Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 29, 2014

MP tennis teams compete in postseason tournaments

May 13, 2013
Photo by: Ashlee De Wit Matt Zihlman plays in a tennis match earlier this season. Zihlman competed with teammate Tyler Pace as a doubles team at the district tournament over the weekend.

The Mt. Pleasant girls’ tennis team fell to Pella Christian in the first round of their regional tournament on Saturday.

The boys’ team competed Friday in the district tournament, advancing to a preliminary substate match against Keokuk on Saturday, where the Panthers lost to the Chiefs.

The girls’ regional tournament contest at Cedar Rapids Xavier ended in a 5-0 loss to Pella Christian, giving the Panthers a final dual record of 5-3 this season.

The Panthers lost their first five singles matches to give the Eagles the win.

They will compete in the individual tournament at Davenport Assumption on Thursday.

On the boys’ side, the Panthers placed third as a team at the district tournament. The top team advances to substate, while the second- and third-place finishers compete head to head in a preliminary substate matchup.

“We had a good day Friday,” Coach Tyler Rodgers said. “Our finished surprised me a bit, but it only happened cause the kids played great.”

At Friday’s district tournament, Mt. Pleasant’s doubles team of Chase Higginbotham and Zach Schmitz defeated Centerville in the first round and won their second-round match over a pair from Keokuk before falling to a team from Maharishi (Fairfield), the eventual runner-up.

Higginbotham and Schmitz then lost the third-place match to another Maharishi team, and they finished fourth overall.

“Chase Higginbotham and Zach Schmitz played great and were so close to moving onto state as a doubles team but just couldn’t quite get it done,” Rodgers said. “We lost our steam in the third-place match, but know Maharishi wasn’t expecting the fight those two put up.”

The doubles team of Matt Zihlman and Tyler Pace also competed for Mt. Pleasant. They won their first-round match against a team from Fairfield before falling to the eventual champions — Keokuk’s Dan Williams and Gabe Vandenberg — in round two.

Colton Schinstock won his first-round singles match before falling to the district runner-up in round two. Blake Wickham lost his first singles match.

As a team, the Panthers scored 11 points, good enough for third. Maharishi won with 23 points, followed by Keokuk with 21.

The Panthers took on Keokuk in the preliminary substate dual meet on Saturday, falling by a score of 5-0.

“It was a tough matchup for us, but it was good to be playing when most teams were done for the year,” Rodgers said.

The Panthers end the dual season with a record of 5-6.

“Next year could be exciting as there are not any seniors this year,” Rodgers said.

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