Tennis finishes second in conference

Jorge Contreras, Staff Writer

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Luther Men’s Tennis played in the 2018 Iowa Conference Automatic Qualifier Tournament on Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5. Coe College hosted the tounament in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The Norse finished second, just behind Coe College.

The loss ends the season for the Norse finishing with a record of 20-5, 7-1 in the Iowa Conference. Luther qualified for the tournament after finishing second in the IIAC.

In the semifinal, Luther defeated Central  College 5-0. In the championship match, Luther faced Coe who had previously beaten Loras College 5-0 in their semifinal match. Coe defeated the Norse 5-2 and earned the league’s automatic berth to the NCAA III National Tournament.

Nate Parsons (‘19) enjoyed playing for the Norse at Conference, but was disappointed in the second place finish.

“As far as general thoughts on the tournament, I would say that I have mixed emotions,” Parsons said. “We had a great season full of a lot of success and excitement but it always hurts to finish the season on a loss. I am mostly disappointed with the results at the Conference Tournament. Luther has gotten second place to Coe the past seven seasons or so and I think we all thought we had a really good shot at taking it this year but Coe went out and played really well against us.”

Anders Jensen (‘18), the only senior on the team, stated that although the team did not win first place, he is pleased with his years with the Norse.

“We have played in the Conference Championship each of my past four years, coming up just short in each season,” Jensen said. “Even though we did not accomplish this goal, I am satisfied with the progress that we have made as a team.  This result will be excellent motivation for every player heading into the 2018-19 season.”

Brook Norwood (‘21) mentioned that it was a rough day for the Norse and although he gave his best during the matches, in the end they were not able to beat Coe.

“It’s a long day playing two dual meets, and I definitely had a grind in the morning match, but we all had to regroup and shift our focus to the afternoon match with Coe for a chance at going to nationals,” Norwood said. “I really feel like I gave it my all out there, knowing it very well could be the last match I played this season. Coe just played some great tennis in the afternoon and ended up coming out on top.”

Jensen commented that he had a great match with his teammate Parsons. However, he hoped he would have performed better during his singles match against Coe.

“Parsons and I were very pleased with our doubles win against Coe College,” Jensen said. “I wish that I could have played better in my singles match against Coe College, but I was satisfied with my effort. I lost to a good player and left it all out there on the court in my final match.”

Parsons commented on his individual performance.

“As far as my individual performance, I was fairly satisfied,” Parson said. “I won the spots that I played in both matches over the weekend and am happy with how I was able to wrap up the season.”

Norwood will return in the fall and stated that he will be training over the summer to finally defeat Coe.

“I will definitely be playing a lot over the summer, always trying to get better for the future,” Norwood said. “It will be important for us as a team to work just as hard during the summer months so we can be ready again next year to put our best foot forward against Coe.”

Parsons has one more season ahead and aims to win conference next year.

“Next year will be my final year at Luther and we will be returning with almost the same team as we had this year,” Parsons said. “I am confident we will give ourselves a good chance to finally win conference after eight years of second place.”

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