Sponsored by Tennis (men)
The Luther College men’s tennis team opened its fall competition by traveling to Pella, Iowa for the Iowa Conference Individual Tournament, hosted by Central College Sept. 20-21.
The Norse had 10 players competing in the A Flight singles division and saw all 10 players advance to the second round. Kenny Goins defeated Eric Hilpert of Wartburg (6-4, 6-2), James Ayer beat Coe’s Zach Decker (6-2, 6-2), Matt Bellio knocked off Buena Vista’s Kyle Shade (6-0, 6-2), Isaiah Mayerchak was a (6-1, 6-2) winner against Zach Kusick of Simpson, and Yusuf Chowdhry earned a (6-4, 7-5) win against Coe’s Daken Starkenburg in the top half of the draw. The bottom half of the draw saw Jack Shanahan win over Dubuque’s Dishon Deering (6-3, 6-3), Kyle Appel defeat Chad Moklestad of Coe (7-5, 6-3), Quinn Foley upset seventh-seeded Jon Moore of Loras (6-2, 6-3), Torstein Jystad cruise past Coe’s Michael Woolf (6-3, 6-0), and Ramesh Karki beat Wartburg’s Luke Benna (6-0, 6-0).
Ayer, Mayerchak, and Karki each made it to the quarterfinals with second round victories. Ayer outlasted Coe’s Michael Janssen (6-4, 7-5), Mayerchak knocked off Chowdhry (0-6, 6-1, (10-4)) in a match-up of Norse teammates, and Karki bested Jystad (6-1, 6-2) in another match-up of Luther players. Karki followed by a pair of (7-5, 6-2) wins over Coe’s Sean Stokstad and Alex Bernt in the quarterfinals and semi-finals to advance to the championship match. Karki, the second seed in the draw, lost (6-1, 6-1) to top-seeded Noah Sprinkel of Coe.
Luther had five doubles teams competing in the A Flight doubles division, with Ayer and Mayerchak leading the way with a runner-up finish. They rallied to defeat Loras’ Moore and Brian Falvey (9-8) in the first round before settling in and defeating Jeff Damisch and Starkenburg of Coe (8-2) in the quarterfinals and Stokstad and Janssen from Coe (8-1) in the semi-finals. Ayer and Mayerchak lost (8-3) to Sprinkel and Riley Galbraith of Coe in the title match. Karki and Appel placed fourth in the event, winning matches against Deering and Nick Gospodinov of Dubuque (8-1) and West Adelman and Tim Kahl of Central (8-2). They lost matches to a pair of Coe teams in the semi-finals and third place match.
Matt Bellio and Kenny Goins battled past Coe’s Ryan Hickman and Decker (9-8) in one of the play-in matches before falling to Central’s Adelman and Kahl (8-1) in the Round of 16. Foley and Chowdhry lost to Coe’s Sprinkel and Galbraith (8-1) in the first round while Jystad and Sam Cychosz dropped an (8-5) decision to Moklestad and Bernt of Coe in the first match.
Matt Knutson led the way for the Norse in the B Flight division, winning singles and doubles titles on the weekend. In singles, Knutson defeated Loras’ Jeff Kasel (6-2, 6-0) before battling past a trio of teammates to earn the singles crown. He defeated Cychosz (7-5, 6-1) in the quarterfinals, Aaron Ford (6-0, 6-3) in the semi-finals, and Sam Buffington (3-6, 6-2, (10-8)) in the championship match. Buffington’s route to the title match saw him beat Simpson’s Peter Reitgraf (6-4, 6-3), Central’s John Seier (6-1, 7-5), and Coe’s Mark Kroll (5-7, 6-2, (10-2)).
Aaron Ford won his first three matches against Dylan Hogan of Simpson (6-0, 6-1), Justin Buzzard of Buena Vista (6-3, 6-0), and Andre Greene of Wartburg (6-2, 6-4) before losing to Knutson and Kroll to take fourth. Cychosz and Bjorn Norderhaug each advanced to the quarterfinals. Cychosz beat Wartburg’s Coy Wiegmann (6-2, 6-0) in the second round before losing to Knutson. Norderhaug was a first round winner against BJ Cunningham of Central by a (6-2, 6-3) margin. He followed that up with a (6-1, 6-1) win over Neil Kane of Loras before falling (6-7, 6-1, (14-12)) to Kroll. Jake Ford and Bruce Croy each lost in the first round.
Knutson and Buffington opened the B Flight doubles draw with an (8-1) victory against Wartburg’s Frank Loconti and Phillip Wessels followed by an (8-4) win against Bill Young and Tyrin Wages of Coe. After dispatching Simpson’s Zach Kusick and Peter Reitgraf (8-3), Knutson and Buffington edged Coe’s Woolf and Alex Leovic by a score of (8-6) in the final. Aaron Ford and Shanahan placed 3rd in the event, recording wins over Greene and Weigmann of Wartburg (8-2) and Jake Ford and Norderhaug of Luther (8-2) to advance to the semi-finals. After losing to Woolf and Leovic (9-8), they responded with an (8-6) win over Kusick and Reitgraf of Simpson in the third place match. Jake Ford and Norderhaug defeated Geoff Converse and Dylan Hogan of Simpson (8-5) in the preliminary round and then beat Coe’s Justin Sauter and Matt Moore (8-5) to in the first round.
Questions? Contact David Blanchard, post_to_results, 563-387-1586