LINCOLN, Neb. – GPAC rival Nebraska Wesleyan dominated singles play as both the Prairie Wolf men and women defeated their Concordia counterparts by identical 7-2 scores on Tuesday evening in Lincoln. However, the Bulldogs did get positive outputs from Cole Egger at No. 2 singles on the men’s side and from their women’s No. 3 doubles pair of Mikaela Barz and Liz Kjellsen.
The Concordia women now sit at 7-4 overall and 2-2 in GPAC play. The Bulldog men are 4-6 overall and 1-2 in GPAC matches.
Egger captured the only singles win of the night for the Concordia men. The senior from Galva, Iowa, won a tightly-contested battle, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3), over Rene Torti to even up his season mark at 5-5 in singles. Bulldog head coach Sam Nelson said it may have been Egger’s best match he’s seen him play.
While many of the singles matches were one-sided in favor of Nebraska Wesleyan, the Bulldogs got a victory at No. 3 doubles thanks to the efforts of Jonathan Douglas and Joe Vanderveld and could have easily claimed wins at Nos. 1 and 2. The Prairie Wolves prevailed 8-5 at No. 1 and 8-6 at No. 2.
“Overall we had good doubles play,” Nelson said. “I felt like we were moving in the right direction. All of the matches were really close. They could have gone either way.
“J.D. and Joe won as a team (at No. 3). They are able to function well together through positive reinforcement to overcome adversity.”
On the women’s side, Nelson was pleased with how Barz and Kjellsen outlasted No. 25 Nebraska Wesleyan’s No. 3 doubles team that included No. 1 singles player Maria Mota. Barz and Kjellsen won 9-7 to improve to 6-5 overall this season and 3-1 against GPAC competition.
Junior Katelyn Koll also picked up a big win at No. 1 singles by rallying after dropping the first set. Koll modified her approach and ended up winning (4-6, 6-2, 10-4) by holding off Mota in the super tiebreaker.
“Katelyn fell down a set and then changed strategies and really turned it around,” Nelson said. “That was exactly what she needed after a tough Saturday. This will give her confidence going into the weekend.”
Koll and doubles partner Lindsea Vaudt had their four-match winning streak at No. 1 doubles snapped by Erica Dickmeyer and Katherine Ternent. The combo of Dickmeyer and Ternent took an 8-2 decision.
Nelson believes improved mental focus will lead to better team results moving forward. The Bulldogs will look to put this into practice this weekend when they travel to St. Louis, Mo. The men are set to compete in the Concordia Invitational Tournament on Friday and Saturday while the women will also be in action on both days. Check out the schedule HERE.