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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.
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Questions? Contact David Blanchard, post_to_results, 563-387-1586