GRINNELL - The Ballard girls’ tennis team claimed first place at the Grinnell Invitational Monday in Grinnell.
The Bombers scored 139 points to beat Grinnell (127), Albia (73) and a JV squad (58) for first place. Ballard produced three first-place performances, one runner-up and a pair of third-place finishes.
Bry Ronca won the No. 1 singles competition and Kate Rietz took first in the No. 2 singles competition for Ballard. Mikayla Rietgraf and Rachel Wohlgemuth also took first in the No. 3 doubles competition.
Anna Zielke and Kari Holmes finished runner-up in No. 1 doubles play. Lindsey Kaldenberg and Sarah Kamp came in third in No. 2 doubles competition and in No. 4 doubles action, the Bomber team of Hannah Elliott and Sophie Hartog took third.
HUXLEY - The Ballard girls’ tennis team advanced to the Class 1A regional finals after sweeping North Polk and Newton in the first two rounds of regional play Saturday at the Ballard Tennis Courts in Huxley.
Ballard won both meets by 5-0 scores to improve to 9-2 on the season. The Bombers clinched victory in each meet before singles play could be completed.
In the regional quarterfinal victory over North Polk, Bry Ronca, Katie Rietz, Mikayla Rietgraf, Kari Holmes and Lindsey Kaldenberg won the Nos. 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 singles matches in straight sweeps.
Ronca downed North Polk’s Grace Nelson by scores of 6-2 and 6-1, Rietz prevailed over Chloe Laisure by 6-3 and 6-0 margins and Rietgraf picked up a pair of 6-2 wins over Brynna Mason. Holmes pulled off 6-2 and 6-0 wins over the Comets’ Kim Callas and Kaldenberg earned 6-3 and 6-0 victories over Madison Yoakum.
Anna Zielke was defeating North Polk’s Catie Jespersen in the No. 4 match, but the meet was called before they could finish.
Ballard also swept all five singles matches against Newton in straight sets during the regional semifinal match between the two teams. Ronca, Rietz, Zielke, Holmes and Kaldenberg were all victorious versus the Cardinals.
Ronca delivered 6-2 and 6-1 wins over Newton’s Megan Pressgrove, Rietz ousted Bethany Baumgartner, 7-5 and 6-3 and Zielke delivered 6-1 and 6-4 victories over Natalie Camp. Holmes earned a pair of 6-2 victories over Harlie Durr and Kaldenberg took care of the Cardinals’ Rylie Bakalar, 6-3 and 6-0.
Ballard faces Pella in the 1A regional finals this Saturday at Ankeny beginning at 9 a.m. The winner of that match advances to the 1A state first round May 22 in Marshalltown.