ANKENY — Clinton seniors Griffin Rasche and Evan Hood completed their high school tennis careers Tuesday by claiming fourth place at the Iowa Class 2A coed tennis state championship at the Ankeny Tennis Complex.
Rasche and Hood won three consecutive matches before falling to Iowa City West’s Abby Jans and Trent Schneider 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (10-7) in the semifinals. Jans and Schneider lost 6-4, 6-2 to Chloe Jefferies and Anders Jensen of West Des Moines Valley in the title match.
“For Griffin, Jordan (Nelson) and Evan, this was the last time these seniors will get to put on the red and black and represent Clinton High School tennis,” Clinton boys coach Jonathan Mitchell said. “In the past four years, these three have had experiences as district champions, state individual qualifiers and state champions. They have been amazing ambassadors for Clinton High’s tennis program.”
Rasche and Hood opened with a 6-0, 6-1 win against Aubrey Grant and Dane Hurst of Waterloo West. In the second round, they beat Bettendorf’s Emilia Porubcin and Josh Sumhlei 6-2, 6-4. Then they moved into the semifinal round by beating Norwalk’s Samantha Roemer and Grant Wright 7-5, 6-0 in the quarterfinals.
Their run ended in the semifinals against Jans and Schneider, then they lost 6-3, 6-3 to Ellie and Brady Anderson of Marion Linn-Mar in the third-place match. Brady Anderson was the 2013 2A singles state champion and 2014 2A doubles state runner-up.
“At coed state, a lot of times teams target the female player, but Griffin’s powerful groundstrokes and beautiful net play made that strategy unsuccessful against us,” Mitchell said. “Then, Evan’s serve was dialed in all day. Best of all, both of them were smiling ear to ear and having fun out there.
“You add that all together, and you get a very successful day like we had today.”
Clinton’s Nelson and Rohan Aggarwal finished 1-1.