WAVERLY, Iowa & GALESBURG, Ill. - The Coe College men's tennis team earned two split squad victories on Wednesday, as they improved to 27-0 on the year and won the Iowa Conference Championship outright.
Coe opened the day with an 8-1 victory over Knox. Coe led 2-1 after doubles play before sweeping singles. At number one doubles, junior Jeff Damisch (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Kennedy) and junior Michael Woolf (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) defeated Karl Ruzgas and Walter Palmer 8-2. Damisch also earned a 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 win over Ruzgas at number one singles. Woolf picked up a 6-3, 6-2 win over David Ham at number three singles.
At number three doubles, freshman Zack Decker (Wyoming, Minn./Forest Lake) and freshman Mark Kroll (Castle Rock, Colo./Castle View) defeated Dustin Loch and Pragyaditya Mukerjee 8-2. Decker then won his 12th-straight singles match at number three, as he defeated Jonathan Ng 7-5, 6-1. Kroll also picked up a singles win, downing Mukerjee 6-1, 6-0 at number six.
Coe also earned a singles win from freshman Geoffrey Brochet (France) at number two. Brochet defeated Palmer 6-2, 6-4 for his 16th-straight singles victory. The last victory for the Kohawks came at number five, as junior Daken Starkenburg (Ankeny, Iowa/Ankeny) downed Dustin Loch 6-1, 6-0.
The Kohawks held a 3-0 lead after doubles play against Wartburg in the Iowa Conference finale. At number one doubles, sophomore Noah Sprinkel (Minneapolis, Minn./South) and senior Curtis Newman (Ankeny, Iowa/Ankeny) downed Eric Hilpert and Blayne Willadsen 8-2. It was the 10th-straight doubles victory for Sprinkel and Newman. Sprinkel earned a 6-3, 7-5 win over Yusuf Chowdhry at number one singles, while Newman defeated Hilpert 6-0, 6-0 at number three singles. Newman has won nine of his last 10 singles matches.
At number two doubles, freshmen Yasushi Inoue (Japan) and Ryan Hickman (Hutchinson, Kan./Hutchinson) defeated Chowdhry and Brian Rasmussen 8-3. Inoue then won his 16th-straight singles match, as he defeated Rasmussen 6-4, 6-3 at number two. At number five singles, Hickman won his 18th-straight singles match, defeating Dayton Stevens 6-0, 6-0.
Coe's final doubles victory came at number three, as senior Sean Stokstad (Ramstein, Germany/Ramstein) and junior Michael Janssen (Oshkosh, Wis./Lourdes) downed Stevens and Josh Trueblood 8-2. Janssen also picked up a 6-2, 6-2 win over Trueblood at number six singles.
The victory over Wartburg gave Coe its second-straight Iowa Conference title and eighth overall. The Kohawks return to action for three matches Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Coe opens the three-day road trip with a 4 p.m. match Friday at Wheaton.