Competition stiffens as senior day arrives on Wednesday

By Jacob Knabel on Apr. 19, 2021 in Men's Tennis

SEWARD, Neb. – Based on the official GPAC ratings, Concordia University Men’s Tennis has yet to face its two biggest challenges of the GPAC regular season. The stretch run begins on Wednesday when the Bulldogs will host Doane for senior day on Wednesday. First serve is set for 4:30 p.m. CT from the Bulldog Tennis Courts. Concordia continues to carry an unbeaten conference mark.

Match Info

Concordia (8-4, 4-0) vs. Doane (7-7, 1-0)
Wednesday, April 21 | 4:30 p.m.
Seward, Neb. | Bulldog Tennis Courts

By the numbers

·        Head Coach David DeSimone’s squad stayed unbeaten in conference play by claiming a 6-1 win at Northwestern over the weekend. So far this season, the Bulldogs have capitalized on playing the teams rated below them in the official GPAC rankings. Concordia has defeated Morningside, 4-3, Hastings, 6-1, Mount Marty, 7-0, and Northwestern, 6-1. With three teams still sporting unblemished records in the GPAC, the conference title remains up for grabs. Those teams are Concordia (4-0), Midland (4-0) and Doane (1-0).

·        The Bulldogs are vying for the first GPAC championship in program history. Prior to the formation of the GPAC in 2000, Concordia won conference titles in 1954 and in 1990. The ’54 team was inducted into the Concordia Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009. In the GPAC era, the highest conference regular season place finish for Bulldog Men’s Tennis has been third. Concordia has reached the GPAC tournament semifinals eight times, but has not broken through to reach the championship match.

·        Through four GPAC matches, the Bulldogs have gone a combined 20-4 in singles matches and 9-3 in doubles. The lineup depth shows in the results with Concordia owning singles marks of 7-5 at No. 3, 8-3 at No. 4, 10-1 at No. 5 and 7-4 at No. 6 this season. Four Bulldogs are 3-0 or better in GPAC singles matches: Joe Bindl (4-0), Isaac Howes (4-0), Luke Zoller (4-0) and Jeremiah Berryman (3-0). Bindl was named the GPAC Player of the Week on April 7.

·        The seniors who will be honored on Wednesday are Luke Zoller (Lenexa, Kan.) and Octavio Velazquez (Round Lake Beach, Ill.). Zoller is in his fifth year in the program. He took advantage of the extra year of eligibility that was granted after the 2020 campaign was cut short. Zoller has won 28 singles matches in his career. During Zoller’s time as a Bulldog, the program has an overall record of 42-41.

·        Doane shared the GPAC regular season title in 2019 and then fell to Midland in the GPAC tournament final. The current Tiger team has been on pause since a 6-1 loss to McPherson College (Kan.) on March 28. If all goes as scheduled, Doane will play five conference matches from April 21-27. The only conference match the Tigers have played so far resulted in a 7-0 win over Northwestern.

Looking ahead
Concordia will finish the regular season at Midland on Feb. 27 when they hope to have an opportunity to win the GPAC outright. The GPAC tournament will be held April 30 – May 1 at Fremont High School.