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Triton men prepare for national tennis meet

Photo by Paul DeCoursey: The Iowa Central men's tennis team will head to the national tournament this week.

PLANO, Tex. — After watching as the women’s team put together a program-first Top-10 finish at nationals, the Iowa Central men’s tennis team will compete here beginning Monday in the NJCAA Div. I Championship.

Collin College will serve as the host for the event.

Tyler claimed a second consecutive team title in 2019, as the 2020 season was canceled due to COVID-19.

Led by head coach Jerry Thor, the Tritons have battled their way through a spring season that included duals with many Iowa-based colleges, a trip to Mississippi to face some of the best junior colleges in the country and more.

“It’s been a very challenging season, both in terms of the competition we have faced and in dealing with all of the adversity,” Thor said. “But the guys saw what the ladies were able to accomplish at nationals and I think that is driving them to want to have as good a week of tennis as they can.”

Iowa Central was ranked 12th in the nation in the most recent poll, with Tyler holding the No. 1 spot followed by Cowley County, Seward, Eastern Florida State and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural. The Tritons are fourth in the Region III rankings.

Set to compete for Iowa Central will be Merlin Bolema, Juan Gomez, Nicholas Espinoza, Nico Zumba, Theo Devals and Juan Navarrete. Gomez and Zumba, Espinoza and Navarrete, and Bolema and Devals comprise the doubles teams.

The NJCAA championships run through May 21.

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