KNOXVILLE - The North Polk boys’ tennis team knocked off Knoxville in the Class 1A preliminary substate round, 5-2, Saturday at Knoxville.
The victory left the Comets as one of 16 schools still alive in the 1A team postseason. The match concluded after the No. 2 doubles match, due to North Polk reaching the five victories needed to secure the win.
North Polk’s Colby Cupp and Jack Veber won the No. 2 doubles match over Tyler Wells and Gabe Mathis in straight sets, 6-1 and 6-2.
In singles play, Evan Moon won the No. 1 match over Knoxville’s Ben Wallace with a pair of 6-0 shutouts and Ethan Knight did the same to the Panthers’ Carter Short in the No. 6 match. Veber took the No. 2 match over Wells, winning a 7-3 tiebreaker to take the first set by a 7-6 score, then earning a 6-3 triumph in the second set.
Cupp swept Aiden Zoutte in the No. 5 match, 6-3 and 7-5.
North Polk will face Maharishi in the 1A substate round this Saturday at Pella for the right to advance to the state team quarterfinal.
North Polk 5, Knoxville 2
Singles: 1. Evan Moon (NP) defeated Ben Wallace (K); 6-0, 6-0. 2. Jack Veber (NP) defeated Tyler Wells (K); 7-6 (7-3), 6-3. 3. R.J. Roberts (K) defeated Alexander Pancheuko (NP); 7-6 (7-3), 6-4. 4. Gabe Mathis (K) defeated Brennan Gering (NP); 7-5, 6-4. 5. Cupp defeated Aiden Zoutte (K); 6-3, 7-5. 6. Ethan Knight (NP) defeated Carter Short (K); 6-0, 6-0.
Doubles: 2. Cupp and Veber (NP) defeated Wells and Mathis (K); 6-1, 6-2.
GRINNELL - North Polk advanced its No. 1 player to the Class 1A singles and doubles state tournament following the 1A district tournament May 9 at Grinnell.
Evan Moon was crowned the singles tournament champion at Grinnell to advance to state for the second year in a row.
After receiving a bye in the opening round, Moon blanked both Grinnell’s Eli Ivanov and Grinnell’s Stan Kutsel in straight sets, 6-0 and 6-0, to reach the finals. Moon punched his ticket to state with 6-1 and 6-2 victories over Pella’s Jordan Roozeboom in the finals.
Brennan Gering also competed in the singles tournament for North Polk. Gering lost to Albia’s Tate Padilla, 6-1 and 6-4.
In the doubles tournament, Colby Cupp and Jack Veber placed fourth for North Polk.
Cupp and Veber received a bye, then swept Chariton’s Logan Caudill and Ty Luedtke by 6-2 and 6-0 margins. Cupp and Veber fell to Pella’s Colton Edwards and Carter Briggs in the semifinals by 7-6 and 6-4 scores, with Edwards and Briggs taking a 7-5 tiebreaker in the first set.
The loss pitted Cupp and Veber against Grinnell’s Alex Farmer and Nick Jacobson in the third-place match. Farmer and Jacobson won a 7-5 tiebreaker to take the first set, 7-6, and they pulled off the sweep over Cupp and Veber with a 6-2 triumph in the second set.
Alexander Panchenko and Ethan Knight also participated in the doubles tournament. The Comet team swept Chariton’s Micah Thatcher and Aaron Sullenger by 6-4 and 6-2 scores in the first round, then fell to Knoxville’s R.J. Roberts and Ben Wallace by 6-4 and 7-5 margins.
North Polk placed third in the final team standings with 17 points. Pella won with 20 points, Knoxville took second with 19, Grinnell scored eight points to place fourth, Chariton came in fifth with seven points and Albia and Oskaloosa both scored two points.
The 1A state singles and doubles tournament takes place at the Byrnes Park Tennis Center in Waterloo, May 25 and 26.