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Marshalltown girls tennis beats Ottumwa for fifth-straight win

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON - Marshalltown junior Grace Fisher makes a forehanded hit on the ball during her singles match in the Bobcats’ 7-4 win over Ottumwa on Tuesday. Fisher was a winner at No. 5 singles and she and teammate Jillian Lang won at No. 3 doubles.

It’s been a whirlwind of a season so far for the Marshalltown girls tennis team, but no matter what is thrown at them the Bobcat girls seem to return it in stride.

MHS improved to 5-1 on the season with a 7-4 victory over Ottumwa, the fifth-straight win for the Bobcats and second in as many days.

Marshalltown head girls tennis coach John Fiscus said this might be the best start to date in the history of the program.

“It is great to be 5-1 at this time of the year,” he said.

On Monday against Fort Dodge, it was the lower end of the lineup that helped the Bobcats (5-1) to a victory. Against Ottumwa on Tuesday it was the top of the lineup that did most of the damage.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON - Marshalltown sophomore Mary Kate Gruening takes a jumping hack at the ball during the singles matches in the Bobcats’ 7-4 victory over Ottumwa on Tuesday.

After going 0-2 in her singles and doubles matches on Monday, senior and No. 1 singles player Emily Miller had a great bounce-back day with a 6-1, 6-0, win over Ally Paris. Mary Kate Gruening also held down her spot at No. 2 singles with a strong 6-2, 6-3, decision over Faith Thomas.

“It was great to win at No. 1 and 2 singles,” Fiscus said.

Olivia Brintnall at No. 4 singles also continued her stellar play with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Ciera Howard, and Grace Fisher at No. 5 singles was a 7-5, 6-1, winner over Karena Johnson.

Winning four-of-six singles matches was important for the Bobcats because they had a fight on their hands in the doubles. Ottumwa won both the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles matches, but Marshalltown picked up wins in the other three.

Fisher and Jillian Lang at No. 3 doubles took a 6-1, 6-4, victory against Paige Fiscella and Mercedes Coram, Hel Ter and America Dominquez beat Madison Lunsford and Josie Vonderhaar at No. 4, 6-0, 6-2, and Carly Streets and Regan Smith were 6-0, 6-1, winners at No. 5 doubles.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

“Our depth came through again tonight,” Fiscus said.

Of the four losses for Marshalltown, all four came via third-set tiebreaker. Fiscus said though his team keeps piling up the wins, there are still plenty of areas for them to improve as the season progresses.

“The girls played a tough match tonight and lost some third-set tiebreakers,” he said. “As always the girls need to cut down on the unforced errors.”

The Bobcats hit the road for the first time since this winning streak started on Thursday when they travel to face CIML Iowa Conference foe West Des Moines Valley, starting at 4 p.m.