Bulldogs to honor four seniors as part of regular season’s final week

By Jacob Knabel on Apr. 18, 2022 in Men's Tennis

SEWARD, Neb. – The final week of the regular season has arrived for the Concordia University Men’s Tennis team. The Bulldogs enter the week with a shot at sharing the GPAC regular season title, an accomplishment that would require Concordia to defeat Doane on Thursday and then have Doane upset Midland on Sunday. Head Coach Cam Long’s squad picked up a 5-2 win last week at Hastings and improved to 4-1 in conference play (7-7 overall). This week’s slate includes two nonconference matches and the completion of the suspended match at Doane.

On Wednesday night, the Bulldogs will honor four seniors prior to first serve against Nebraska Wesleyan. The senior group includes Jeremiah Berryman (fifth year), Joe Bindl, Isaac Howes and Jack Kitson.

This Week

Tuesday, April 19 at Kansas Wesleyan (7-6), 10 a.m. - CANCELED (as of April 18)

Wednesday, April 20 vs. Nebraska Wesleyan (3-7), 4 p.m.
--Senior Night

Thursday, April 21 at Doane (8-5, 3-0 GPAC), 5:30 p.m.
--Completion of suspended match from April 12

By the numbers

·        At 4-1 in league play, Concordia will finish no worse than third place in the final GPAC regular season standings. A top-two placement comes with the reward of earning a bye in the first round of the six-team conference tournament. The Bulldogs hope to return to the GPAC tournament final for the second year in a row. Last season’s squad earned the No. 2 seed and wound up falling to Midland in the championship match. Concordia’s four GPAC wins this season have come over Morningside, 4-3, Mount Marty, 6-1, Northwestern, 6-1, and Hastings, 5-2.

·        The senior class played a big part in leading the 2021 team to the GPAC championship match, a feat that had not previously been accomplished in program history. The quartet of Berryman, Bindl, Howes and Kitson has combined for 104 career singles wins in dual matches. Howes leads the group with 34 career wins while followed by Berryman (31), Bindl (22) and Kitson (17). From a team perspective, the Bulldogs have gone a combined 33-27 overall and 12-5 in GPAC matches since the start of the 2019 season.

·        In the suspended match at Doane (interrupted due to severe weather on April 12), Concordia swept through competitive doubles matches before falling at the Nos. 1 and 3 singles spots. That puts the Tigers in front, 2-1, with them also up a set at Nos. 4 and 5. The next day, the Bulldogs came back from a rare deficit after doubles and won five of six singles matches at Hastings. The victors included Howes at No. 1, Eduardo Rojas at No. 3, Bindl at No. 4, Juan Rabellino at No. 5 and Manuel Rodriguez at No. 6. Concordia won three matches that went to a third set.

·        Collectively through 14 matches in 2021-22, the Bulldogs have produced records of 43-41 in singles and 24-18 in doubles. Five Concordia players own at least five singles wins: Howes (7-7), Bindl (6-7), Rodriguez (5-0), Rabellino (5-3) and Shawn Springer (5-7). In doubles, Eduardo Luzzi and Rabellino have gone 6-3 as partners. In addition, Berryman and Bindl have gone 6-5 as a doubles pair.

·        Kansas Wesleyan enters this week at 7-6 overall. The Coyotes compete as a member of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. An NCAA Division III member, Nebraska Wesleyan sports a record of 3-7 overall. The Bulldogs last played the Prairie Wolves in 2019 and came away with a 9-0 win in Lincoln. Doane is 3-0 in conference play and is getting ready to take on Mount Marty and Midland this week, in addition to completing the suspended match with Concordia.

Next week

The GPAC Tennis Championships will take place April 29-30 at Fremont High School. Concordia has secured a spot in the postseason and will be no worse than the No. 3 seed in the GPAC.