Category: Sports

Bush, Rottinghaus, are First team All-District soccer selections

Two Union Knight soccer players were named to the Class 2A East All-District First Team for the 2018 season.
Sophomore goalkeeper Jasmyn Bush recorded a 0.895 goals against average per game. Prior to the sub-state regional final, she had registered 123 saves with an 89.8% save percentage, allowing just 14 goals on the season.
Emma Rottinghaus, a University of Northern Iowa recruit, was also honored as a First Team selection. Rottinghaus anchored Union’s midfield play, scoring ten goals and recording 17 assists.
The Iowa Girls Coaching Association also named Lauren Bauer, a 2010 graduate of Union High School, Class 2A East District Coach of the Year. Bauer led the #2 ranked Waverly-Shell Rock Go-Hawks to an undefeated regular season and runner-up finish at the State Tournament.

Knights fall one game short of State Tourney

Waverly-Shell Rock rallies for a 4-1 win
Union’s sub-state regional final against the number two ranked Waverly-Shell Rock got off to a promising start, when the Knights’ leading scorer, Allie Carty, burned the Go-Hawks with an early goal in the game’s opening minute.
The Go-Hawks answered right back, though, and took the lead on a pair of Miranda Kurtt goals before ten minutes of game action had been played. Another score late in the first half by Kennedy Rieken extended the lead to 3-1 at the intermission.
The seventh ranked Knights were unable to capitalize on their opportunities in the second half and Rieken’s second score of the match in the 66th minute of play was an insurance goal the undefeated Go-Hawks (18-0) would not need.
With the win, Waverly-Shell Rock advanced to the Class 2A State Soccer Tournament.
Union’s season came to an end with the Knights posting a 13-6 record in 2018.

Rhett Peters makes school history at State Tennis Tournament

By Bruce Wigg
After beginning the year playing in gloves and parkas, the high school tennis season came to a conclusion on a sunny Saturday, with temperatures pushing into the mid-90s at the State Tournament at Byrnes Park in Waterloo.
Rhett Peters, the lone qualifier for Union this year, was outstanding in his initial appearance at the tournament. Because he finished second at Districts to Daniel Buchanan of Waterloo Columbus, Rhett was not eligible to receive a seed, placed instead in the draw of 16. At the State Tournament, the top four players are seeded, followed next by the District Champions, then, finally, the district runners-up are allocated spots remaining in the bracket.
Rhett drew a tough first round match against District Champion Cade Carpenter of Spencer, who sported a 14-0 record. His serve was hard and accurate, but Rhett had the answer, blocking back the serve and pushing the ball with pace and accuracy of his own. A straight sets victory (6-3, 6-3) led to a second round match-up against fourth seeded Reed Miller (21-3) of Council Bluffs St. Albert. Rhett’s consistency and poise resulted in a relatively easy 6-1, 6-0 victory over the slice and dice game of Miller. The win advanced Rhett into the semi-finals, a first for Union High School. Union’s only other place-winner in tennis (boys or girls) was foreign exchange student Boris Fitz, who placed sixth in 1990.
As Saturday morning’s matches began, the heat didn’t let up. Rhett was now facing the top seeded player in the tournament and last year’s state championship doubles player, Jon Lansing of Cedar Rapids Xavier. Lansing came into the tournament with a 13-4 record, but undefeated against players in Class 1A. Lansing’s smooth as silk strokes and power were too much for Peters, who valiantly fought for every point, losing out many deuce games to Lansing’s superb shot making abilities. Rhett lost the match, 0-6, 1-6, moving him into the consolation match for 3rd place against a very familiar opponent, Buchanan of Columbus.
Buchanan had beaten Peters 6-2, 6-1 in the district final so Rhett knew an uphill battle would be in the offering. The first set was a test of patience and somewhat tentative shots by both players. The early afternoon heat was definitely taking its toll, as Buchanan eked out a 7-5 first set win. Changing tactics, an aggressive, “all or nothing” mindset allowed the Union sophomore to make a comeback in the second set, but it was too little too late, as the Columbus player took the second set 6-3 to win the match. Rhett’s fourth place finish at the State Tennis Tournament is the highest placement in school history.
I am so very proud of Rhett’s efforts. He played with two blisters on his hand for the entire weekend, was pushed mentally and physically to the limit, and her persevered with a great showing. Rhett has a style of tennis that allows him to play with anyone in the state. He can hit hard, he can play the percentages, he can play excellently at the net, retrieve a lot of shots that most would not even attempt to get to, and has a mental toughness that keeps him making supreme efforts, even in the face of much adversity.
His father, Randy, and uncle Rich were also players of mine and he has attributes reminiscent of each of them at different times during his game. I would like to credit them for his development over the years. He is fun to coach and be around.
Congratulations, Rhett, on a great season and hopefully, hope for the future of Union Knights boys tennis.

DMACC Softball places third in national tournament

The Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) softball team capped the most successful season in school history with a third-place finish in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II Softball Championship May 16 to 19 at Clinton, Mississippi.
DMACC was making its fifth consecutive appearance in the tournament and its sixth in the past seven seasons.
The finish matched DMACC’s third-place finish in 2013-14. The 2014-15 team placed fourth in the national championship tournament.
The Bears, who were the tournament’s No. 1 seed, reached the championship bracket semifinals with victories against Mott Community College (MCC) and Lincoln Land Community College (LLCC). DMACC then dropped a 4-1 decision to fourth-seeded Phoenix College (PC) on May 18 to move into the consolation bracket. There, DMACC defeated sixth-seeded Cowley County Community College (CCCC) and third-seeded LSU-Eunice(LSUE) in elimination games, also on May 18.
The Bears then faced PC in an other elimination game on May 19 and lost, 1-0, eliminating the Bears from the tournament with a third-place finish. PC then lost to second-seeded Jones County Community College (JCCC) in the championship game.
The DMACC softball team closed the season at 48-2 and a 22-0 record in winning the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference (ICCAC). The Bears won their first 46 games of the season and were the No. 1 team in the NJCAA Division II poll for most of the season.
Freshman pitcher Peyton Parker, a 2017 Union High School graduate, made 12 appearances in the circle for the Bears, compiling a 2-0 record and 1.48 earned run average. In just under 24 innings of work, Parker recorded 21 strikeouts.

Golf: Union girls show improvement at regional meet

By Coach Melanie Barz
Our team score was improved by 29 strokes, from our Conference tournament two weeks ago, so I was very proud of our effort. The girls showed solid gains all season, and with all of them being freshmen and sophomores, we are excited to see their continued progress in the next few years.
Scores from the regional meet were as follows:
Brystal Bergmeier 115; Sydney Bucknell 119; Kaylin Brustkern 123; Ellie Moore 127
Union Team score: 484

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