The Clear Lake girls tennis team earned a hard-fought third place finish in Regional play Thursday, May 16, at Decorah. The top two girls and team from a bracket of 16 advanced to the State tournament. The Lions doubles team of Kaitlyn Pitzen and Taylor Julsen battled to a third place finish, meaning they would play at State if any of the top two teams are unable to compete at State.
The Lions had two players competing in singles play at the Regional meet and both drew a seeded opponent.
Alexis Atkinson lost in the first round to two-time State qualifier Liz Rucker, form Waverly-Shell Rock. Courtney Anderson also lost in the first round to Hailey Folkerts from Waverly.
“Alexis and Counrtney both played great tennis against these players,” said Coach Mary Jo Peterson. Both Rucker and Folkerts went on to qualify for the State tournament.
The Clear Lake doubles team of Jenna Peterson and Carly Ouverson drew a seed and received a bye first round. In the second round they met a sleeper team from Decorah with a very aggressive net game. Unfortunately, the Lions ended up short and missed some crucial points and lost 7-5, 6-4. Decorah eventually went on to the semi-finals.
“These girls played great tennis all season and were competitive with any top team in the region. Their final record was 9-1 on the season,” noted Coach Peterson.
The doubles team of Kaitlyn Pitzen and Taylor Julsen began their day with a challenging match against Aplington-Parkersburg. After losing the first set 5-7, they fought back to win a very exciting second set 6-4 and third set 7-6 (8-6 tiebreaker). The close match lasted just under three hours.
Pitzen and Julsen moved on to play a tough Waverly team and defeated them 6-3, 7-5 to advance to the semi-finals.
After two challenging matches, Pitzen and Julsen couldn’t hold on any longer and lost to a very consistent Charles City team, 6-0, 6-2.
In the Consolation round for third and fourth place, Decorah could not compete because of an injured player, giving the Lions third place.