HJ - CHS B Tennis Hitt vs Harlan

Winding up to smash a return for Clarinda is JD Hitt during a meet earlier this season against Harlan. The Cardinals squared off against Boone in the Class 1A substate finals Friday, May 17, at Norwalk for a trip to the state team tennis tournament. However, the Toreadors came away with a slim 5-4 win over the Cardinals to advance to the state quarterfinals played later Friday. Hitt won both his singles match and doubles match, along with partner Kory Rogers, duirng the substate meet against Boone. (Herald-Journal photo by Joe Moore)

Clarinda stood one win for a spot in the Class 1A State Team Tennis Tournament when the Cardinals took the court against Boone during the substate finals Friday, May 17, at Norwalk.

The Cardinals completed the regular season with a perfect 9-0 dual meet record. However, Boone dealt Clarinda its first loss with a closely contested 5-4 decision.

Clarinda claimed the upper hand early in the match as the Cardinals won the first two singles matches of the meet. JD Hitt captured the number one singles match 6-3, 7-5. Brady Williams added a tight 7-5, 7-5 win in the second match.

However, Boone countered by winning the final four singles matches to seize a 4-2 lead in the meet scoring. In the number three singles match, Kory Rogers suffered a 6-2, 6-0 loss for the Cardinals.

Owen Smith played the fourth singles match and started with a 6-3 win. However, Jacob Sterenberg answered with a 6-3 win in the second set. Sterenberg then took the match with a 6-3 win in the third set to draw Boone even in the team race.

The Toreadors edged in front 3-2 as Alex Best was handed a loss in three sets. Best won the first set 6-1, but dropped the second set 6-3. He then suffered another 6-3 loss in the decisive third set.

Boone closed out singles play with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Connor Brown.

As a result, the Cardinals needed to win all three doubles matches to pull out the victory and advance to the state quarterfinals. Clarinda won the first two matches before Boone took the final match in three sets.

The top Clarinda doubles tandem of Williams and Best earned a 6-3, 7-6 (4) victory. Williams and Best will represent the Cardinals in the Class 1A state doubles tournament Friday and Saturday, May 24-25, at Waterloo.

Clarinda then tied the match at 4 as Hitt and Rogers teamed up to win the second doubles match against Boone. The Clarinda duo delivered a 6-2, 6-4 win.

That set the stage for a final doubles match between the two schools to determine who earned the state tournament berth. Smith and Brown got off to a good start as they took the opening set 6-4. Boone then staved off elimination with a 6-3 win in the second set.

Then, in the final set, the Cardinals were stopped 6-1 as Boone claimed the 5-4 dual win.

Playing in the other substate final Friday at Norwalk were Norwalk and Ballard. Norwalk earned a 5-3 win in that match.

As a result, Boone and Norwalk then squared off in the state team quarterfinals. Norwalk advanced to the state semifinals with a 5-1 win.

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