CLINTON — Even though Clinton went 0-2 last weekend against both Iowa City pubic high schools, Clinton Coach Cindy Rasche called the day a work in progress. That work showed itself Thursday.
The River Queens beat Muscatine 8-1, with Clinton losing just three sets on the entire day. Seven of the nine matches played were sweeps belonging to Clinton.
“I think our girls have done a great job of attacking the goals that they have set for themselves,” Rasche said. “That turnaround from the weekend to Tuesday night to tonight, I think we’ll continue to see that as the season progresses.”
It was the second straight win for the River Queens, who move to 3-2 on the season. Even though the River Queens are still a young squad, expectations are still high.
“We don’t look at that as bad pressure,” said Malika Usmanova, who won her singles match 6-1, 6-2 over Sarah Spellman. “It’s more of a pressure of our parents know we can do it, our coaches know we can do it, it’s a matter of doing it. We have to get to their expectations.”
“A lot of us are new to varsity; it’s showing what we need to work on,” Clinton sophomore Justine Lange said of bouncing back with two wins this week. “Saturday was a wake-up call.”
Clinton swept Davenport North earlier this week 9-0.
“We always go into a dual doing our best, of course, and we all did what we expected to do,” Lange said.
Rasche believed freshman Kiersten Housenga made an extra step in development Thursday, as she defeated her Muskie opponent, Sarah Zobel 6-0, 6-0. Then, she teamed up with Lange to beat Spellman and Haley Steele 6-3, 7-5.
“She played probably some of the most aggressive doubles I’ve seen her play,” Rasche said. “She hit the ball with more pace, hit the gaps, and hunted things down at the net. The two of them seem to complement each other well.”
Last year’s Class 2A state runner-up doubles team, Samantha Brisch and and Riley Hubbart, had little stress by defeating Anna Garvin and Elizabeth Cahill 6-2, 6-1.
“They always do a nice job,” Rasche said. “They’re pretty much kids who get it.”
CLINTON 8, MUSCATINE 1
Singles — Samantha Brisch (C) def. Anna Garvin 6-1, 6-0; Justine Lange (C) def. Haley Steele 6-3, 7-5; Riley Hubbart (C) def. Melissa Burzlaff 6-1, 6-1; Emma Johanns (M) def. Elley Housenga 6-4, 2-6, (10-5), Kirsten Housenga (C) def. Sarah Zobel 6-0, 6-0; Malika Usmanova (C) def. Sarah Spellman 6-1, 6-2.
Doubles — Brisch/Hubbart (C) def. Cahill/Garvin 6-2, 6-1; Lange/K. Housenga (C) def. Steele/Spellman 6-4, 6-2; Usmanova/Kaitlynn Green (C) def. Zobel/Burzlaff 6-2, 2-6, (10-8).