Sponsored by Tennis (men)
Ramesh Karki once again led the Luther men’s tennis team at an individual competition, this time advancing to the Round of 16 in both singles and doubles at the ITA Regional Tournament hosted by Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minnesota. The Norse saw 10 players combine to win 21 matches at the event.
Karki, seeded No. 11 in the 110 player ITA singles draw, received a first round bye and then won his next two matches to move into the Round of 16. He outlasted Grinnell’s Elliot Czarnecki (6-3, 0-6, (10-2)) before cruising past Avery Rux of Carleton (6-0, 6-3). Karki was eliminated from the tournament when he was defeated (6-2, 6-3) by Mya Smith-Dennis of Gustavus.
Three other Luther players advanced into the second round in the ITA singles draw. Aaron Gendron rallied from a one set deficit to beat Ian Hansen of St. John’s (2-6, 6-0, (10-4) before falling (6-1, 6-4) to Andrew Hwang of Carleton. Nick Mozena was a (6-2, 6-1) winner against Wartburg’s Dayton Stevens, but lost (6-2, 6-1) to the No. 9 seed, Andrew Bayliss of UW-Whitewater. James Ayer battled for a (6-4, 6-3) victory over Lewis Wilcox of Macalester and then dropped a (6-3, 6-0) decision to the No. 7 seed, Jeff Lotz of Carthage.
The Norse also had a successful run in the ITA doubles draw with three tandems winning first round matches and two of them advancing to the Round of 16. Karki and Quinn Foley were (8-1) winners over Brian McCarthy and Dan Cooper of St. Thomas in the opening round and then dispatched Hwang and Dan Vollman of Carleton (8-4). They were finally sent packing (8-3) by Pat Clark and Tyler Johnson of Gustavus. Mozena and Ayer also won two rounds before losing to the eventual champions.
They defeated Danny Meicher and Tim Hartwick of St. Norbert by an (8-5) tally in the first match before rolling to an (8-0) win against Jake Englestad and James Mack of St. Scholastica. Mozena and Ayer lost (8-5) to Smith-Dennis and Amrik Donkena of Gustavus.
Tyler Zinnecker and Gendron also won in the opening round, edging Lawrence’s Jason Dunn and Max Zlevor by an (8-6) count. They rallied from a 5-1 deficit in the second match against Chris Kuna and Florent Marco of UW-Eau Claire, the No. 5 seed, before losing (9-7).
Luther also had four singles players and one doubles team competing in the Midwest Invite. Torstein Jystad led the way in singles, advancing to the fourth round. He received a first round bye and then beat Matt Baker of Gustavus (7-6, 6-0) and Costin Fink of St. Norbert (4-6, 6-2, (10-2)) before losing to Ben Robertson of UW-Eau Claire (6-4, 7-5).
Tyler Zinnecker, Tyler Van Heest, and Joe LaFountaine all made it to the third round of play before bowing out. Zinnecker won (6-2, 6-2) over Dubuque’s Mike Braden and then breezed to a (6-0, 6-0) victory against Concordia’s Taylor Shaffer. He lost to Motasem Al Houni of Gustavus (6-1, 6-4). Van Heest beat Nikolay Gospodinov of Dubuque (6-3, 7-5) and then edged Dirk Van Rybroek of UW-Eau Claire (2-6, 6-2, (10-7)) before losing in a super tie-breaker to Concordia’s Russell Johnson (4-6, 6-0, (10-5)). LaFountaine received a first round bye and then played an impressive match, earning a (7-6, 6-4) win against Brooks Stapleton of Gustavus. He lost (6-2, 6-2) to McCoy Becker of Carleton in the second round.
Jystad and Matt Bellio paired for a couple of (8-1) victories in the Midwest Invite doubles draw before losing in the third round. They defeated Brady Storhoff and Vinny Jankiewicz of Edgewood and Sam Hjelm and Gavin Kulick of Gustavus. Jystad and Bellio dropped an (8-6) decision to Johnson and Brian Tresedder of Concordia in their final match.
The Norse have now wrapped up the fall season and will resume action this spring.
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Questions? Contact David Blanchard, post_to_results, 563-387-1586