The Knox College men’s tennis team ended a seven-game losing streak with a solid 9-0 victory over non-conference opponent Eureka College on Thursday, April 5. It was the first win at home for the Prairie Fire, who had come up empty in their previous two opportunities.
Senior Erik Hane, freshman Walter Palmer, junior David Ham and junior Shaun Mulani all prevented their opponent from winning a single game in their individual matches, while freshman Karolis Ruzgas was victorious 6-1, 6-0 and junior Mike Carr earned his first win of the season with a 6-0, 7-5 performance.
Knox’s number one doubles team of Hane and Palmer as well as the number three doubles team of Ham and sophomore Caleb Thompson won 8-0. Ruzgas and Mulani posted an 8-2 victory in number two doubles.
The Prairie Fire (4-10, 1-3 MWC) will try to use the momentum when they resume play on Friday April 12 in a Midwest Conference match at Lake Forest College. They return home the next day to take on Grinnell College at 3 p.m.
Track and field
The Knox College women’s track team scored 34 points and finished fifth out of seven teams, while the men’s team tallied 85 points to place fourth out of six teams on Friday, April 5 at the Ashford University Spring Classic.
Junior Joe Puntoriero was the top performer for the Prairie Fire men. He won the 200 meter run in a time of 22.66, topping Monmouth’s Eric Brown by one hundredth of a second. Puntoriero also placed fifth in the long jump, and ran a leg for both the Prairie Fire’s 4×100 and 4×400 meter relay teams. Each of the teams placed fourth in the field.
Sophomore Gabe Moreno was also impressive for Knox, winning the 5K race and placing second in the 1500 meter run.
Fellow sophomore Matt Brongo placed third in the 800 meters, and Knox also received third place scores from junior Sean Choate in the 5K and senior Kevin Box in the 3000 meter steeplechase.
For the women senior Emma Swanson and freshman Esmeralda Alvarez both finished second in their respective races. Swanson was the runner-up in the 400 meter hurdles and Alvarez in the 5K.
Alvarez, senior Brenna DeGan and senior Sara Koehnke were second, third and fourth respectively in the 5000 meter run.
The Prairie Fire will travel next to Macomb for the Lee Calhoun Invitational at Western Illinois University on April 13 and 14.