Close battles go the way of the Vikings

By Jacob Knabel on Feb. 8, 2020 in Men's Tennis


SEWARD, Neb. – While making its first home appearance of 2019-20, the Concordia University men’s tennis team competed closely with visiting Grand View University (Iowa) on Saturday (Feb. 8). While the team scoring finished at 6-1 in favor of the Vikings, the majority of the matches were nail-biters. Freshman Eduardo Rojas was a winner for the Bulldogs at the No. 4 singles spot.

Second-year head coach David DeSimone presides over a program that reached the GPAC semifinals in 2019. Concordia is 0-2 this season having also lost at NCAA Division II William Jewell College (Mo.) back in the fall.

“We didn’t win a lot of matches on the men’s side, but we competed in all of them,” DeSimone said. “They were all very close – a lot of deuce games. We had a couple super tiebreakers. Grand View is a good team and we battled and competed against them. For our first match out, it was pretty good. Everyone has things they can do better, but there was a lot of really good stuff happening out there.”

DeSimone’s singles lineup consisted of Luke Zoller at No. 1, Jeremy Berryman at No. 2, Isaac Howes at No. 3, Rojas at No. 4, Jack Kitson at No. 5 and Joe Bindl at No. 6. Zoller is the lone senior of the bunch. He completed the 60th singles match of his collegiate career on Saturday. It came down to the wire with Zoller being edged out, 6-4, 7-6, by Christian Barbien. The Bulldogs also lost at the Nos. 2 and 5 spots in tiebreakers.

A freshman from Bogota, Colombia, Rojas won by a score of 6-1, 6-2. Concordia also had a shot at winning in No. 3 doubles, where Howes and Bindl led 5-4. That match went unfinished because the Vikings had already secured the team doubles point.

Grand View competes as a member of the Heart of America Athletic Conference. The Bulldogs took on the Vikings in Des Moines in February of 2019 and came away with a 5-4 win.

Next up on the slate is a Friday, Feb. 21 matchup with Sterling College (Kan.). First serve on that date is set for 4:30 p.m. CT from Genesis Health Club in Lincoln, Neb.