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The Luther suffered its first loss of the season at the Quad City Tennis Club in Moline, Ill., when the squad was defeated by Wheaton in a 5-4 thriller. The two teams battled for over four hours before the Thunder clinched the final point in a third set at No. 1 singles, grabbing the victory.
Torstein Jystad and Isaiah Mayerchak scored the lone point for the Norse in doubles, holding on for a (9-7) victory against Dave Buursma and Derek Mumaw at No. 3. Wheaton won by an (8-4) margin at No. 1 and an (8-5) tally at No. 2 to take a 2-1 lead heading into the singles portion of the meet.
All six of the singles matches were tightly contested, but Wheaton struck first with a (6-4, 6-4) win from Josh Ward over Luther’s Matt Bellio at No. 4 to grab a 3-1 advantage. James Ayer returned the favor with a (6-4, 6-4) win for the Norse against Buursma at No. 5, cutting the deficit to 3-2. Kyle Appel then leveled the match with a (6-3, 6-3) victory over Matthew Steiner at No. 3 singles.
The other three singles matches all split sets, and Luther finally earned its first lead of the day when Mayerchak gutted out a (7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (5)) win over Mumaw at No. 6. The Norse lead did not last, as Wheaton’s Justin Ancona defeated Jystad (6-4, 5-7, 6-3) at No. 2 to make it 4-4. Jystad had forced a third set by rallying from a 5-2 deficit in the 2nd, but was unable to secure the fifth point for the Norse. After trading 6-4 sets with Wheaton’s Ryan Kreis, Ramesh Karki found himself in a 4-0 hole in the deciding third set. He rallied back to within 5-4, but dropped a (4-6, 6-4, 6-4) decision against the returning All-American for the Thunder.
Luther is now 5-1 overall this season.
Questions? Contact David Blanchard, post_to_results, 563-387-1586