Muscatine boys tennis coach Ron Kiser has seen a lot of good tennis meets in Clinton over the years, but he said Thursday's dual may have been one of the best.
Fittingly, a dual that featured five super tiebreakers and four tiebreakers needed a super tiebreaker in the final doubles match to decide the victor.
Muscatine's Ethan Heth and James Solt came through when the Muskies needed them most. The duo won the super tiebreaker 10-5 to clinch a 5-4 dual win for Muscatine to improve its record to 2-2.
"James Solt was our energizer bunny and teamed up with Ethan (Heth) to beat a very good doubles team," Kiser said. "That win clinched it for the Muskies."
The Muskies 4-2 lead quickly turned into a 4-4 tie after dropping the first two doubles matches. Then Heth and Solt dropped the first set 1-6, but clawed their way back to win the match.
Trayton Fuegen, Drew Wester, Luke Sogel and Solt all won singles matches for the Muskies. Kiser was especially pleased with Fuegen, who dropped the first set 5-7 to Clinton's Andrew Brisch before dominating the second 6-0, and winning a hard-fought 10-8 super tiebreaker to win the match.
"Trayton showed poise coming back to win," Kiser said. "He's such a good leader for our team by playing his best, never complaining and coming back from adversity. I hope our younger players are watching his leadership."
Bettendorf 208, Muscatine 212: Coach Tom Randleman knows that the Muscatine girls golf team is capable of more than its dual performance Thursday against Bettendorf at Geneva Golf and Country Club.
An encouraging sign for the Muskies, however, was despite not playing their best golf, they still managed to finish just four strokes behind one of the top teams in the Mississippi Athletic Conference with a 212 team score.
"We have room for improvement," Randleman said. "To play poorly and still be within four strokes, we were right there, too. It's early. We still have a lot of work. We're going to stay positive and just keep working to get better as a team."
Muscatine senior Paige Miller finished as the medalist for the second straight meet to begin the season, shooting a 44, and now owns a 42 nine-hole average.
Ragan Carey, Ellie Howard and Sarah McKillip each carded a 56 to round out the scoring for the Muskies.
Another highlight of the day for Muscatine was Carey chipped in from the sand on the second hole for a birdie.
Competing in just the second meet of the season, Randleman and the Muskies don't plan to dwell on the loss and instead will focus on where they can improve.
"We have work to do, and we'll get better," Randleman said. "And they know that, so we're not going to get frustrated or anything like that. We were right there with (Bettendorf)."
Columbus 250, Wapello 303: The Columbus girls golf team rolled past Wapello Thursday in a dual at Heritage Oaks. Aubrey Duncan finished as the medalist with a 50 for the Wildcats, while Cayla Beenenn shot a 61 and Jobie Lekwa shot a 65. Micah Mitchell led the Arrows with a 64, and Rachel McNeil shot a 67.
Clinton 9, Muscatine 0: The Muscatine girls tennis team was shutout by Clinton in a home dual Thursday. The Muskies were unable to win a set, but No. 1 singles player Ellie Cahill nearly rallied after losing the opening set of her match, 1-6. Cahill ultimately lost the second set in a tiebreaker to Clinton's Kiersten Housenga 6-7 (3-7).
Wapello 206, Columbus 207: The Wapello boys golf team won a nail-biter in a dual at Heritage Oaks over conference rival Columbus. Brentin Pallister led the way for the Indians with a score of 46, while Garet Schoonover shot a 47. The Wildcat's Ryan Orr finished as the medalist with a 44, while Evan Rees shot a 49.
L-M wins triangular: The Louisa-Muscatine boys golf team shot a 192 to beat both Lone Tree (230) and Highland (217) Thursday. Louisa-Muscatine senior Zack Bieri was the meet medalist with a 44, while Jackson Soy and Braden Chick shot 49 apiece.
L-M 5th, Columbus 7th: The Louisa-Muscatine girls track team placed fifth with 63 points at the Winfield-Mount Union Invitational Thursday. Meanwhile, the Columbus girls track team placed seventh with 40 points, and West Burlington Notre Dame won the meet with 120 points.
Hailey Sanders won the lone gold medalist out of the area, as the sophomore placed first in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:10.14. Columbus' Anna Hamilton placed second in the same event with a time of 1:14.92.
Wapello 2nd, L-M 9th: The Wapello boys track team placed second with 105.50 points at the Denny White Relays on Thursday. Pekin won the meet with 153.50 points and Louisa-Muscatine placed eighth with 31 points.
The Falcons had two top three finishes.