Comeback bid falls short

By Jake Knabel on Apr. 11, 2018 in Women's Tennis

SEWARD, Neb. – Despite coming up empty in doubles play, the Concordia University women’s tennis team nearly rallied for victory while hosting Midland on the Bulldog Tennis Courts on Wednesday evening (April 11). Concordia ultimately dropped a nailbiter, 5-4, to the visiting Warriors in a match that came down to No. 6 singles.

Fourth-year head coach Joel Reckewey’s squad slipped to 9-7 overall and to 0-2 in conference play. Both GPAC defeats have come by a 5-4 score.

“I was proud of the way the girls competed tonight,” Reckewey said. “We did not have a great start in doubles. It’s tough to bounce back when you are down 3-0 in a match but we didn’t give up. We found a way to pull off some victories, to make a close match and have an opportunity to win at the end.”

The battle of No. 1’s was a good one between senior Annie Horn and Midland’s Gretchen Cooper. Horn fought back from down a set and then outlasted Cooper in the 10-point tiebreaker (4-6, 6-3, 10-6). Horn never trailed in the tiebreaker but had to stave off a late rally from her Warrior counterpart. Horn has now won nine GPAC regular-season singles matches in a row.

The match ultimately came down to the outcome at No. 6 singles. All eyes were on Concordia’s Kayla Smock and Midland’s Danielle Martin with the team score tied, 4-4. Smock wound up just a couple of plays short of forcing a tiebreaker. Martin won, 6-0, 7-5.

Also in singles action, Katelinn Wurm (No. 3) and Alison Ebel (No. 5) were victorious in tiebreakers. Wurm won, 2-6, 6-4, 15-13, while Ebel claimed victory, 6-4, 3-6, 10-7.

“We are playing well at those individual spots,” Reckewey said. “Alison is a senior and she’s got a lot of experience and Annie is finding her stride. We just need to get to a point where we’re all playing well on the same day.”

The Bulldogs suffered narrow doubles defeats at No. 2 (9-7) and No. 3 (8-6). Concordia employed Claudia Miranda Viera and Wurm at No. 2 and Ebel and Smock at No. 3.

The Bulldogs are scheduled to have a week off before returning to action next Wednesday (April 18) for another home match. College of Saint Mary (6-5, 3-0 GPAC) will serve as the opponent for a match set to get started at 5:30 p.m. CT. The Flames have opened up conference play with wins over Mount Marty, Northwestern and Doane.