WATERLOO – Deseree Stubbe and CeJay Blakely’s doubles state tournament run came to an end May 30 after two straight losses bounced them from the tournament.
The Clarke doubles duo matched up against Casie Barba and Ashley Thorn of Spirit Lake, Okoboji to open things.
Stubbe and Blakely hung with the pairing in the first set before dropping it 6-4 and the second set 6-2, moving them into the consolation round.
“We had opportunities to win that first set ... Pressure I think got to us a little bit in the second set,” said head coach Jeff Ehrhardt. “
In the consolation, the Lady Indian pairing drew a state placewinner from last season in Cecily Johnson and Bronwyn Metcalf of Pella, the No. 3 seed in the tournament.
After the Pella grouping was upset in the first round, they didn’t mess around against Stubbe and Blakely working their way to a 6-0, 6-3.
Ehrhardt noted that the consolation matches were no-ad, meaning that any game going to deuce was decided by a one lone, winner-take-all point.
Losing three deuce games in the second set could have been the difference between forcing a decisive third set.
“That was a tough match ... Started slow in the first set, kind of like we had finished against Spirit Lake,” said Ehrhardt. “(They) played well in the second set ... The level is just stepped up at the state tournament.”
Ehrhardt thought the two played well throughout the tournament, but a little bit of nerves and the big stage put the Clarke pairing in a couple of tight spots that they couldn’t get out of.
Both Stubbe and Blakely wrap up their junior campaigns on the biggest stage they could and will look to get back to the state tournament next year, with hopes of taking a match or two.