Sponsored by Tennis (men)
Ramesh Karki advanced to the finals of the A Flight in both singles and doubles, leading the Luther men’s tennis team at the season opening IIAC Individual Tournament this past weekend in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The Norse saw 16 players compete at the event with all 16 competing in the A Flight for Doubles and 10 of the 16 playing in the A Flight for singles. Six Luther players also entered the B Flight in singles, and Dan Warden won five straight matches to claim the individual title.
Karki, seeded No. 3, opened his tournament with a (6-2, 6-2) win over Blayne Willadsen of Wartburg in the Round of 32 before edging Seth Harris of Central (6-2, 1-6, (10-4)) in the next round of play. He got back on track with an impressive (6-0, 6-1) victory over Cornell’s Garrett Russikoff, the tournament’s No. 7 seed, in the quarters and then outlasted Coe’s Victor Khristenko, seeded No. 2, by a (6-3, 6-4) score in the semi-finals. Karki fell (7-6 (4), 7-5)) to the No. 6 seed, Noah Sprinkel of Coe, in the championship match.
Nick Mozena, seeded No. 5, also made a strong run in the singles draw by making it to the quarterfinals before losing to Khristenko (7-5, 6-1). He pulled out a tight match with Curtis Newman of Coe in the Round of 32, prevailing (6-3, 7-6 (7-4)) before cruising to a (6-1, 6-1) decision against Central’s Colin Schares in the Round of 16.
Tyler Van Heest and Tyler Zinnecker each won a Round of 32 match-up to earn a spot in the Round of 16. Van Heest outlasted Buena Vista’s Mike Sporer (6-2, 4-6, (10-8)) and Zinnecker edged Brian Falvey of Loras (7-5, 4-6, (10-1)). Van Heest lost (6-2, 6-1) to Chris Buckingham of Wartburg, the No. 4 seed. Zinnecker dropped a (6-4, 6-2) decision to Khristenko.
Karki and Quinn Foley teamed up at Luther’s No. 1 doubles tandem and advanced to the finals before falling (8-3) to Coe’s Curtis Newman and Noah Sprinkel. Along the way, the Norse duo defeated Brian Rasmussen and Dayton Stevens of Wartburg (8-1), teammates Matt Bellio and Torstein Jystad (9-7), and teammates Matt Knutson and Sam Cychosz (8-4). Knutson and Cychosz made it to the quarterfinals after notching victories over Andrew Sheedy and Christian Riedl of Dubuque (8-4), Chris Buckingham and Josh Trueblood of Wartburg (8-5), and Seth Harris and Austin Papenthien of Central (8-5). The wins over Wartburg and Central were impressive as those two tandems were seeded No. 4 and No 5 in the tournament. Bellio and Jystad earlier knocked off Khristenko and Michael Janssen of Coe (9-8 (7-5)) in the Round of 16.
Dan Warden led the way in the B Flight with victories over Nikolay Gospidinov of Dubuque (6-2, 6-3), Daken Starkenburg of Coe (6-1, 7-6 (1)), Nate Smith of Wartburg (7-6 (3), 6-2), Tim Kahl of Central (6-2, 6-4), and Adam Summitt of Simpson (6-2, 6-4). Sean Brown and Chase Krebsbach also advanced to the quarterfinals of the B Flight. Brown defeated Buena Vista’s Justin Buzzard (7-6 (2), 6-2), Wartburg’s Brett Peterson (6-0, 4-6, (10-8)), and Cornell’s Joseph Reyes (6-4, 7-5) before falling to top-seeded Alex Klaas of Coe (6-3, 6-1). Krebsbach won matches against Chris Kosmicki (6-1, 6-1) and Dubuque’s Shawn Iben (6-1, 6-1) before falling (7-5, 6-4) to Summitt.
The Norse return to action this weekend when 10 players will compete at the ITA Regional Tournament in Saint Peter, Minnesota, which is hosted by Gustavus
Questions? Contact David Blanchard, post_to_results, 563-387-1586