Tennis dominates weekend battles

By Konnor Barth (TheLorian)

This past weekend marked the first and last chance for the men’s tennis team to compete this fall season. The location was Des Moines, the occasion was the ARC individual tournament, and the drive to win was in the air. The ARC conference tournament saw the whole team split between all 5 different brackets of play which included A-flight singles, A-flight doubles, B-flight singles, B-flight doubles, and C-flight singles. While the level of skill may have varied from flight to flight, the level of competition and intensity did not. Due to Covid-19 restrictions the tournament may have looked different from years prior, but one thing that didn’t change from years past was Loras’ ability to compete at every level.

Starting in A-flight singles on Sept. 26, Loras was represented by junior Kevin Blomquist. Blomquist opened up the tournament with a commanding 8-4 win over Central College’s top singles submission. From there, Blomquist would face three tough matches before grabbing his second win of the day in his last match against Simpson College. This would leave Blomquist with a record of 2-3 on the day and be enough to give him a 4 place finish is A-flight singles.

On the doubles side of A-flight, Loras was represented by the junior duo of Konnor Barth and Tommy Linkenheld. This duo found a big win early against the doubles team from Wartburg defeating them 8-6, but then seemed to lose their footing. They would go on to drop their next three matches against the two teams from Luther and the team from Central. They would go on to make things interesting by winning their final match against the doubles team from Nebraska Wesleyan. This win would land them in a three-way tie for 3 place, but after looking at the tiebreakers between the three teams they would officially finish in 5 place for the tournament.

B-flight is where the majority of the team ended up and with that came a lot of success. In both doubles and singles in B-flight, Loras would have 3 teams finishing in the top 4 of their respective brackets. In B-flight singles all eyes were on the sophomore Eian Coad. After his 1 place finish last year in C-flight, Coad was expected to make a run for the podium again. It seemed like Coad was destined for just that after back to back wins landed him in the semi-finals. Sadly, that would be where his run ended. Coad would go on to lose his next matches to land him just off the podium in 4 place. On the doubles side of B-flight Loras had 2 teams make a deep run in the tournament. Both the doubles teams of sophomores Riley Collins and Sean Gelski as well as the team of senior Connor Pivnicka and first year Thomas Kampmier all made it to the semi-finals. Their whole tournament would all lead to these two teams facing each other for 3 place. After a hard-fought match, the doubles team of Collins and Gelski would eventually come out on top and take home Loras’ only medal of the tournament.

While it was all men’s team on Saturday, come Sunday, Sept. 27 it was all about the woman’s side. After a long ride up to Buena Vista, Loras College seemed to make quick work of their match. Loras would go up to a quick 3-0 lead after doubles. From there, they would only go on to drop 3 singles and 5 singles to give themselves a solid 7-2 victory over Buena Vista. This victory improves their record to 2-1 on the season as they continue their quest to the top of the ARC.

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