14 Iowa Conference team titles
DUBUQUE — The Central College men’s tennis team rolled up two Iowa Conference road wins Saturday, topping Loras College 8-1 before outlasting the University of Dubuque, 6-3.
Senior Seth Harris (Waverly, Neb.) had three wins for the day, including a decisive 7-5, 6-1 victory over Dubuque’s Nick Garcia, a 2011 Intercollegiate Tennis Association all-American.
“Seth’s win was really big,” coach Steve Tyler said. “He was down 4-1 in the first set and made up his mind that he could win and turned the whole match around. Garcia is a nationally ranked player and won the ITA regional last year, so it was a huge win.”
The Dutch won two of the three doubles matches against Dubuque (11-5), including a tight 9-8 victory in the No. 2 slot by Kyle Freischlag (sophomore, Downers Grove, Ill., Downers Grove South HS) and Josh Forst (freshman, Woodridge, Ill., Downers Grove South HS).
“Kyle and Josh beat a strong doubles team,” Tyler said. “And Seth won pretty quickly in singles, so we went up 3-1 and that put some pressure on them.”
Central claimed all three doubles matches against Loras.
“That really gave us momentum going into singles play,” Tyler said. “The whole team played well and it was a good win to get under our belt.”
Freshman Tim Kahl (Grinnell) and sophomore John Seier (Lincoln, Neb., Waverly HS) each had four wins for the Dutch. Kahl battled back at No. 5 singles against Dubuque, 6-0, 0-6, 6-3 while Seier claimed wins at No. 6 singles. The two paired for victories at No. 3 doubles.
Tyler said the squad is beginning to see the benefits of its time and energy.
“The players are beginning to believe,” he said. “They’ve been working hard, putting forth a good effort and having a good time and it’s finally paying off.
“Today was a huge momentum builder for us and should give us a lot of confidence going into the remainder of the season,” Tyler said.
Central, which improved to 10-8 overall, hosts Coe College (16-4) next Saturday at A.N. Kuyper Athletics Complex in Pella. The match is slated to begin at 9 a.m.
“Coe and Luther are picked to be one-two in the conference,” Tyler said. “It’ll be a battle on our courts to see if we can upset them. Don’t count us out.”