OTTUMWA — Coming from Des Moines, where the weather had been rapidly deteriorating all day long, the Lincoln High girls tennis team wasn't taking any chances.
After already trying once this year to open CIML Metro action against the Bulldogs, the Railsplitters made sure they didn't waste any time arriving Monday for their make-up dual at Dan Staggs Courts.
"Their bus got here really early," Ottumwa junior Jill Ardueser said. "They wanted to get on with us as soon as possible to make sure we wouldn't have a rain delay."
Ardueser, for one, was more than happy to keep things moving along on Monday. Over four sets of singles and doubles play, Ardueser dropped just five games and helped the Bulldogs get off to the right start in Metro action.
Ardueser and Katie Zingg both lost just one game in sweeping the No. 5 and 6 singles matches to get Ottumwa off to a strong start. Even more importantly, both players were part of the dominant depth that helped the Bulldogs win four of the five doubles matches that made the ultimate difference in a 7-4 win over the Railsplitters on a night that began chaotically and ended celebratory for the home team.
"I was really proud of the girls to be able to play as well as they did," Ottumwa assistant girls tennis coach Leanna Nelson said. "Considering the circumstances, for the girls to play this well was pretty great to see."
Besides worrying about impending weather and focusing on beating their first Metro opponent, the Bulldog girls tennis team had to take the court on Monday without their head coach. Emily Phommachak went home ill earlier in the day, leaving Nelson in charge of getting the team ready for Monday's dual while keeping the head coach up to date on proceedings.