Koll clinches match for Bulldogs in thrilling fashion
LINCOLN, Neb. – The 2013 Bulldog tennis season got underway Friday night and ended in thrilling fashion. It all came down to No. 1 singles where Concordia junior Katelyn Koll outlasted Bethany College’s (Kan.) Monica Chapman in a super tiebreaker to eke out a 5-4 team victory for the Bulldogs.
“For not practicing on a hard court, we adjusted quickly,” Concordia head coach Amy Harms said. “Our focus was good tonight. Our doubles teams started well and then singles-wise, they are all above where we started out last year. We played a better thinking game and started to know what we were supposed to do.”
Koll, who went 10-6 at No. 1 singles in 2012 struggled in the first set, going down 6-2. She then rallied for a 6-1 win in set No. 2 before the intense final set that would ultimately decide the match. Unaware that the team score was tied 4-4, Koll calmly won 10-6 in the final set.
“She stays really even when she plays,” Harms said. “She started out well and I think her opponent kind of figured her out a little. After Katelyn lost the first set she stayed with it. She just doesn’t get down. She fights back. She took advantage of some opportunities coming into the net, being more aggressive and keeping her serve in play.”
Concordia took a 2-1 lead after doubles with wins at Nos. 1 and 3. The Bulldog duo of senior Mikaela Barz and sophomore Liz Kjellsen rallied back from a 7-4 deficit to take a 9-7 decision at No. 3. Meanwhile, the formidable combo of Koll and senior Lindsea Vaudt dominated with an 8-1 triumph at No. 1. The pair of freshman Chelsea Haack and sophomore Grace Hollenbeck narrowly fell, 8-6, at No. 2.
Haack impressed both Harms and assistant James Ingrahm with her play at No. 2 singles in her first collegiate match. The native of Columbus, Neb., dispatched of counterpart Kara Agamaite 6-1, 6-2. The Bulldogs other win came at No. 6 singles where Kjellsen defeated Michelle Rambo 6-1, 6-4.
Bethany College, a school located in Lindsborg, Kan., went 4-9 overall last season with a 2-4 mark in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference.
The Bulldog women will be back in action at home on Friday, Feb. 15 at 6 p.m. when William Jewell College (Mo.) pays a visit to the Fieldhouse. The Concordia men’s team opens its season on Saturday at 9 a.m. against Bethany. The Swede men are ranked No. 10 in the national coaches’ poll.
8 February 2013