Storm continue fast start, win 2 of 3 on weekend trip

Storm continue fast start, win 2 of 3 on weekend trip

The Simpson men's tennis team continued its winning ways in 2016 by winning 2 of 3 contests in Illinois last weekend. The Storm split on Saturday, losing to Webster 6-3 and beating Wisconsin Lutheran 6-3 before closing the weekend Sunday with a 7-2 win over Marian (Wis.).

At 9-5, the Storm are enjoying their most successful season under fifth-year head coach TJ Cox and have the most wins by a Simpson team since 2005.

Playing without their regular No. 2 Pierce Carey, the Storm got solid efforts out of Peter Rietgraf (2-1 at No. 2 singles), Geoff Converse (2-1 at No. 3 singles) and Adam Wieser (2-1 at No. 4 singles). Rietgraf and Zach Kusick went 3-0 at No. 1 doubles and the team of Converse and Wieser went 2-1 at No. 2.

Rietgraf continues his ascent up Simpson's all-time wins list, moving into fifth place with 38 career victories. He is just one behind David Venables and Cory Veen (tied for third) and three shy of tying Sam Skalland (second). Matt Price owns the school record with 53 wins from 1998-2001.

Simpson started strong against Webster, winning 2 of 3 in doubles play before coming up short in singles play. Kusick and Rietgraf won 8-5 at No. 1 doubles and Zach Nelson and Aaron Smith won 8-5 at No. 3. Converse was the only singles winner, beating Carlos Gonzalez 3-6, 6-3, 10-8 at No. 3.

The Storm swept doubles action against Wisconsin Lutheran before cruising to the 6-3 win. Rietgraf beat Zach Birner 6-2, 7-5 at No. 2 singles, Wieser topped John Lewinski 6-2, 6-1 at No. 4 and Zach Nelson won by forfeit at No. 6.

Simpson rode another solid doubles performance against Marian on Sunday, taking 2 of 3. Simpson nearly swept singles play, losing on a super tiebreaker at No. 5. Kusick (No. 1), Rietgraf (No. 2), Converse (No. 3), Wieser (No. 4) and Aaron Smith (No. 6) all tallied wins in singles play.

Up next: Simpson is off until April 2, when it hosts Wartburg and Northwestern (Minn.) in the home opener.