South St. Paul, Minn. / South St. Paul
Despite playing with shin splints all season long, junior Luke Palmquist (South St. Paul, Minn.) has battled through the pain and been a difference-maker throughout the hot start for the Bethel men's tennis team. Last week, Palmquist helped the Royals edge St. Thomas with a dramatic three-set win to remain unbeaten in singles play in 2014. For his performance, Palmquist was named the MIAC Men's Tennis Athlete-of-the-Week.
Bethel only had one match on the schedule last week, but it was a big one, as the team scored a narrow 5-4 victory over the Tommies. It was the Royals' first win over St. Thomas since 2006. Palmquist played in the Royals' No. 1 doubles tandem and lost a close 8-5 decision, but he more than made up for it with a clutch singles win. The Bethe junior rallied after losing the first set to claim a 5-7, 6-0, 10-5, victory at No. 4 singles. Palmquist is now a perfect 3-0 in singles play, and he has a 2-3 doubles record in 2014.
Thanks to last week's success, the Royals improved to 4-1 overall this season and are now 1-1 in conference play. Palmquist and company will have a big MIAC test this week when they take on Carleton Friday at Lifetime Fitness in Lakeville, Minn., at 5:30 p.m. Bethel will then be off for just over a week before facing defending conference champ Gustavus on March 8.