CLINTON — As long as the rain held off, the Mississippi Athletic Conference tennis tournament was going to happen. Even with his team tied for first place after day 1, Thursday’s unfavorable conditions yielded only slightly favorable results for Clinton coach David Moore.
Ryan Schroeder (No. 2), Tony Hurlburt (No. 4), Vamsi Marla (No. 6) and the No. 1 doubles team Schroeder and Jacob Kruse all still were in the mix heading into today’s championship round in Bettendorf. Meanwhile, Kruse (No. 1), Cody Nolan (No. 3), Evan Hood (No. 5) and the Nos. 2 and 3 doubles teams had chances to earn points in third-place matches.
However, if either Bettendorf or Pleasant Valley brings its A-game today, Clinton could find itself going home without a highly sought championship trophy. The Bulldogs are in the driver’s seat with a chance to win six of the nine tournament brackets, compared with Clinton’s four and the Spartans’ five.
In other words, the River Kings don’t control their own destiny. They’ll need help in order to claim a team MAC title.
“Overall, we’re just not playing great,” Moore said. “We’re playing OK. Our number 1 doubles played really well. Tony Hurlburt made a couple of really nice comebacks.”
But, he added that he felt his team underperformed.
Wind was clearly a factor, forcing some players to adjust their approaches. Each match featured high lobs and cut shots, with players utilizing gusts to make effective placement.
“It’s keeping some balls in court and other balls it’s taking away depending on which ways you’re going,” Moore said.
Clinton entered the tournament as either the first or second seed in seven of nine brackets. Kruse and Nolan were both upset in the semifinals. Meanwhile, the top-seeded No. 3 doubles team (Rohan Aggarwal and Evan Hood) lost in round two to Bettendorf.