McNish claims title; two teammates reach finals of GPAC Invite

By Jacob Knabel on Sep. 17, 2018 in Men's Tennis

FREMONT, Neb. – Three men and three women representing the Concordia University tennis teams made their way to championship singles matches as part of the GPAC Invite staged at Fremont High School in Fremont, Neb., this past hot and sultry Friday and Saturday (Sept. 14-15). The event provided an early look at where the Bulldogs stand amongst their conference competition.

The bulk of the 2018-19 season will take place this coming spring for Concordia tennis squads coached by Nikita Kostikov and Javier Moreno. The Bulldog women’s team officially opened up the new year on Sept. 8 with a 5-4 win over Central College (Iowa).

The women have already debuted an impactful new arrival at the top of their lineup. A transfer from NCAA Division I Alcorn State University (Miss.), senior Marlene Maier got the campaign started on Sept. 8 with a singles victory at the No. 1 position. She continued an impressive early season run by advancing to the title match in Flight A, a bracket featuring many of the conference’s top players. Maier won three matches before being defeated in the championship by Hastings star Kelsey Brown (6-2, 1-0, retire), the tournament’s top seed.

Five other Bulldogs also reached championship bouts. Tommy McNish claimed the title in Flight C while Ansley Gates (Flight C), Isaac Howes (Flight B), Alex Kaldahl (Flight C) and Kayla Smock (Flight B) turned in runner-up finishes in their respective brackets. McNish defeated Kaldahl in the men’s Flight C championship.

The GPAC Invite also included three flights of doubles brackets for both men and women. In the women’s Flight A, Maier and Kirsten Wagner advanced to the semifinals after toppling their opponents from Northwestern in the quarterfinals. In men’s Flight A action, the duo of Jeremiah Berryman and Luke Zoller made it to the quarterfinals. Doubles teams of Joseph Bindl and Jack Kitson and Josh Miller and Octavio Velazquez both claimed two victories.

Only one date remains on the fall slate for the Concordia tennis programs. Both squads will be in Baldwin City, Kan., on Saturday, Oct. 6. The men and women will go up against Tabor College (Kan.) and Baker University (Kan.).