14 Iowa Conference team titles
PELLA—After suffering its first loss since March 18 Tuesday, the Central College men’s tennis team rebounded with an 8-1 statement win over Iowa Conference foe Buena Vista Univ. Saturday.
The Dutch (11-6 overall, 3-1 conference) positioned themselves for a berth in the six-team league tournament by knocking off the Beavers (3-12 overall, 2-4 conference) for the second time this calendar year. Central beat Buena Vista 7-2 at Fort Dodge Sept. 17.
Although the doubles scores indicated it would be a competitive meet, the Dutch dominated all six singles spots, dropping no more than two games in any given set.
“We played well,” coach Steve Tyler said. “I wish we would’ve had more energy in doubles. It was disappointing to lose one of those matches, but we played great in singles.”
Sophomore West Adelman (Geneva, Ill.) and junior Tim Kahl (Grinnell) teamed up for an 8-5 victory over Chris Habermann and Kyle Shade at No. 1. Junior Josh Forst (Woodridge, Ill., Downers Grove South HS) and senior John Seier (Waverly, Neb.) were 8-3 winners over Kyle Weeden and Drake Swanson at No. 2.
Adelman and Kahl improved to 11-5 at the top spot, 3-1 in conference play. Forst and Seier are also 3-1 in league matches.
The Beavers took the final doubles match 8-6.
But singles was all Dutch.
Adelman set the tone by defeating Habermann at the top spot 6-2, 6-1. Kahl and junior Collin Schares (Johnston) matched his score at Nos. 2 and 4, respectively.
Forst, Seier and senior BJ Cunningham (Cedar Rapids, Kennedy HS) won at Nos. 3, 5 and 6, respectively, losing only one game each.
“West played a terrific match to beat a very good player,” Tyler said. “John and BJ continue to win at the bottom of the lineup, which is huge. Everybody played well.”
Forst topped Justin Buzzard 6-0, 6-1, while Seier and Cunningham topped both Swanson and John Bieber 6-1, 6-0.
It’s Cunningham’s team-leading 14th singles win and his sixth straight. He’s now 14-2 on the season, with three wins at No. 5 singles and an 11-2 record at No. 6.
“Buena Vista is an improved team,” Tyler said. “They have some talented players. But we kept more balls in play and outlasted them.”
Central takes a two-week hiatus before returning for a pair of league duals at Pella April 26. The Dutch will play host to Luther College (17-5 overall, 2-1 conference) and Simpson College (7-8 overall, 2-1 conference).
“We’re excited to get some rest before taking on Simpson and Luther,” said Tyler. “We’ll work on some things, including our doubles play, between now and then.”