14 Iowa Conference team titles
PELLA—The Central College men’s tennis team swept its 2014 home openers Saturday by identical 7-2 scores over Morningside College and Knox College (Ill.).
In the morning meet, the Dutch (5-0 overall) were winners at Nos. 2 and 3 doubles and won five of the six singles matches to best the Mustangs (0-2 overall).
“We didn’t serve or return particularly well, but we were able to get the win,” coach Steve Tyler said. “It was good to get another early victory. It’s important to get matches in and get the early season jitters out.”
Josh Forst (junior, Woodridge, Ill., Downers Grove South HS), Collin Schares (junior, Johnston), John Seier (senior, Waverly, Neb.) and BJ Cunningham (senior, Cedar Rapids, Kennedy HS) were all straight-set winners in singles and combined for the two doubles wins.
Forst topped Hunter Renn 6-2, 6-1 at No. 3 singles, while doubles partner won 6-2, 6-0 over Jordan Ogren at No. 5. The duo teamed up for an 8-4 win over Danny Graves and Ogren at No. 2 doubles. Schares matched Seier’s score for the win over Alex Struck at No. 4 singles. Cunningham did not drop a single game in his singles win over Dillon Stane at No. 6 and the two paired up for an 8-1 win at No. 3.
“Josh was a bright spot at No. 3 singles,” Tyler said. “He played a great match. Collin, John and BJ played consistent matches and took care of business.”
West Adelman (sophomore, Geneva, Ill.) accounted for the other Dutch win, a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Austin Grundy at the top singles spot.
“West responded really well in singles after a tough doubles result,” said Tyler. “He trailed in the second set and came back to win the set and close out the match.”
In the afternoon meet, Central swept the three doubles matches and won four of the six singles matches to top the Prairie Fire (1-2 overall).
“We came out with a lot more energy than we did in the morning,” said Tyler. “We won all three doubles which is always nice. We played really well up-and-down the lineup.”
Adelman and Tim Kahl (junior, Grinnell) were 8-4 winners at the top spot over Walter Palmer and Karl Ruzgas. Kahl also won by default over Ruzgas at No. 2 singles after leading 4-1 in the first set. Forst and Seier needed a tiebreak to beat Jonathan Ng and Max Gatyas 9-8 (7-0) at No. 2 doubles, while Schares and Cunningham were dominant again in an 8-2 win over Pragyaditya Mukerjee and Rohail Kahn at No. 3.
Schares, Seier and Cunningham won at Nos. 4, 5 and 6, respectively, losing only two games combined. Cunningham was once again a shutout winner.
“To be 5-0 right now is fun, but we hit the road for some serious tests next week,” Tyler said. “But it was a good weekend. I’m most pleased.”
Central is back in action next Saturday at Lincoln, Neb. The Dutch face Nebraska Wesleyan (1-2 overall) at 9 a.m. and William Jewell (Neb.) (1-0 overall) at noon.