Hopes for top-two GPAC seed remain alive with victory at Hastings

By Jacob Knabel on Apr. 13, 2022 in Men's Tennis

HASTINGS, Neb. – Conference play is nearly in the books for a Concordia University Men’s Tennis team still hopeful of grabbing a top-two seed in the GPAC and earning a bye in the conference tournament. In Wednesday (April 13)’s indoor match at Hastings, the Bulldogs recovered from a deficit after doubles and won, 5-2. Concordia rebounded by winning five singles matches, including three decided in three sets. Eduardo Rojas triumphed in both doubles and singles.

Head Coach Cam Long’s squad played without a key part of the lineup and had the momentum going against it early on. However, the Bulldogs managed to turn the tide and get to 4-1 in the GPAC (7-7 overall).

“We didn’t play our best today. Hastings challenged us both mentally and physically,” Long said. “They really frustrated us for the first part of the match, but it was a good team win. We were short-handed after some injuries, but we fought through it and got the victory.”

It’s been rare for Concordia to be on the losing side of doubles play this season, but that was the case on Wednesday when the Broncos edged the Bulldogs, 6-4, at both the Nos. 1 and 2 spots. At the No. 3 position, the Concordia duo of Rojas and Shawn Springer emerged with a 6-2 win. The Bulldogs mixed things up in doubles with Eduardo Luzzi sidelined.

With four singles matches still on the court, the Bulldogs trailed by a 2-1 team score. The next three singles contests to go final – Nos. 4, 1 and 5 – all went Concordia’s way, clinching the team win. It wasn’t easy. At the top of the lineup, No. 1 Bulldog Isaac Howes won (3-6, 6-4, 6-1) after dropping the first set and Juan Rabellino held off his opponent in three sets at No. 5. The only real breather was at No. 4, where Joe Bindl breezed, 6-0, 6-0. Additional singles wins for the Bulldogs came from Rojas at No. 3 (6-4, 6-1) and Manuel Rodriguez (6-7, 6-3, 1-0) at No. 6. Rodriguez is 5-0 on the season in singles play.

Hastings (3-8, 1-3 GPAC) was looking for its second win of the conference season. The Broncos still figure to qualify for the six-team conference tournament. As for Concordia, it would have already finished the GPAC regular season if not for Tuesday’s match at Doane not being interrupted by severe weather. It will be finished on a date to be determined.

Next up on the schedule is next Tuesday (April 19)’s makeup nonconference match at Kansas Wesleyan University. First serve is slated for 10 a.m. CT from Salina Central High School in Salina, Kan. The suspended match at Doane may also end up being completed next week. The most updated schedule can be found HERE.