18 top-three league team finishes in past 31 years
INDIANOLA — Simpson College took the lead in doubles competition and held on for a 5-4 victory over the Central College women’s tennis team Tuesday.
Anna Striegel (freshman, Cedar Rapids, Jefferson HS) won twice for the Dutch. She outlasted the competition at No. 4 singles, 7-6 (7-5), 7-5, and teamed with Emily Koontz (freshman, Council Bluffs, Abraham Lincoln HS) for Central’s lone doubles win at the No. 3 spot, an 8-5 comeback victory.
“They were down three-love in doubles and came back to win it,” coach Steve Tyler said. “Anna had a real gut-check in her matches today.”
Sarah Montgomery (freshman, Bettendorf) was a winner at No. 5 singles, 6-0, 6-2, and Blake Taylor (sophomore, Tama, South Tama HS) won at No. 6 singles, 6-1, 6-1.
Tyler said the second doubles and top singles matches were key.
“They were the swing matches, really,” he said. “We were right there and just needed one of those wins.”
Riley Taylor (senior, Tama, South Tama HS) flirted with victory at No. 1 singles but was defeated in a tiebreaker, 6-2, 4-6, 10-8.
“Riley went from playing No. 15 as a freshman to No. 1 as a senior this spring,” Tyler said. “That’s really a tribute to her hard work, determination and love of the game.”
Overall, Tyler was pleased with the hard-fought performance.
“We didn’t play crisply in doubles but I thought the effort was great,” he said. “We’re really without our top two players from the fall because of graduation and student teaching and we were right there.”
Central closes its nontraditional spring season with a 2-4 mark and finishes the year at 8-13. The squad placed sixth in the Iowa Conference team tournament last fall. More than half of the Dutch lineup will return as sophomores next season.
“All in all, I thought the spring season went very well, especially since we play so many freshmen,” Tyler said. “We’ve got a lot of folks coming back and I’m excited to see what happens when they’re joined by our recruiting class.”