The Owls won three of four matches, sandwiching 9-0 victories over Trenton (4-8) and Smith-Cotton (7-7) around a pair of 5-4 matches -- a league loss to Kirksville and win over Fulton. Since the Hornets beat the Tigers -- also by 5-4 margin, both winning their other matches 9-0 -- the three 3-1 squads wound up sharing the title.
"Overall, I was very pleased with the play of our players," declared MHS head coach Susan Carney. "We got a lot of matches in and, just a couple of days before we go to the NCMC Tournament, this is exactly what we need."
Marshall was tied with Kirksville 3-3 after singles wins by junior Trent Clause and seniors Alan Magana and Anthony Van -- and a tough 11-10 (7-3) loss by freshman Gerritt Murphy to junior Austin Motley at No. 1.
Sophomores Andrew Markes and Juan Villalobos claimed a close 10-8 decision at No. 3 doubles, with the Tigers (9-3, 4-1 NCMC) breezing at No. 2 doubles.
The No. 1 doubles tilt went to an extra game, with juniors Zach Reger and Cody Weichelt getting by junior Quentin Failor and freshman John Hadley 11-9 to clinch the Kirksville victory.
Magana, Van and junior Ryan Vereyken produced a 3-3 singles tie with Fulton (18-3), which also won at No. 1 doubles. However, Markes got another win at No. 3 doubles -- paired this time with junior Deeno Aguit -- while the No. 2 combo of freshman Jude Staley and junior Raven White pulled out a 10-7 decision against senior Dom Patel and sophomore Zachary Heimerichs.
After missing the first month of the season while recovering from injury, Markes -- who was fourth in the conference meet at No. 1 doubles last year -- won all four of his matches, two with each partner. Magana and Van were also undefeated in singles play.
"What a great way to prepare for the conference tournament," Carney said. "Our team has continued to gain experience throughout the season."
Before heading to Hannibal for the NCMC meet Saturday, the Owls (11-4, 3-2) have a league rematch at home today against Fulton.