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Following a 9-0 sweep of MSOE earlier today, the competition was much tighter in the afternoon as the Norse took to the courts against the host Cardinals. All three doubles matches were hard fought with Luther pulling out wins at No. 2 and No. 3 to take a 2-1 advantage into the singles matches. Van Heest and Sam Cychosz earned an early break and picked up a second one late in the match, winning (8-4) against Gavin Smith and Justin Loeffler at No. 3. The Cardinals leveled the match at 1-1 with an (8-6) decision at No. 1 that saw Mike Lunka and Bobby Steingraeber edge Sundstrom and Zinnecker. Trailing 7-6 at No. 2, Mozena and Foley rallied to win the final three games, nailing down a (9-7) victory over Sam Puff and Andrew Rangitsch that put the Norse in front by a 2-1 count.
Wins by Bellio (No. 5) and Zinnecker (No. 6) gave Luther a 4-1 edge with the top four spots all battling out close first sets. Bellio won his match (6-2, 6-2) against Smith, improving to 2-0 on the day, while Zinnecker only dropped a single game in a (6-1, 6-0) decision over Loeffler. St. Mary’s picked up its second point of the day when Steingraeber held off Gendron for a (6-4, 6-4) win at No. 2 singles. Foley, making his singles debut for the Norse, followed up with a victory at No. 4, holding on in a second set tie-breaker to beat Rangitsch (6-3, 7-6 (8-6) and clinch the win for Luther. Mozena rallied back after going down a break in his opening set, finally pulling away for a (6-4, 6-2) win against Lunka at No. 1 and Ayer fought off Puff (6-4, 7-5) in two close sets at No. 3 to finish out the match.
Luther, now 2-0 on the young season, returns to action on Friday, Feb. 10 with a pair of matches at the Elkhorn Athletic Club in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. The Norse will open against a UW-Whitewater squad that is ranked No. 8 in the Central Region and No. 21 in the national poll. Luther will also face perennially strong squads from UW-Oshkosh and Wheaton. The Oshkosh match will take place on Feb. 10 with the Wheaton match to follow on Feb. 11.
Questions? Contact David Blanchard, post_to_results, 563-387-1586