Tennis

Iowa high school tennis: Dowling Catholic’s Daniel Lu, A-P’s Cameron Luhring win boys’ singles titles

Iowa high school tennis: Dowling Catholic's Daniel Lu, A-P's Cameron Luhring win boys' singles titles

A year full of tennis dominance ended in championship glory for Dowling Catholic’s Daniel Lu.

The Maroons’ standout won the Class 2A boys’ individual title Saturday at Veterans Memorial Tennis Center in Cedar Rapids. Lu defeated Ankeny Centennial’s Will Blevins in the title match (6-4, 6-3) after toppling Cedar Rapids Washington’s Grayson Zylstra in the semifinals (6-1, 6-0) earlier in the day.

After watching other seeded players struggle all around him, Lu — 2A’s No. 2 overall seed — could’ve easily been on upset alert. Top-seeded Will Ecklund (Waukee) lost to Blevins in the other semifinal. No. 3 seed Jake Dolphin (Pleasant Valley) went down Friday in the first round. No. 4 seed Eli Young (Iowa City West) also stumbled Friday against Blevins.

Lu wasn’t going to join the party. He needed less than two hours to dispatch Zylstra while Blevins and Ecklund went through a grueling semifinal battle on the other court — something Lu used to his advantage in the title bout.

Blevins had a nice start en route to a 4-3 lead in the first set, but Lu closed strong with the final three points. That momentum spilled into the second set, where Lu grabbed a 4-0 lead and never looked back. Even once Blevins made a push to get with 5-3, Lu finished off an incredible individual season with a win on his 10th match point.

There are strong individual performances. Then there’s what Aplington-Parkersburg’s Cameron Luhring did Saturday.

The Falcons standout and No. 1 overall seed cruised to the Class 1A boys’ singles title over Pella’s Lucas Heap (6-0, 6-0) at Byrnes Park Tennis Center in Waterloo. Luhring didn’t allow a single point at the state tournament.

After breezing by North Polk’s Ethan Moon and LeMars’ Kaden Wingert in Friday’s first and second round, Luhring got No. 4 seed Jeff Miller (St. Albert) in the semifinals. The match was over in a blink of an eye.

Chalk held up in the other 1A semifinal, with No. 2-seeded Heap beating No. 3 seed Ben Craven (Boone) 6-2, 6-2. Luhring needed one more win to finish this epic year. This one came just as easily as any. Overall, Luhring didn’t face a game point in either the semifinal or championship round. his largest deficit during Saturday’s final was 15-30.

On the doubles side, state titles went to the No. 1 seeds. The Waukee tandem of Kaden Taylor and Quinn Monson toppled the Iowa City West duo of Mukundan Kasturirangan and Luka Chackalackal, 6-3, 6-3, at Veteran Memorial Tennis Center in Cedar Rapids.

In 1A, Cedar Rapids Xavier’s Brady Horstmann and Matthew Schmit won the doubles championship over Pella’s Jack Edwards and Vaughn Thompson, 3-6, 6-1, 6-0, at Byrnes Park Tennis Center in Waterloo.

After a couple of high-effort wins in the second round and semifinal, Waukee’s winning duo had no trouble in the championship match. Xavier’s tandem, meanwhile, dropped its first set of the state tournament to open the final bout, but Horstmann and Schmit bounced back in emphatic fashion.

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