14 Iowa Conference team titles
PELLA — The Central College men’s tennis team suffered a narrow setback Saturday, falling 5-4 to NAIA opponent Graceland University.
Graceland (1-0) set the tone by taking two doubles matches. Senior Seth Harris (Waverly, Neb.) and sophomore Zane Hendricks (Fort Dodge) fell 8-5 at the No. 1 spot and sophomore Kyle Freischlag (Downers Grove, Ill./ Downers Grove South HS) and freshman John Forst (Woodridge, Ill./Downers Grove South HS) dropped a 9-7 match at the No. 2 slot.
“We had chances at 1 and 2 doubles but they just slipped away,” said coach Steve Tyler.
Sophomore John Seier (Lincoln, Neb./ Waverly HS) and freshman Tim Kahl (Grinnell) were 8-4 winners at No. 3 doubles.
In singles play, Harris won 6-2, 7-5 in the No. 1 contest. Kahl earned a 6-3, 6-0 victory at the No. 5 spot and Seier added a 6-4, 6-2 win in No. 6 action but Graceland took advantage of more close matches to secure the victory.
“All-in-all there were four swing matches that could have gone our way but didn’t,” said Tyler. “We were playing well up and down the lineup and I was really encouraged by that.”
The Dutch (4-3) are off for two weeks before hosting Iowa Conference opponents Simpson College (1-4) and Luther College (4-1) March 3 at the A.N. Kuyper Athletics Complex. Start time is 9 a.m.
“Those will be critical conference matches,” said Tyler. “We’re going to make the long break an advantage. I want to be well rested, energized and ready to go.”