LINCOLN, Neb. – Year one of Concordia University tennis under head coach Joel Reckewey got underway Friday afternoon at the Abbott Sports Complex in Lincoln, Neb. Up against solid non-conference competition, both the Bulldog men and women fell at the hands of Southwestern College (M – 7-2, W – 7-2) on Friday and then Grand View University (M – , W – 5-4) on Saturday.
While both squads went 0-2 on the weekend, Reckewey says his team competed better than what the scores indicated.
“We faced very talented opponents on both the men’s and women’s sides,” Reckewey said. “Both had very deep lineups with lots of experience. I thought we competed really well. I don’t think the overall scores reflected the way we played. A lot of matches were closer than what the team scores reflected.”
On the women’s side, Reckewey inserted the freshman duo of Alison Ebel and Annie Horn at the top of the singles lineup. Horn captured one of the team’s two singles wins over Grand View. She defeated Angela Nims, 6-1, 6-0, at the No. 2 spot.
While Ebel went 0-2 at No. 1, Reckewey liked what he saw from the Billings, Mont., native, who got her first taste of collegiate tennis as part of a revamped lineup.
“Alison handled herself really well,” Reckewey said. “It’s tough spot for a freshman to play at No. 1 singles right away. She lost the first set 6-1 against Southwestern, but she didn’t role over. She showed a lot of fight. We had a lot of new players show character. Down the road I think they’re going to surprise some people.”
At No. 2 doubles, Horn teamed with senior Grace Hollenbeck for a perfect 2-0 weekend. Reckewey says the two have gelled quickly as a combo.
An additional highlight for the women was senior Elyse Kohl’s win at No. 5 singles over Jerlecia Thompson. Kohl dropped the first set but rallied back for the victory (3-6, 7-5, 10-2).
Meanwhile, the men broke in a new No. 1 singles player on Saturday with Daniel Apacible holding down the top spot versus Grand View. Reckewey also used four-year soccer player Brendan Buchanan in the No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles positions.
Senior Jonathan Douglas turned in the best results, winning 8-3 at No. 4 singles after teaming with Apacible on an 8-3 triumph at No. 3 doubles in the 7-2 loss to Southwestern.
Morelia, Mexico, natives Patricio Esquivel and Javier Moreno are again key components of the Bulldog lineup. Esquivel fell just short of claiming a win at No. 3 singles in his bout with Southwestern’s Devon Leone.
The Bulldog women’s squad returns to action on Friday, Feb. 27 when it hosts College of Saint Mary. Both the men and women will take the courts inside the Walz Fieldhouse on Feb. 28. Tabor College will serve as the opponent for both matches.