SEWARD, Neb. – After being idle for nearly two weeks, the Concordia men’s tennis squad resumed action on Friday night and recorded a 6-3 win over visiting Simpson College (Iowa). The Bulldogs’ No. 1 doubles pair of junior Nathan Wingfield and senior Cole Egger set the tone by making quick work of their counterparts from the Storm to help Concordia (1-1) to its first win of the 2013 season.
“We came out and we were ready,” Bulldog head coach Amy Harms said. “I really liked how the guys started at doubles. We were aggressive, we were confident. I think even No. 3 doubles got down a little bit and just stayed with it and stayed confident to finish out. We were able to go into singles up 3-0, which was really nice.”
The win at No. 1 doubles trickled down to Nos. 2 and 3 where the combos of juniors Michael McCartney and Joel Kaldahl and sophomore Jonathan Douglas and junior Joe Vanderveld finished off a doubles sweep. McCartney and Kaldahl jumped out to a 7-4 advantage before taking an 8-6 decision. Meanwhile, Douglas and Vanderveld carved out an 8-4 win.
Douglas, a sophomore from Fenton, Mo., continued to shine in singles play where he breezed to a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Nathan Liston for his first win as a collegiate tennis player. Douglas, who transferred to Concordia this past fall, picked up on a tactical advantage during warm ups and used it to out-smart his opponent.
“Right in the warm up I noticed his backhand was kind of weak,” Douglas said. “So I just really continued to push after that. Once he started to favor that side I went to the forehand and opened up his backhand again. I just continued to push and push. For some reason tonight it all started to click.”
Douglas did not play tennis last season but was more than happy to find his way to Concordia for this school year. Douglas’ decision has also benefitted the Bulldogs.
“For some reason I just felt like I was called to play tennis again so I called up the coach and sent in the forms,” Douglas said. “Two months later I was back on the courts playing here. God has blessed this campus. For some reason I was really drawn to it.”
The Bulldogs clinched the team win at No. 3 singles where McCartney came out on top, 7-5, 6-3, in a tightly contested match with Peter Rietgraf. McCartney’s triumph put Concordia in front 5-2 with Nos. 5 and 6 singles still on the court.
Wingfield appeared on his way to a victory at No. 1 singles when he took the first set 6-2 and then triumphed in the first game of the second set. However, Simpson’s Alex Hook had other ideas and rallied for a 6-3 win in set No. 2 before taking the deciding set, 10-8, in exciting fashion.
Concordia’s other win came at No. 4 singles as Kaldahl continued his impressive early-season work with a workmanlike 6-1, 6-1 win over Dylan Hogan.
Simpson, a member of the NCAA Division III Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, entered Friday with a mark of 1-5.
The Bulldogs return to action next weekend for a pair of home matches. They will start with Kansas Wesleyan on Friday and then host Tabor College (Kan.) on Saturday. Both days will feature women’s and men’s doubleheaders in the Fieldhouse.