14 Iowa Conference team titles
CEDAR RAPIDS—Propelled by a doubles sweep, the Central College men’s tennis team overwhelmed the University of Dubuque, 5-1, Friday evening in the Iowa Conference tournament.
Central (13-6), seeded third in the six-team tournament, advances to the 1 p.m. semifinal match against second-seeded Luther College (13-9). The tourney has been moved indoors to the Clark Racquet Center at Coe College.
The Dutch powered through doubles play with West Adelman (freshman, Geneva, Ill.) and Kyle Freischlag (junior, Downers Grove, Ill., Downers Grove South HS) teaming for an 8-2 win at No. 1 and John Seier (junior, Waverly, Neb.) and Tim Kahl (sophomore, Grinnell) pairing for an 8-1 victory at No. 2 before Josh Forst (sophomore, Woodridge, Ill., Downers Grove South HS) and Zane Hendricks (junior, Fort Dodge) completed the sweep with an 8-2 triumph at No. 3.
“We came out and played well all the way around,” coach Steve Tyler said. “Dubuque ( 3-18) didn’t match up well against us and we took advantage of our experience.”
Kahl claimed a 6-1, 6-1 win at No. 4 singles and Collin Schares (sophomore, Johnston) clinched the team win at No. 3 singles, 6-3, 6-3.
Central will aim to avenge a 9-0 regular-season loss against the Norse on a level platform Saturday. The previous matchup was forced indoors at Decorah because of weather.
“We have a real chance at a neutral site, playing on a surface we’re used to,” Tyler said. “We’ll get after it tomorrow. We know we can play with them and we have nothing to lose.”
However, the Dutch lineup remains uncertain after Freischlag was forced to retire his No. 1 singles match because of injury.
“Kyle’s been nursing a knee injury for seven or eight weeks but reinjured it tonight,” Tyler said. “We’re hoping for the best but if he can’t play, everyone will move up in the singles lineup and our doubles will be disrupted.”
Early victories will be key to advancing to the tourney finals.
“We can’t depend on the bottom of our lineup,” Tyler said. “It’s the first team to five so we’ve got to come out and win early matches.”