2021 GPAC women's tennis tournament preview

By Jacob Knabel on Apr. 28, 2021 in Women's Tennis

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University Women’s Tennis team enters the postseason fresh off earning a share of the GPAC regular season title. After tiebreakers were formulated, the Bulldogs wound up as the No. 3 seed in the upcoming conference tournament. Concordia is getting set to take on sixth-seeded Hastings in the quarterfinals on Friday. All GPAC postseason matches will be played at Fremont High School in Fremont, Neb.

GPAC Tournament

GPAC Quarterfinals
Concordia (9-6, 6-1) vs. Hastings (3-9, 3-4)
Friday, April 30 | 11:30 a.m. CT
Fremont High School | Fremont, Neb.

GPAC Semifinals
Friday, April 30 | both matches at 4:30 p.m. CT
Fremont High School | Fremont, Neb.

GPAC Championship
Saturday, May 1 | 10 a.m. CT
Fremont High School | Fremont, Neb.

By the numbers

·        Never before had the Concordia Women’s Tennis program won a conference championship. The drought ended on Tuesday when the Bulldogs defeated Midland, 4-3, in Fremont. Concordia went 6-1 in the GPAC and tied Doane and Morningside atop the league standings. In the match at Midland, the Bulldogs overcame a deficit after doubles by winning four of six singles matches. With a championship on the line, Sofia Morales (No. 1), Claudia Miranda Viera (No. 2), Ansley Gates (No. 5) and Luisa Esquivel (No. 6) came through in the clutch. Morales clinched the team victory at the top of the lineup.

·        The Bulldogs have been a force in the GPAC in Head Coach David DeSimone’s tenure that began with the 2019 season. That 2019 campaign saw Concordia break a single-season school record with 15 overall wins and advance to the GPAC tournament title match (lost 4-3 to Hastings). Marlene Maier won 17 singles matches for the ’19 team. DeSimone was named the GPAC Women’s Tennis Coach of the Year. The six GPAC wins this season are the most for the program since 2011 (6-2).

·        Concordia has dominated singles play against conference opponents. The Bulldogs are a combined 30-12 in GPAC singles matches. Four individuals recorded five or more GPAC singles wins: Miranda Viera (6-1), Esquivel (5-0), Gates (5-1) and Morales (5-2). As just a freshman, Morales has taken on the No. 1 role in the lineup. She’s 7-7 overall. Esquivel tops the team with 10 singles wins for the season.

·        Depth has been a theme this season with Concordia typically able to have its way at the back of the lineup. By singles lineup position, the Bulldogs own records of 7-8 at No. 1, 8-7 at No. 2, 4-11 at No. 3, 6-9 at No. 4, 11-4 at No. 5 and 12-3 at No. 6. Concordia is aiming to improve in doubles heading into the GPAC tournament. The Bulldogs went 12-9 in GPAC doubles matches during the regular season. The duo of Miranda Viera and Morales has been stellar having gone 6-2 when teaming up together.

The GPAC will receive one bid to the NAIA Women’s Tennis National Championships. That bid will go to the team that wins the conference tournament. The national championships will take place May 18-22 in Mobile, Ala.