14 Iowa Conference team titles
PELLA—The Central College men’s tennis team was shut out by Luther College in Saturday’s morning match before topping Simpson College 7-2 in the afternoon, keeping alive its hopes of securing the No. 2 seed at the Iowa Conference tournament.
The Dutch (12-7 overall, 4-2 conference) fell behind the Norse (21-6 overall, 5-2 conference) in the league standings, but are still able to force a three-way tie for second with a win over the Wartburg College Knights (8-7 overall, 4-1 conference) Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Waverly.
“It absolutely felt good to get that win,” coach Steve Tyler said. “Simpson is an improved team. We trailed early in doubles matches, but came back and swept.
“And the No. 2 seed is in our sights.”
In the nightcap, Central swept the three doubles matches and coasted to the decision.
West Adelman (sophomore, Geneva, Ill.) and Tim Kahl (junior, Grinnell) defeated Zach Kusick and Peter Reitgraf 8-5 at the top spot, while Josh Forst (junior, Woodridge, Ill., Downers Grove South HS) and John Seier (senior, Waverly, Neb.) topped Alex Hook and Dylan Hogan 8-4 at No. 2. Kyle Freischlag (senior, Downers Grove, Ill., South HS) and Chris Kosmicki (junior, Greely, Colo., Northridge HS) completed the sweep in style by shutting out Geoff Converse and Mike Rundle.
Adelman continued his winning ways 6-4, 6-1 over Kusick at No. 1 singles. Collin Schares (junior, Johnston) did not drop a game against Hogan at No. 4, while Seier and BJ Cunningham (senior, Cedar Rapids, Kennedy HS) were winners at Nos. 5 and 6. Cunningham and Seier are 1-2 on the team in singles wins with 15 and 13, respectively.
The Storm (7-12 overall, 2-5 conference) earned a tight decision at No. 3, while Kahl was forced to retire due to illness at No. 2, giving Simpson its second point.
In the morning meet, Luther overpowered the Dutch in doubles and pulled out a trio of close singles matches for the 9-0 win.
“My take from the Luther meet was that they were more aggressive,” said Tyler. “They outplayed us at the net. We’re just a click away. If we would’ve made a few more shots, we had the chance to make it interesting.”
Adelman and Kahl battled at No. 1 doubles, but Ramesh Karki and Quinn Foley found a way in the 8-4 win. The Norse won 8-2 at No. 2 and shutout Central’s No. 3 team despite six games being decided in deuce.
Adelman and Kahl battled at the top two singles spots as well, but both came up short in a third-set super tiebreak. Karki outlasted Adelman 6-2, 4-6, 1-0 (10-7), while Torstein Jystad edged Kahl 4-6, 6-2, 1-0 (10-5). Seier pushed James Ayer to a second-set tiebreak, but was eventually done in 6-0, 7-6 (7-5).
“We were competitive at the top doubles spot and we competed in singles,” said Tyler. “There were some tough matches that could’ve gone either way.
“I liked our intensity.”
And it sets up Tuesday’s finale. The Knights are alone in second in the league standings after upsetting a shorthanded Luther squad 6-3 Wednesday.