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The Luther men’s tennis team closed out a busy weekend with a match-up against Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan on Sunday, March 3. This time the Norse took an early lead in doubles, but the Hornets rallied back and picked up a narrow 5-4 victory.
After Kalamazoo closed out an (8-5) win from Robert Hudson and Max Manley over Luther’s Sean Brown and Samuel Cychosz at No. 3 doubles, the Norse responded with an (8-3) victory by Nick Mozena and James Ayer over Alan Faber and David DeSimone at No. 2 to knot the score at 1-1. Ramesh Karki and Quinn Foley were in another tight battle at No. 1, finally earning a service break in the last game to pick up a (9-7) win over Peter Rothstein and Steve Hanselman, giving the Norse a slim 2-1 edge heading into the singles matches.
With just four courts, the top four singles matches headed out to play with each team winning a pair of first sets. Matt Bellio dropped his opening set to Mike Korn at No. 3 by a 6-2 count, while Ayer rallied back from a double break, 5-2 hole to force a tie-breaker against DeSimone, eventually losing 7-6 (6). Karki was a 6-4 winner against Rothstein while Mozena won 6-3 over Hanselman in the opening sets. He would go on to win the match (6-3, 7-5) to make it a 3-1 lead for Luther. After failing to hold his serve at 5-4 in the second set, Mozena broke right back and then held in the final game for the win. Ayer was unable to sustain his momentum in the second set, losing (7-6 (6), 6-2) to DeSimone. Korn then knotted the match at 3-3 by outlasting Bellio (6-2, 6-4) at No. 3.
The momentum had also shifted at No. 1 where Rothstein won a second set tie-breaker over Karki by a 7-3 score, sending that match into a deciding third set. Torstein Jystad started well for the Norse at No. 5, picking up a 6-3 win in the first set, while Quinn Foley fought back from a 5-2 hole before losing 6-4 in his first set at No. 6. Meanwhile, Karki earned an early break to go up 3-0 at No. 1. He had a difficult service game at 3-1, but held and went on to win (6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-3), giving Luther a 4-3 lead. Hudson rallied back with a 6-2 win over Jystad at No. 5 to force a third set while Foley battled Manley into a second set tie-breaker before falling (6-4, 7-6 (5)), tying the match yet again at 4-4. Jystad trailed 4-0 in the third set after some close early games, but broke back to cut the margin to 4-1 and then broke back again to make it 5-2 after his serve had been broken. Jystad finally held his serve to make it a 5-3 score and Hudson got broke for the third straight time to close the gap to 5-4. In a set riddled with service breaks, Hudson outlasted Jystad (3-6, 6-2, 6-4) to clinch the match for the Hornets.
Luther is now 2-5 overall this season. The Norse are back on the courts against St. Olaf on Saturday, March 16 at Rochester Tennis Connection in Rochester, Minn.
Questions? Contact David Blanchard, post_to_results, 563-387-1586