Luther College Chips

Men’s tennis wins over Loras, falls to Coe

Brook Norwood (‘20) returns the ball in a singles match.

Brook Norwood (‘20) returns the ball in a singles match.

Martin Donovan (‘20) | Chips

Martin Donovan (‘20) | Chips

Brook Norwood (‘20) returns the ball in a singles match.

Martin Donovan, Staff Writer

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The Luther Men’s Tennis team defeated Loras College 8-1 in their first official home match of the season on April 17, bringing the Norse to 5-0 in the IIAC and 17-4 overall.

This was also Luther’s first outdoor match since the team travelled to Florida over spring break. After the Loras match, Jake Smith (‘19) indicated that playing outside was a noticeable transition from playing in the Sports and Recreation Center

“The biggest difference for us is that we are used to playing indoors all season,” Smith said. “[The outdoor] courts are extremely slow compared to the SRC, which is so fast. The ball comes so slow in these outdoor courts, so in the SRC you definitely have to be more ready. That difference can throw a lot of players off.”

Besides the difference in courts, Brian Murman (‘19) added that the outdoor play has additional factors that are absent indoors.

“Indoors there are a lot less factors,” Murman said. “Outdoor you have the wind, you have the sun, you have the temperature. It affects how you play, but it also affects how your opponent plays. The better player will find a way to get past all those hurdles and play through it, and that’s what we are usually able to do.”

Head Coach Adam Strand (‘04) expressed his contentment with the Men’s Tennis team, as Luther put together two new doubles pairs last minute due to scheduling conflicts.

“I thought Anders [Jensen (‘18)] and Cole [Schneider (‘21)], the number one doubles for us, really did a good job,” Strand said. “It’s actually the first time those two played together, just because we had a couple of guys who had some class conflicts. I thought our number three pair, Grant Morton (‘21) and Sakchham Karki (‘21), another pair that we partnered up for the first time, also played pretty tough.”

Despite this change, the new double pairs Jensen and Schneider won their match 8-3, and Karki and Morton won 8-1. Smith and Ryan Ortega (‘21) also won their respective matches, defeating Loras’ number two doubles pair 8-3.

Furthermore, Luther won five of their six singles matches; with Schneider posting a (6-1, 6-4) victory, Jensen defeating Loras’ number three singles player (6-0, 6-0), and Murman winning (6-2, 6-3).

Directly after the match the Luther Men’s Tennis team shifted its focus to their meet against Coe College on Saturday, April 21.

“[Coe] will be one of the top teams that we’ll play all year, just like they are every year,” Strand said. “Last year we played them twice and they got us both times, but we pushed them and played pretty well. I think our guys have a lot of confidence and I think they are looking forward to the opportunity on Saturday.”

Smith echoed this sentiment but remained optimistic.   

“Everyone is pretty excited,” Smith said. “Coe is our rival [and] they have got a number on us a couple of times. We haven’t beat them in a couple of years.”

Luther lost at home to the number eight regionally ranked Coe 6-3, giving the Norse their first conference loss of the season.

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