In the past week, the Loras men hosted a doubleheader, taking on Central and Simpson. The day began with Central, a powerhouse team of the Iowa Conference, downing the Duhawks 9-0. Central took all three doubles matches, but junior Jason Derby and sophomore Kevin Murphy put up a solid fight, eventually dropping the match 8-5.
Singles play showed the same results for the Duhawks as they dropped each singles match to the tough Central squad. First-year Riley Michel at No. 4 singles put up the best fight against his opponent, winning the first set, but dropped the second set and came up just short in the tiebreaker.
The Duhawks, despite a tough loss, didn’t let the result waver them as they went on to face Simpson later in the day. Their competitive spirit showed as the men easily topped Simpson, winning 8-1.
The men got off to a hot start with a win in each of the doubles spots. The big wins in doubles were very much thanks to the No. 1 and No. 3 doubles teams, who despite a late start battled back and won each of their matches. No. 2 doubles made easy work of their opponents, taking them down 8-1.
The singles matches looked just as impressive for the Duhawks. They made easy work of their opponents in each win, and had the entire competition against Simpson won by the time No. 5 singles was playing.
This win for the Duhawks marks a very important milestone, as it is the first time the men’s team has qualified for the Iowa Conference Tournament since 2007.
The turnaround of this tennis team is all thanks to the new head coach this season, Chad Fenwick. He has led both the men’s and women’s team to some big milestones.
“It’s a big step for us. We’re making big improvements and I think we’ll really be an IIAC Championship-caliber team with some more work,” Fenwick said.
After facing Coe on Tuesday, the men look to take on Wartburg on Saturday in another Iowa Conference game, followed by the IIAC Tournament in early May.
The Loras women’s tennis team wrapped up their regular season with a win against Wisconsin Lutheran. The Duhawks pulled out the W, 8-1, giving them momentum going into the Iowa Conference Tournament.
The Duhawks started their day off with a sweep in doubles play with all three pairs pulling together an impressive performance against their opponent.
The momentum continued in singles play, as the Duhawks took five of six singles matches. Sophomore Sam Pietruszynski put together the dominant performance of the day, defeating her opponent 6-0, 6-1. By the time junior Jessica Dickhut wrapped up her match with a win in straight sets, the Duhawks had already clinched the win, and went on to continue their dominant performance until the day was over.
With an overall record of 7-12, the Loras women will now turn their attention to postseason play as they face Central in the first round of the Iowa Conference Tournament on Friday.