Nikseresht becomes first Ram to make state tennis

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The Glenwood boys tennis team placed fifth at the Class 1A district tennis meet and Grant Nikseresht became the first boys tennis player from Glenwood to qualify for the Iowa Boys State Tennis Meet last Tuesday at Red Oak.

Atlantic was the team champion with 19 points. Clarinda was third with 16 and Red Oak third with 11 team points.

Seeded No. 2 at districts, Nikseresht defeated Red Oak’s Craig White 7-5, 6-3 and Atlantic’s Bryant Johnson 6-0, 6-2 in the opening rounds.

Facing No. 3 seed Justin Buzzard of Shenandoah in the semifinals, Nikseresht lost the opening set 6-2, before bouncing back to win the next two, 6-2, 6-2 in a marathon 2 hour, 42 minute match.

Waiting for Nikseresht in the finals was three-time Hawkeye 10 champion Jeff Williams of Clarinda. Nikseresht promptly stunned Williams with a 6-2 opening set win. Williams bounced back to win the next two, 6-3, 6-3 to win the district title.

The top two place winners at districts advance to the state championship in Waterloo May 29. Grant Stivers and Dillon Stane scored three team points for the Rams, knocking off Red Oak’s Brandon Updegrove and Dylan Anderson in straight sets before falling in the quarterfinals to eventual double champions, Taylor Petersen and Derek Tjepkes of Atlantic. Their points combined with Nikseresht’s runner up points allowed the Rams to take fifth place.