ANKENY - To have made it to a third set may have proven to be a moral victory, but even that was too much to hope for against the powerful Little Cyclones.
Marshalltown's boys' tennis team took straight-set beatings across the board in falling to Ames, 5-0, in Saturday's Class 2A substate semifinals at Ankeny High School.
The Little Cyclones went on to gain their fourth straight state team tournament berth, beating back Ankeny 5-0 as well.
Marshalltown's lineup was unable to take a set from Ames in the best-of-nine format featuring six singles matches followed by three doubles bouts if necessary. The Bobcats (7-6) advanced through the preliminary substate round a week earlier with a thrilling 5-4 triumph over Southeast Polk, but Saturday's substate semifinals were where Marshalltown's postseason road ended for the second time in the last three years.
The Bobcats' top singles player, Ryan Shomo, was defeated 6-1, 6-4, by Alex Qin, and Jameson Eberline fell at No. 5 singles to Tim Loe, 6-2, 6-4, to account for the closest contests of the day.
Riley Wirth, who gained Marshalltown's only win during the regular-season loss to Ames, fell 6-2, 6-1, to Sam Lee at No. 6. At No. 4, Adam Podhajsky was ousted 6-0, 6-3, by Andrew Ellis.
Ames 5, Marshalltown 0
Alex Qin (A) def. Ryan Shomo, 6-1, 6-4
Alex Huang (A) def. Kalei Platt, 6-0, 6-0
Tommy Pitcher (A) def. Blake Gimbel, 6-0, 6-0
Andrew Ellis (A) def. Adam Podhajsky, 6-0, 6-3
Tim Loe (A) def. Jameson Eberline, 6-2, 6-4
Sam Lee def. Riley Wirth, 6-2, 6-1
The Little Cyclones also swept their way to wins at Nos. 2 and 3. Alex Huang defeated Kalei Platt, 6-0, 6-0, and Tommy Pitcher downed Blake Gimbel by the same score.
While Marshalltown's dual season comes to a close, Shomo stands as the Bobcats' first state singles qualifier since 2005. The Class 2A state individual competition will be held May 24-25 at Veterans Memorial Tennis Center in Cedar Rapids.