DECORAH — A B Flight doubles title for Trey Melvin (junior, Lawrence, Kan., Free State HS) and Nick Scott (sophomore, Fort Benton, Mont., Great Falls Central Catholic HS) highlighted Saturday for the Central College men’s tennis team at the American Rivers Conference Individual Championships.
Scott and Melvin became the third Dutch tandem to win the B Flight doubles crown in the last four years. They were 8-1 winners in the semifinals against Jacob Balfany and Hayden Retzlaff (Nebraska Wesleyan University) before securing the crown with an 8-5 win against Aidan Hunter and Nate Withers (Luther College).
“It feels like they’ve been playing for years,” coach Ryun Ferrell said. “They did not need me at all, I only talked to them once. They meshed together well and stuck to the plan. It was a brilliant performance by them.”
Brad DiLeo (senior, Iowa City, West HS) and Ayden Fletcher (freshman, Waukee) finished third in the B Flight doubles field. They closed out a suspended match from Friday night against Nico Martinez Biali and JP Rosaldo (Luther) 8-7 (7-5). Then they lost 8-2 against Hunter and Withers before beating Balfany and Retzlaff 8-7 (7-1) for third.
“That first match against Martinez Biali was a pretty intense affair,” Ferrell said. “They won it in the breaker but it was a good battle the whole time.
“They came out of the blocks fast in the third-place match but they held off their opponents. They played tough even though they were running on fumes.”
Fletcher went 2-1 in the B Flight singles, bowing out in the quarterfinals.
Kevin Lopez (freshman, Storm Lake) also went 2-1, playing in the C Flight singles bracket. He won his first match 6-0, 6-1 against Sam Timp of Coe College and his second 8-7 (7-0) against Nolan Teubal of Loras College. Peter Heryla of Luther College bounced him 8-4 in the quarterfinals.
“Kevin was a nice surprise,” Ferrell said. “He played very well today. He’s got a pretty good game and amazing speed.”
A select few players will go to Saint Peter, Minnesota next Friday-Saturday for the USTA/ITA Division III Midwest Regional.