BVU Men’s Tennis team loses home opener against Martin Luther


Emily Kenny

Tanner Frost, Sports Editor

The Buena Vista University (BVU) Men’s Tennis team (4-6) hosted their first home meet of the season this past Wednesday, as the Martin Luther Knights (0-4) from New Ulm, Minnesota, took on the Beavers.

BVU started off the season slow, losing their first three matchups by a combined score of 25-2 in all matches. The squad then split a pair of games grabbing their first win against Mount Marty in the process, and rattling off a three game win streak.

Meanwhile, Martin Luther started off their 2018 campaign winless, dropping matchups with Saint Mary’s, Simpson College, and two others.

On a brisk March day, both teams braved the cold to claim a win that could spark positive momentum heading into conference play in the coming month of April.

However, the visiting team capitalized on a back and forth meet, resulting in a victory for the Knights.

The meet began with the doubles matchups, where the #1 double teams faced off against each other on court one.

BVU junior John Foss and sophomore Aaron Pluym, claimed the first win for BVU on the day, defeating Martin Luther’s #1 team of Justin Steinke and Ethan Schultz in a 2-0 decision. The home team continued their good start, as the #2 doubles team of Jake Thompson and Aaron Mumm also won a close matchup, 2-0.

In the final doubles match of the day, Martin Luther’s #3 team of Josh Schroder and Caleb Koelpin helped the Knights gain momentum as they defeated BVU’s Zach Henderson and Cole Goslar, 2-0.

Heading into the singles matches, BVU lead Martin Luther 2-1.

In the #1 matchup, Foss dominated, winning 6-1 against Steinke. His record increased to 5-1 overall in singles. This win is his 6th out of his last 7 matches.

Martin Luther’s Joel Koelpin came back against Pluym in the #2 match, shortening BVU’s lead to just 3-2.

BVU’s #3 Jake Thompson added another point to the Beavers’ total, winning in two sets. With only three matches left in the meet, Buena Vista needed just one more win in the last three matches to secure victory.

Except Martin Luther had other plans.

The Knights began to surge in the #4 matchup, as Joel Koelpin of Martin Luther defeated Zach Henderson. In the #5 singles match, Josh Schroeder took down BV’s Aaron Mumm in a close 6-4 final set, tying up the meet at 4-4.

The final singles match of Caleb Koelpin and Andrew Boell of BVU would decide the meet. Koelpin finished on top in two sets, defeating Boell.

Martin Luther came back from being down 2-1 at the end of the doubles matches, to claiming their first victory of the year against BVU, 5-4 in heartbreaking fashion.

Though the loss hurts the morale of the Beavers, they must pick themselves up as the team faces a long string of IIAC match ups beginning on April 14th at Wartburg.

Freshman Zach Henderson is proud of the improvements the team has made during the start of the season and is looking forward to taking on conference rivals.

“I feel like we have improved a lot from the fall season because of our work ethic in the off season,” says Henderson. “Our next step as we enter conference play is to work on communication and encouragement with each other during each match.”

#1 singles player Foss, knows the team’s strengths well, and is impressed by the team’s play in certain areas.

“We’ve been doing well in our doubles matches. We’re making sure we are always approaching the net well, and hitting solid volleys when they come our way,”said Foss.

Buena Vista’s next match will take place on April 10th, at home as the Beavers host Iowa Central Community College. They will then take on four IIAC team in a row, beginning with Wartburg and Luther.