Springer/Van Haaren pull out doubles win in team loss to Warriors

By Jacob Knabel on Apr. 15, 2023 in Men's Tennis

FREMONT, Neb. – It remains a tall task for Concordia University Men’s Tennis and the rest of the GPAC to wrestle away Midland’s stranglehold on the top of the conference standings. The Warriors extended their GPAC regular season win streak to 16 on Saturday (April 15) while upending the Bulldogs, 7-0, at the Fremont, Neb., YMCA. Concordia’s lone win came at No. 2 doubles, though it wasn’t enough to avoid a blanking in the team score.

Head Coach Cam Long’s squad put together a 2-1 week that included wins over Grand View University (Iowa) and Mount Marty. The Bulldogs will enter their regular season finale at 10-8 overall (2-3 GPAC).

Concordia was not far from taking the upper hand in doubles on Saturday. Midland took care of business at the No. 3 spot, 6-2, but the Nos. 1 and 2 matches turned into battles. At No. 2, Shawn Springer and Thomas Van Haaren combined on a 7-5 victory. The doubles point then came down to No. 1, which featured a tiebreaker (won 8-6 by the Warriors). Hugo Fuentes and Juan Rabellino gave Midland’s top pair all it could handle.

Overall, the match was much closer than the final team score indicated. In singles, Eduardo Rojas very nearly pulled it out at No. 3 before falling, 5-7, 6-1, 1-0 (7-5). Concordia also dropped set tiebreakers at the Nos. 1 and 5 positions. Beyond Rojas, the Bulldog singles lineup included Fuentes at No. 1, Santiago Abadia at No. 2, Manuel Rodriguez at No. 4, Van Haaren at No. 5 and Springer at No. 6.

National qualifiers three years running, the Warriors (12-7, 3-0 GPAC) have won each of their first three conference matches this season by 7-0 scores. Midland is one of three conference teams still without a GPAC loss in 2023.

The regular season is scheduled to conclude next Saturday (April 22) with a visit to Northwestern (10-7, 3-2 GPAC). First serve is set for 11 a.m. CT in Orange City, Iowa. A chance to place inside the top four of the GPAC regular season standings may be on the line, pending other conference results over the next week.