Bobcat boys notch eighth straight win

Kevin Strand

GRINNELL — The Marshalltown boys tennis team breezed through its eighth-straight victory on Monday night, knocking off Class 1A No. 9 Grinnell in a 9-2 non-conference dual.

The Bobcats are about to get their chance to prove their mettle in 2A.

Marshalltown moved to 9-2 on the season with a convincing road win, winning five of six singles matches and four of five doubles bouts to record its first ranked triumph of the spring. The Bobcats will have two more opportunities this week, with 2A No. 4 Waukee and No. 8 Ames visiting the MHS Tennis Courts on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively.

Marshalltown made use of Monday’s match as more than just a warm-up, handing a Grinnell team that entered the meet 6-1 overall. Jack Gruening’s 10-6 loss to Lewis Jolly at No. 1 singles was the only blemish on the Bobcats’ individual slate, as Luke McKibben, Luke Smith, Kevin Strand, Jacob Smith and Jacob Eberle all won their super sets to give the Bobcats a 5-1 lead entering doubles competition.

Grinnell took another 10-6 match at No. 2 doubles, but MHS got the rest to seal its eighth win in as many duals in the last three and a half weeks.

Strand, a freshman, logged the most lopsided win of singles play with his 10-0 shutout of Tiger senior Adam Brennan, while Luke Smith scored a 10-1 triumph over Eli Ivanov at No. 3 and teamed with McKibben for a 10-4 victory at No. 1 doubles over Jolly and AJ Wilkins.

The No. 3 Marshalltown doubles team of Strand and Jacob Smith also notched a 10-4 triumph, beating Josiah Bailey and Calvin Jaworski. The No. 4 Bobcat tandem of Nic Price and Ethan Benscoter earned the most contested win of the match, beating Dallas DeNeve and Noah Rees 10-8. At No. 5, John Loney and Colin Schmit scored a 10-6 win over Adam McFee and Preston Dodd.

Marshalltown 9, Grinnell 2

At Grinnell

Singles

Lewis Jolly (G) def. Jack Gruening, 10-6

Luke McKibben (MHS) def. AJ Wilkins, 10-5

Luke Smith (MHS) def. Eli Ivanov, 10-1

Kevin Strand (MHS) def. Adam Brennan, 10-0

Jacob Smith (MHS) def. Josiah Bailey, 10-5

Jacob Eberle (MHS) def. Calvin Jaworski, 10-7

Doubles

McKibben and L. Smith (MHS) def. Jolly and Wilkins, 10-4

Ivanov and Brennan (G) def. Gruening and Eberle, 10-6

Strand and J. Smith (MHS) def. Bailey and Jaworski, 10-4

Nic Price and Ethan Benscoter (MHS) def. Dallas DeNeve and Noah Rees, 10-8

John Loney and Colin Schmit (MHS) def. Adam McFee and Preston Dodd, 10-6