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MHS blanks Rams in home-court debut

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING - Marshalltown junior Kevin Strand makes a forehand return during his No. 1 singles match against Southeast Polk’s Drew Wolfe during Tuesday’s CIML dual meet at the MHS Tennis Complex. Strand won the match 6-0, 6-0, and the Bobcats blanked the Rams 11-0.

Marshalltown boys’ tennis opened up the new MHS Tennis Complex in dominant fashion Tuesday afternoon, beating up Southeast Polk 11-0 and not losing a single set in the process.

The Bobcats were kicking off a very busy week in which the team will play five meets in five days, including a doubleheader against Newton and Mason City Friday.

But against the Rams, Marshalltown was largely in control and didn’t seem in awe of competing in its new digs, coach James Christensen said.

“The opposing team called it the ‘Tennis Mahal’, which I thought was pretty good name for it,” Christensen said. “Once we got out on the court, I thought our guys stopped being a little awestruck at the whole situation and just started playing tennis.”

The Bobcats swept singles play, with brothers Kevin and Jason Strand winning their matches 6-0, 6-0 and 6-2, 6-2, respectively. Nic Price blanked Ike Meyer 6-0, 6-0, as did senior Ethan Benscoter. Drake Davis took home a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Ben Schrock and Nile Christensen defeated Tannor Gardner 6-3, 6-2.

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING - Marshalltown’s Drake Davis rushes the net to make a return during Tuesday’s tennis match against Southeast Polk. Davis defeated Ben Schrock at No. 5 singles, 6-3, 6-1, and the Bobcats shut out the Rams 11-0.

In doubles action, the Strand brothers beat Meyer and Lucas 6-1, 6-1.

Christensen said that some of the team’s players got into a rhythm right away, but he was impressed with how even the guys who weren’t at their best were still able to get through with wins. Price and Davis beat Drew Wolfe and Zach Funk 6-2, 6-0, while Benscoter and Nile Christensen reversed those scores against Schrock and James McWilliams (6-0, 6-2).

Senior Justin Melde teamed up with Gavin Jablonski to hold on for a 6-3, 6-4 win over Gardner and Jesse Struble. Austin Christen and Colin Schmit capped off the Bobcats’ complete display with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Devin Dodson and Tyler Ciesielski.

With a tough and busy schedule ahead, Christensen added that winning matches he expects the team to win in a complete manner is as good a start as he could have expected.

“Sometimes it’s easy to play down to an opponent that you should beat, and for the most part we didn’t do that tonight,” Christensen said. “It’s a great match to have early on where we can see some of those things that we need to work on in kind of a low-stress environment, really.”

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING

The Bobcats travel to Ames at 4 p.m. Thursday for a dual meet against the Little Cyclones.

Marshalltown 11, Southeast Polk 0

At Marshalltown

Singles

Kevin Strand (MHS) def. Drew Wolfe, 6-0, 6-0

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING

Jason Strand (MHS) def. Isaac Meyer, 6-2, 6-2

Nic Price (MHS) def. Lucas Quick, 6-0, 6-0

Ethan Benscoter (MHS) def. Zach Funk, 6-0, 6-0

Drake Davis (MHS) def. Ben Schrock, 6-3, 6-1

Nile Christensen (MHS) def. Tannor Gardner, 6-3, 6-2

Doubles

Strand and Strand (MHS) def. Meyer and Quick, 6-1, 6-1

Price and Davis (MHS) def. Wolfe and Funk, 6-2, 6-0

Benscoter and Christensen (MHS) def. Schrock and James McWilliams, 6-0, 6-2

Justin Melde and Gavin Jablonski (MHS) def. Gardner and Jesse Struble, 6-3, 6-4

Austin Christen and Colin Schmit (MHS) def. Devin Dodson and Tyler Ciesielski, 6-0, 6-1

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