14 Iowa Conference team titles
LINCOLN, Neb. — After going 1-1 in its spring opener, the Central College men’s tennis team split two more dual contests Saturday, toppling host Neb. Wesleyan University 8-1 before falling to Division II William Jewel College (Mo.) 9-0.
Central (4-2) put the pressure on Neb. Wesleyan (0-3) early, notching wins in all three doubles matches, including a 8-2 win by senior Seth Harris (Waverly, Neb.) and sophomore Zane Hendricks (Fort Dodge) at the No. 1 spot.
“We came out very strong against Wesleyan on their home courts and swept the doubles,” said coach Steve Tyler. “We had good momentum going into the singles matches.”
Freshman Collin Schares (Johnston) went into a tie-breaking third set to pick up a win at No. 3 singles, 7-6, 6-7 (10-6), while Hendricks and freshman Tim Kahl (Grinnell) also fought back from close first sets. Hendricks won 7-6, 6-4 at the No. 4 spot and Kahl got a 7-6, 6-0 win at No. 5.
“There were a lot of close matches and we had to play hard for those wins,” said Tyler. “That’s the best we’ve played yet this season. We looked really sharp.”
In the second contest of the day, Central couldn’t keep pace with a talented William Jewell (3-1) squad.
“We brought the same level of play against William Jewell as we did against Wesleyan,” said Tyler. “They’re a very good Division II team, but we played right with them in a lot of those matches.”
Tyler said Harris had the signature match at the No. 1 singles spot, suffering a hard-fought 6-4, 6-7 (10-5) loss to William Jewell’s Shane Giannetti, who ranks No. 48 in the International Tennis Association National Poll for Division II.
“Seth really battled today,” said Tyler. “He had a great effort but unfortunately couldn’t pull it off in the third set.
“We knew we had our work cut out for us this weekend, and all-in-all I was very pleased with our effort. I feel good about where we are.”
Central is home Saturday when it plays host to Graceland University. The match will be the Yellowjackets’ first of the season. Start time is 9 a.m. from H.S. Kuyper Fieldhouse.