GRINNELL, Iowa – Spring break will be heavy on NCAA Division III opponents. A day after defeating NAIA member Baker University, the Concordia University men’s tennis team ventured to Grinnell, Iowa, to take on D-III foes Grinnell College and St. Olaf College (Minn.). The Bulldogs fell by an 8-1 final to Grinnell before rebounding with a 7-2 victory over St. Olaf.
This season the NAIA began counting the three doubles matches as one collective team point. However, NCAA D-III still awards one point for each doubles match. Second-year head coach David DeSimone’s squad is now 4-3 overall.
Concordia has won four of its last five contests as a team. In the win over St. Olaf, the Bulldogs gained a commanding advantage by taking all three doubles matchups. The duos included junior Jeremy Berryman and senior Luke Zoller at No. 1, sophomore Jack Kitson and freshman Eduardo Rojas at No. 2 and sophomores Joe Bindl and Isaac Howes at No. 3. The scores were 8-4, 8-7 and 8-5, respectively.
In singles, Concordia won four matches, courtesy of Zoller at No. 2 (6-2, retired), Rojas at No. 3 (4-6, 6-0, 6-2), Howes at No. 4 (6-4, 6-2) and freshman Juan Rabellino at No. 6 (6-4, 6-2). Berryman and Bindl manned the Nos. 2 and 5 spots, respectively. Together they helped defeat a St. Olaf team that is now 1-3 overall this season.
A strong Grinnell team was a bit too much. The Pioneers are now 7-2 overall. The only match they surrendered was at No. 2 doubles, where Kitson and Rojas managed to squeak out a victory.
Up next will be Tuesday’s match at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. First serve is set for 3 p.m. CT. The Bulldogs will also play Wednesday and Thursday of next week as part of a string of five-straight outings versus NCAA D-III squads.