14 Iowa Conference team titles
PELLA — The Central College men’s tennis team came up with one win in two Iowa Conference matches Saturday, topping Simpson College 8-1 before suffering a 9-0 shutout at the hands of Luther College.
Senior Seth Harris (Waverly, Neb.) had the first of five resounding singles wins against Simpson (2-9), earning a 6-0, 6-0 victory in No. 1 action. Freshman Collin Schares (Johnston and sophomore Zane Hendricks (Fort Dodge) added 6-0, 6-2 and 6-2, 6-1 wins at the No. 3 and No. 4 spots, respectively. Freshman Tim Kahl (Grinnell) was a 6-1, 6-0 victor in No. 5 action and sophomore John Seier (Lincoln, Neb., Waverly HS) won 6-0, 6-2 at No. 6.
“We played energized,” said coach Steve Tyler. “We didn’t give them a chance. We played well.”
It is Central’s second 8-1 win over Simpson in the 2011-12 campaign. The Dutch raced to the same result during a fall-season matchup in Indianola.
Tyler said Luther (8-3) set the tone during doubles play, where Central’s closest match was an 8-4 loss by Harris and Hendricks at the No. 1 spot.
“We have to come out and win doubles,” Tyler said. “We need peak performances against teams like Luther. We can play with them but we have to be at the top of our game to beat them and today wasn’t our day.”
The Norse carried the momentum into singles play, taking advantage of close matches throughout the lineup. Matt Knutson snuck past Seier 4-6, 7-5, 1-0 at the No. 6 spot and Quinn Foley defeated Hendricks 7-6, 6-4 at No. 4.
“We lost all the close ones,” said Tyler. “Luther played lights out. They volleyed well and really took the net.”
Central moves to 5-4 on the season.
The Dutch travel to Arkansas for three spring break showdowns March 12-14. They take on East Texas Baptist University and Hendrix College (Ark.) in Little Rock March 12, with action set to start at 9 a.m.