18 top-three league team finishes in past 31 years
DAVENPORT—The Central College women’s tennis team was edged 5-4 by St. Ambrose University Wednesday in its 2013-14 dual finale.
The Dutch (10-4 overall, 2-1 spring) and the Fighting Bees (10-14 overall, 3-9 spring) split the six singles matches before St. Ambrose took two of the three doubles matches. Although doubles matches are traditionally played first, the two teams began with singles.
“It was a great Division III women’s tennis meet,” coach Steve Tyler said. “The singles went on first and we were even going into doubles. But we didn’t pull it out.”
Sophomore Angie Allgood (Muscatine) kicked it off with a straight-set win over Heather Matejka at No. 1. The two needed a tiebreak to settle the first set, which Allgood won in shutout fashion before cruising in the second set for a 7-6 (7-0), 6-3 victory.
Classmate and doubles partner Megan Davis (Littleton, Colo., Valor Christian HS) was also a straight-set winner, but did not need a tiebreak. Davis topped Olivia Lofgren 6-4, 6-3 at No. 2. Sophomore Jessie Ryals (Pella), who was the last singles winner for the Dutch, needed a tiebreak in both sets. She outlasted Samantha Rochkus at No. 5 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-5).
“Jessie was on the court all by herself and pulled out a big win,” said Tyler. “She put us in position to win the meet.”
St. Ambrose won at Nos. 3, 4 and 6, respectively. The No. 3 match was decided by a third-set super tiebreak, which the Fighting Bees’ Allie DeRoo won 10-6.
Allgood and Davis dominated at the top doubles spot, posting an 8-0 shutout against Matejka and Rochkus.
“Angie and Megan played great tennis, both in singles and doubles,” Tyler said. “Their wins are significant and are confidence builders heading to the conference tournament.”
But St. Ambrose won the final two doubles matches to clinch the meet.
The Dutch return to action April 25 at the Iowa Conference tournament at Cedar Rapids, hosted by top-seeded Coe College. Central earned the No. 4 seed by way of its 4-3 league mark and squares off against No. 5-seeded Loras College (4-8 overall, 3-4 conference).
“We’re playing excellent tennis right now,” said Tyler. “I’ve been really proud of our effort lately. We’ve come a long way this spring and we’re feeling good about conference.”
The Dutch bested the Duhawks 8-1 Sept. 7 at Dubuque, but will be without sophomore Anna Bowser (Fort Dodge) and junior Ashlyn Huegel (Bettendorf, Pleasant Valley HS), who accounted for wins at Nos. 3 and 4 singles and No. 2 doubles in the fall meeting. Bowser and Huegel are spending the semester studying overseas through Central College Abroad.