The Wartburg men’s tennis team was able to play their first outdoor conference game of the season Saturday in Waverly.
The team used the cooperative weather to dominate Iowa Conference foe Buena Vista (3-11, 2-3), winning 8-1.
“The guys just like being outside,” Wartburg head coach Mike Strydom said. “Tennis is an outdoor sport. It’s what we’re supposed to do. We’re much happier out here.”
The Knights (4-7, 1-1) began the day with their one and only loss of the day in a doubles match with Wartburg’s Eric Hilpert and Koo Miyake falling to BV’s Kyle Shade and Chris Habermann, 8-6.
Brandon Hornback and Luke Benna paired up to take down the Beavers’ Justin Buzzard and Kyle Weeden, 8-4.
In the last doubles match, Wartburg’s Dayton Stevens and Coy Wiegmann beat Drake Swanson and John Bieber, 8-1.
“Guys played really well, they came out strong,” Strydom said. “We’ve had a couple of losing games in the last few weeks so it was important to win this as our first conference match back.”
In the singles matches, no Knight lost a set.
Hilpert defeated Habermann 6-4, 6-2. Following suit, Miyake beat Shade 6-1, 6-2.
Stevens, Hornback and Benna all came out with a winning first set of 6-0, then put their opponents away in the second set.
Wiegmann rounded it off for Wartburg with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Bieber.
“I think we just finally reached our full potential as a team,” Strydom said. “In the past it’s been one or two guys firing. Today it was all six guys firing.”
The Knights are now 4-7 overall and 1-1 in conference play.
“I think we’re peaking at the right time. We started off a little bit slow, but we came away with the win against Cornell last week, the 5-4 win,” Strydom said. “That was a big win for us and no our first conference win.”
Wartburg has eight more matches until the Iowa Conference tournament in May, starting with Simpson and St. Ambrose in Indianola next Saturday.
Strydom has big hopes for his team, having already played league favorite Coe.
“I’m hoping we can close the season without a loss,” he said.