The temperature dropped and the wind came up. Yep, the Little Cyclones were in town.
The Marshalltown High School girls' tennis team played its home opener on Monday night at MHS, entertaining the three-time defending Class 2A champions from Ames.
Well, part of the team anyway. Ames left its top three players behind but still went west with an 8-3 victory in the CIML Iowa Conference dual meet.
T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE
Marshalltown senior Katie Allison makes a forehand return during the No. 1 doubles match against Ames on Monday night at the MHS Tennis Courts. Allison and teammate Rachel Faircloth both won their respective singles matches but were defeated in doubles as the three-time defending Class 2A state champion Little Cyclones scored an 8-3 dual meet victory.
The shorthanded Little Cyclones made it more of an opportunity for Marshalltown to be successful, but Bobcat head coach Dennis Paul would prefer to see the likes of Jessica King, Sophia Smarandescu and Ann Ku playing opposite his competitors.
"I would have liked to see their best team," Paul said. "It does hurt us going in playing against (their reserves) because we don't get to see the best tennis that we could see.
"Still it was a struggle. We always know Ames is going to be a very good team."
Ames 8, Marshalltown 3
Rachel Faircloth (MHS) def. Judith Fan, 6-3, 4-6, (13-11)
Katie Allison (MHS) def. Elizabeth Nutty, 6-4, 6-2
Taylor Thoen (A) def. Theresa Miller, 6-0, 6-1
Elise Hill (A) def. Kelsey Forrest, 6-2, 6-2
Carla Beghin (A) def. Brianna Meyer, 6-2, 6-2
Umnia Nahgoub (A) def. Noel Rix, 6-1, 6-3
Fan and Nutty (A) def. Faircloth and Allison, 6-3, 6-4
Thoen and Beghin (A) def. Miller and Forrest, 6-1, 6-2
Hill and Mahgoub (A) def. Meyer and Rix, 6-2, 7-5
Anurodha Gore and Kelly Hu (A) def. Ashley Beaty and Kathleen Ferrin, 6-3, 6-0
Elyse Leytham and Maggie Kelehan (MHS) def. Eunice Kong and Lucy Meng, 6-2, 6-3
With or without their top three players, the Little Cyclones logged their 43rd consecutive dual win.
Two of Marshalltown's three match victories on the day came from the top two singles players - Rachel Faircloth and Katie Allison. At No. 1, Faircloth defeated Judith Fan in a three-set thriller, 6-3, 4-6, (13-11), and Allison was a straight-set winner at No. 2, 6-4, 6-2 over Elizabeth Nutty.
But Faircloth and Allison fell to 0-2 at No. 1 doubles play as Fan and Nutty teamed up for a 6-3, 6-4 triumph.
"They're very good singles players and they're struggling in their doubles," Paul said of his top two. "They're not aggressive enough. Toward the end I was just saying get mad a little bit.
"They did kind of come back there toward the end but it was too little too late."
The Bobcats' only doubles win came from the No. 5 position as Elyse Leytham and Maggie Kelehan came away with a 6-2, 6-3 triumph over Eunice Kong and Lucy Meng.
Brianna Meyer and Noel Rix tried to rally at No. 3 doubles but still fell in straight sets, 6-2, 7-5.
The Bobcat junior varsity scored one win in 11 matches, with Jenna Jaeckel and Megan Riemenschneider netting a 6-3 victory.
Marshalltown will stay at home for its next meet, crossing conferences in the CIML to host Indianola at 4:15 p.m. on Thursday at MHS.
"I don't know what they have coming back but I know they got us last year," said Paul. "They beat us and I'd love to be able to turn that around. We'll see. We'll go into practice and work on a few things we need to address - a lot of them at doubles - and hopefully we can turn it around."