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The Luther College men’s tennis team wrapped up its fall season by sending 16 players to compete in the ITA Regional Tournament, hosted by Gustavus Adolphus College on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 27-28, in Saint Peter, Minn. The Norse combined to win 35 matches over the course of a successful weekend.
Ramesh Karki led the way in the ITA Singles Draw, advancing to the quarterfinals in a 112 player field. After receiving a first round bye, Kari picked up wins on the first day of competition against Mitch Elofson of Gustavus Adolphus (6-1, 6-2) and Andrew Hwang of Carleton (6-4, 6-3). On Saturday, Karki outlasted Joey MacGibbon of Gustavus Adolphus in the Round of 16, advancing to the quarterfinals with a (6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-4)) victory. Karki’s tournament finally came to an end with a (6-1, 6-0) loss to UW-Whitewater’s Jake Humphreys, the eventual champion.
Three other Norse players advanced to the Round of 32 after grabbing a pair of wins on Friday. Yusuf Chowdhry rallied from a one set deficit in his opening match to edge Tony Mirasola of UW-La Crosse by a score of (2-6, 6-1, (10-2)). He then had an easier time of it in the second round, cruising past Koo Miyake of Wartburg (6-1, 6-3). Chowdhry fell in the Round of 32 by a (6-1, 6-4) margin to Coe’s Riley Galbraith. Matt Bellio picked up routine wins in the first two matches, defeating Hamline’s Derek Lutz (6-2, 6-3) and Wartburg’s Eric Hilpert (6-1, 6-3). Bellio lost (6-3, 6-3) to Juan Luis Chu of Gustavus in the third round. Isaiah Mayerchak was a (6-2, 6-4) opening round winner against James Mack of St. Scholastica. He then nailed down his second victory with a (6-4, 6-2) decision over Macalester’s Stephen Tyndel before seeing his run come to an end with a (6-1, 6-2) loss to Bradley Entwistle of Gustavus Adolphus.
Torstein Jystad upset 17th seeded Scott Butler (7-6 (4), 6-4) in the first round, but then lost (6-4, 6-3) to Marcel Gyswyt of Gustavus Adolphus. Kyle Appel won his first match in convincing fashion, beating St. Scholastica’s Alex Mihailov (6-0, 6-2). Appel then pushed Humphreys to the brink before falling (6-3, 1-6, (10-2)). James Ayer dropped a hard fought (7-5, 1-6, (10-3)) match to St. Thomas’ Burke Anderson in Round One.
Chowdhry and Quinn Foley had the longest run on the doubles side of the ledger, advancing to the Round of 16 and narrowly missing a berth in the quarterfinals. After routing Sam Smith and Zach Zitur of Concordia-Moorhead (8-2), the duo put together an impressive performance in an (8-4) victory against Bethel’s Matt and Steven Schull. Humphreys and Kevin Friend of UW-Whitewater ended the run for the Norse duo with a (9-7) decision in the third round.
Bellio and Sam Cychosz were first round winners by an (8-1) margin against Carroll’s Jack Michael and Quintin Lamers. They held a late lead against Grinnell’s duo of Tracy Johnson and Emilio Gomez before dropping a tie-breaker (9-8 (4)). Karki and Ayer received a first round bye, but were upset by Gyswyt and Andreas Saenz of Gustavus Adolphus (8-4) in the second round. Luther’s other two doubles teams also dropped their first matches to pairs from Gustavus Adolphus. Appel and Mayerchak lost (8-2) to Chu and MacGibbon while Jystad and Kenny Goins were defeated (8-6) by Elofson and Matt Baker.
Luther also had nine players competing in the Midwest Open singles draw, with two of them winning four matches to advance to the quarterfinals on Day Two. Foley compiled wins over Joakim Eckfeldt of Gustavus Adolphus (6-3, 6-2), Tanner Hahn of Concordia-Wisconsin (6-0, 6-0), and Christian Purnell of Carleton (6-3, 6-2). In the Round of 16, Foley edged Bethel’s Kolin Kiekhoefer (7-5, 3-6, (10-8)). He lost a super tie-breaker to Carleton’s Ezra Frankel (4-6, 6-2, (10-7)) in the quarterfinals. Sam Buffington earned Day One wins against St. Scholastica’s Cody Mauston (6-3, 7-5), Bethel’s James Ferrier (4-6, 6-4, (10-5)), and Grinnell’s Will Hamilton (6-0, 6-1). He knocked off Sam Hjelm of Gustavus Adolphus (6-1, 6-2) in the Round of 16 before losing (6-0, 6-0) to Marty Beck of UW-Whitewater, the eventual champion.
Matt Knutson and Kenny Goins each won three matches to advance to the Round of 16 in the event. Knutson defeated Rob Spiering of Concordia-Wisconsin (6-0, 6-1), Jace Manthe of Hamline (6-0, 6-1), and Duncan Anderson of Gustavus Adolphus (7-6 (4), 6-3) before falling to Justin Bowman of UW-Whitewater (6-3, 6-4). Goins escaped his first round match with a (7-6, 3-6, (11-9)) win over Carleton’s Paul Elbow before settling in and recording straight set victories against Cody Anderson of Gustavus Adolphus (6-3, 6-3), and Josh Gaspard of UW-La Crosse (6-1, 6-0). Goins lost (6-2, 6-3) to Colin Rieke of Gustavus Adolphus in the Round of 16.
Bjorn Norderhaug received a first round bye and then held on to defeat Nate Gosz of St. Norbert (6-2, 6-7, (10-8)). He lost his third round match (6-2, 6-3) to Matt Bettes of Gustavus Adolphus. Cychosz knocked off St. Thomas’ Kevin Lanagan (6-1, 7-5) in the first round before falling in a super tie-breaker (1-6, 6-4, (10-8)) to Ben Halvorson of Gustavus Adolphus. Jack Shanahan was also a first round winner, beating Jonathon Schottle of Concordia-Wisconsin (6-1, 6-0). He lost his second round match by a (6-4, 3-6, (10-5)) margin to Ben Lahren of St. John’s. Aaron and Jake Ford each lost in the opening round of play to players from Gustavus Adolphus. Aaron lost (6-2, 6-3) to David Brown while Jake was beaten by Gavin Kulick (6-2, 6-1).
Knutson and Buffington won four matches in the Midwest Open Doubles Draw, advancing to the semi-finals of the event. They cruised past Bethany Lutheran’s Jacob Kubler and Ryan Koch (8-3) on the first day. On Day Two, the duo reeled off wins against Lahren and Steven Wirtz of St. John’s (8-1), Patrick Dolan and David Hagberg of Gustavus Adolphus (8-3), and Ekfeldt and Kulick of Gustavus Adolphus (8-5). Knutson and Buffington dropped an (8-5) decision to Matt Bisbee and Michael Schnarr of UW-Whitewater in the semi-final match-up.
After receiving a first round bye, Aaron Ford and Shanahan dropped a (9-7) decision to Chad Stearns and Collin Shea of Gustavus Adolphus in the second round. Jake Ford and Norderhaug lost the opening match by an (8-4) score to Andy Hartung and Patrick Georno of UW-Eau Claire.
The ITA Regional Tournament concludes the fall season for the Norse. Luther will be back in action this spring with a pair of matches against St. Norbert and Augustana (IL) on Saturday, Feb. 8, in Green Bay, Wis.
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Questions? Contact David Blanchard, post_to_results, 563-387-1586