18 top-three league team finishes in past 31 years
PELLA —The Central College women’s tennis team split matches in its last home date of the season, sweeping Monmouth College (Ill.) 9-0 after falling to Luther College 9-0.
Against Monmouth, the Dutch won the two contested doubles matches. Seniors Emily Swartz (senior, Eldora, South Hardin HS) and Kayla Donner (senior, Metamora, Ill.) paired for an 8-0 victory at No. 1 and Riley Taylor (senior, Tama, South Tama HS) and Ashlei Bos (freshman, Weatherby Lake Mo., Park Hill HS) teamed for an 8-1 win at No. 2.
The Dutch swept all four contested singles matches and claimed three of the nine overall wins by forfeit.
“Monmouth was down to four players, so we were able to move some of our players up in the lineup,” coach Steve Tyler said.
Freshman Anna Striegel (Cedar Rapids, Jefferson HS) took the No. 1 singles win, 6-3, 6-0.
“Anna played a good Monmouth No. 1 player and she stepped her game up to cruise to a win,” Tyler said.
Tyler was encouraged by the team’s performance against Luther, despite the shutout loss.
“Luther is a very good team—they’re deep and a click up from us—but we kept the ball in play and worked hard,” Tyler said. “We had chances in doubles, we just couldn’t execute today.”
The Dutch travel to Cedar Rapids Friday and Saturday for the Iowa Conference tournament. Central clinched a spot in the six-team tournament with a win over Simpson last week, but its seed and opponent is yet to be determined.
“If we play the way we’re capable we could possibly place third,” Tyler said. “We’re going in energized and feeling good about where we’re at. We’ve had a lot of close matches against conference schools that we’ll get to see again in the tournament.”
Tyler said doubles competition will be key.
“We have to win a couple double matches for sure,” Tyler said. “It’s something we’ll work on a lot this week.”
The tournament is slated to begin at 6 p.m. Friday.