IOWA CITY — It took a win in the final match of the day for Ottumwa just to get to the substate semifinals.
Cedar Rapids Washington made sure there wouldn’t be another day of dramatics for the Bulldogs. The Warriors lost just 11 games in five singles matches, making it a very short day for Ottumwa with a 5-0 win in the Class 2A team tennis substate semifinals Saturday in Iowa City.
Washington didn’t get to celebrate for long, however. Iowa City West gave the Warriors a taste of their own medicine with a 5-0 sweep that sent the Trojans to Des Moines for the Class 2A state tennis ‘final four’ and a meeting with Urbandale on Tuesday, May 29.
The Ottumwa boys tennis team will finish the season with an overall dual record of 8-5. The Bulldogs did have a perfect 5-0 record in CIML Metro play, the second straight year in which Alan Paris’ squad won a conference title.
The Bulldogs got only one set off the Warriors in Saturday morning’s substate semifinal. C.J. Ray, who will continue his senior season at the Class 2A state singles and doubles tournament, bounced back from a 6-0 opening-set loss to Washington’s Mitch Blades to win a 7-3 second-set tiebreaker before the fifth win by the Warriors kept the deciding third set from being played.
Ray will get a fourth straight chance to battle for the singles crown in Class 2A. The Bulldog senior, who has won five state singles matches in his previous three trips and gotten as far as the semifinals, begins his final state tournament run on Friday at Veterans Memorial Courts in Cedar Rapids.
BOYS CLASS 2A TEAM TENNIS SUBSTATE SEMIFINALS
Cedar Rapids Washington 5, Ottumwa 0
No. 1 – C.J. Ray (Ottumwa) vs. Mitch Blades (Cedar Rapids Washington) tied at 0-6, 7-6 (7-3). No. 2 – Mitchell Anderson (CRW) def. Steve Ray (O) 6-3, 6-1. No. 3 – Clayton Hoyt (CRW) def. Jared Bohlmann (O) 6-0, 6-1. No. 4 – Ian Schweiger (CRW) def. Seth White (O) 6-0, 6-2. No. 5 – Reid Rossberger (CRW) def. Jacob Gardner (O) 6-1, 6-0. No. 6 – Blaine Hartman (CRW) def. Sam Kramer (O) 6-2, 6-1.