WEST DES MOINES - Facing a pair of top-three teams from 2013, the Marshalltown boys' tennis team kicked off the 2014 slate with two losses at the West Des Moines Valley Invitational on Saturday.
The Bobcats dropped an 11-0 decision to Class 1A's defending third-place squad Fairfield Maharishi in the opener and then lost 8-3 to Fort Dodge St. Edmond, the 1A defending champion.
"We faced two extremely good teams," said MHS coach James Christensen. "Our depth got us some points, but they were tough to come by."
Maharishi handed the Bobcats 11 straight-set losses in their season opener and only Eric Weinberg managed to win more than three games in singles play. The doubles tandem of Nick Cooper and Brandin Chaloupek pushed their opponents to a first-set tiebreaker but eventually fell 7-6, 6-4.
The defending state champion Gaels went 5-1 in singles play against the Bobcats and then clinched the team win by claiming the opening match of doubles 6-1, 6-1.
Weinberg was the lone winner in singles as he defeated Patrick Bocken 6-0, 6-0 in the No. 6 position. Derek Mann and Joe Cahill won their No. 5 doubles match by forfeit and Cooper and Chaloupek also got a win in doubles with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Trent Woodbrink and Jon Ihani.
Marshalltown's Kalei Platt lost both of his singles matches on the day but was still named to the all-tournament team after a three-set loss against Pat Hancock of St. Edmond.
The Bobcats' home opener is Tuesday at 4 p.m. against former CIML rival Newton.