Center at Waterloo.
Moran and Reis opened on Friday morning with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over fourth-seeded Caleb Hammerlinck and Max Olsan of Ballard, Huxley in a match that was forced inside because of rain.
In quarterfinal action, the Monarch tandem then suffered a 6-4, 6-4 loss to Grinnell’s Lewis Jolly and AJ Wilkins.
"They rattled us early and we fell behind 3-0 before we started making a match out of it. Their team was very talented and ended up placing fourth in the tournament," commented Denison-Schleswig coach Aaron Ratliff.
Moran and Reis rallied back Friday afternoon with a 7-6 (3), 1-6, 1-0 (4) victory over Fort Madison’s Jason Thurman and Vasn Thurman.
"This was a weird match. We definitely had the talent advantage, but kept letting deuce games slip away from us in the no-ad format of consolation play," Ratliff said.
"Fortunately, Moran and Reis have always been a good tiebreaker team and twice we were able to buckle down when we needed to."
Moran and Reis won the first tiebreaker, 7-3, and then the third-set super tiebreaker, 10-4.
That win qualified them for play on Saturday and guaranteed them at least an eighth-place finish.
In Saturday’s consolation semifinal match, Moran and Reis earned a 7-6 (2), 7-5 victory over Ballard, Huxley’s Chase Winterboer and Seth Wohlgemuth.
That moved the Monarch pair into the tournament’s fifth-place match against Cedar Rapids Xavier freshmen Brady Horstmann and Hugh Courter.
Horstmann and Courter would pick up a 6-7 (6-8), 6-2, 1-0 (6) victory over Moran and Reis, as the Monarch tandem wound up sixth among the eight teams entered.
"Moran and Reis fell way behind at 3-0 in the first set before playing their best tennis of the year," Ratliff said.
"Xavier’s players refused to lob and instead hit groundstrokes as hard as they could at us. The points were fiercely contested."
"We ended up coming from behind to force a 6-6 tie in the first set and won 8-6 in a tiebreaker," Ratliff stated.
"We got pummeled in the second set, which forced a third-set super tiebreaker. We jumped out to a 4-1 lead, but saw it slip to ta 6-6 tie. Then Xavier got hot and took the next four points for the win. It was a very well-played match," the Monarch boss said.
Moran and Reis finished the season 14-5 overall.
For Moran, it was his second straight trip to the state doubles tournament, as he placed eighth a year ago with Jaden Heiden as his partner.
"Moran has been playing tennis at a very high level since his freshman year. He was an outstanding mentor to our extremely talented freshman in Reis. He will be hard to replace and his leadership will be missed," Ratliff said.
Norwalk’s pair of seniors AJ Clarkwilt and Drew Hall won the Class 1A state doubles title with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Cedar Rapids Xavier’s Wes Johnson and Matthew Schmit.