14 Iowa Conference team titles
HANOVER PARK, ILL.—After winning four straight matches, the Central College men’s tennis team tallied its first losses of the spring season, losing to Judson University (Ill.), 6-3 before dropping a match to Wheaton College (Ill.), 8-1.
The day started out shaky after losing No. 1 singles and doubles player Kyle Freischlag (junior, Downers Grove, Ill., Downers Grove South HS) to an injury in practice Thursday night.
“Since Kyle wasn’t unable to play, we had to switch our doubles teams around,” said coach Steve Tyler. “We moved people up, but losing our doubles matches can partially be contributed to switching the teams up.”
Against Wheaton (3-2), No. 3 doubles team Josh Forst (sophomore, Woodridge, Ill., Downers Grove South HS) and Collin Schares (sophomore, Johnston) grabbed an 8-6 win, the only victory of the match.
At No. 3 singles, Tim Kahl (sophomore, Grinnell) battled for the win, but lost in a 6-2, 4-6, 10-5 breaker. Coming back from behind, Forst tried to claim his second win of the match, but lost 3-6, 6-3, 10-5.
“We had some tight matches all around,” Tyler said. “The team really stepped up well and we played respectably.”
Against Wheaton, the Dutch dropped all three doubles matches, digging a hole for the singles matches.
“When we lost all the doubles, we knew we could come back big to win, but we had to win five out of six singles,” Tyler said. “We had a chance and almost came back, but we couldn’t recover from the first losses.”
At No. 1 singles, West Adelman (freshman, Geneva, Ill.) won the first set handily, but lost in the third set breaker, 0-6, 7-6 (5), 10-8. Three other matches went to breaker sets. At No. 2 singles, Schares lost 6-1, 4-6, 2-0 and at No. 5 Pat Daly (senior, Shawnee, Kan., Shawnee Mission NW HS) dropped a 10-point breaker, 3-6, 6-3, 10-5.
“We almost pulled off a few of the breaker matches,” said Tyler. “All the matches were so close, so it could have easily gone the other way, too.”
Central easily tallied one breaker victory at No. 3 singles with Kahl winning 7-5, 7-6, 4-0 and junior Zane Hendricks (Fort Dodge) added another win at No. 4, 6-1, 6-3. Central’s final win came at No. 6 singles, where Forst was a decisive 6-3, 6-2 victor.
“Both teams had a lot of experience,” Tyler said. “We had been playing very well in doubles, but considering our lineup was mixed, I think the team proved to play well in tight matches. We just couldn’t push through to the end.”
Central (6-2 overall, 4-1 spring) will have eight days off before traveling to Orlando, Fla. to play St. Scholastica (Minn.) on March 10.