Garcia Crowned IIAC Men's Tennis Individual Champion

Sep 22, 2012

DECORAH, Iowa --- Players braved cold conditions over two long days of competition as the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) crowned individual champions in men's tennis Friday-Saturday at Luther College.

Rainy weather Friday allowed for the completion of only the first round of the Flight A singles draw, meaning an individual would need to win four matches Saturday to capture the crown.

Three of the top four seeds -- No. 1 Noah Sprinkel of Coe, No. 2 Nick Garcia of Dubuque and No. 3 3 Ramesh Karki of Luther -- advanced to the semifinals. They were joined by Coe freshman Riley Galbraith, who topped teammate and defending champion Sprinkel, 8-3, in an all-Coe semifinal. Garcia topped Karki, 8-5, in the other semifinal.

In the championship match, Garcia, a senior and four-time A singles semifinalist, powered past the rookie Galbraith, 8-1. Garcia's win gave Dubuque its first top-flight IIAC champion since Jeff Benson went back-to-back in 1979 and 1980. He also became the first Flight A/No. 1 singles champion since 1998 (Spencer Cox, Central) to represent a school other than Coe or Luther.

Most of the play in Flights B & C singles took place indoors Friday, with only semifinal and placement matches on tap for Saturday in both flights.

Coe's Geoffrey Brochet took the Flight B singles title with an 8-2 win over Central's Josh Forst while Forst's teammate, Tim Kahl, received third place for the second consecutive year in a walkover against Luther's Sean Brown. The third-seeded Brochet upended Kahl, the top seed, 8-1, in the semifinals.

In Flight C singles, Wartburg's Coy Weigmann topped No. 1 seed Dylan Hogan of Simpson, 8-2, in the semifinals, then outlasted Central's David Bouska, 8-6, in the final. Buena Vista's Dillon Nevius, who fell to Bouska, 8-1, in the other semi, took out Hogan, 8-2, in the third-place match.

The same Friday rain shower that set singles back also dealt a significant blow to the proposed schedule for doubles. Originally set for later in the day Friday, nearly the entire slate was pushed to Saturday with all players needing to win at least four matches (some five in B Flight) to win the title.

In Flight A doubles, seeds held throughout as the top-seeded tandem of Noah Sprinkel and Curtis Newman of Coe, the 2011 champions, beat Luther's Ramesh Karki and Quinn Foley, 8-6, in a rematch of last year's final as the last bit of daylight escaped the Oneota Valley. Dubuque's Garcia and Demetrius Johnson took third in a walkover against Luther's Nick Mozena and James Ayer.

Alex Klaas and Daken Starkenburg of Coe defended their No. 1 seed in the Flight B doubles draw by not letting an individual opponent take more than two games from them. The duo shutout teammates Brochet and Scott Kleymann, then topped another set of Coe teammates, Mitch Schumacher and Mark Kroll, 8-2, in the final. Brochet and Kleymann finished out the Coe sweep of the medals in B doubles with a 9-8 (3) win over Central's Collin Schares and Josh Forst in the third-place match.

Three individuals -- Noah Sprinkel, Ramesh Karki and Nick Garcia -- completed the gauntlet of four singles matches and four doubles matches Saturday.