FREMONT, Neb. – The dream of earning a trip to the national tournament remains alive for the Concordia University women’s tennis team. The program will make its first appearance in the GPAC postseason championship match for the first time since 2011. The third-seeded Bulldogs blazed their way to the final by defeating sixth-seeded Midland, 5-0, and then second-seeded College of Saint Mary, 5-3, in Fremont, Neb., on Friday (April 26).
With the semifinal victory over the Flames, the squad coached by David DeSimone and Javier Moreno avenged a 6-3 loss to College of Saint Mary in the conference regular season finale. At 15-5 overall, the 2019 Bulldogs have established a new program standard for most wins in a season.
“Our women played really well against Midland this morning,” DeSimone said. “We got a great start going up 2-1 after doubles against College of Saint Mary. We were missing that in the regular season. There were a lot of close and competitive matches in singles. We battled very well. Everyone supported each other and we had a lot of positive energy. We’re all excited for the opportunity to continue our season tomorrow.”
In the regular season meeting with the Flames (9-7), Concordia gave itself little hope when it dropped all three doubles matches. This time around, the Bulldogs came out focused and picked up doubles wins at No. 1 from senior Marlene Maier and sophomore Claudia Miranda Viera, 8-5, and at No. 2 from junior Kirsten Wagner and sophomore Allison Marshall, 8-3.
In singles, Maier moved her personal record to 17-2 this season by toppling Christina Ternet, 6-2, 6-2, at the No. 1 spot. Concordia went on to clinch the team victory by capturing singles wins from Wagner at No. 3 and from junior Angela Bell at No. 6.
In the quarterfinals, the Bulldogs breezed past the Warriors (3-14) by sweeping them away in doubles. The back part of the lineup then ended the match when Marshall at No. 5 and sophomore Ansley Gates at No. 6 prevailed over their counterparts.
Now it’s on to the championship match. An automatic berth in the national championships and a trip to Mobile, Ala., will be on the line on Saturday when Concordia meets top seed and GPAC regular season champion Hastings (12-4) at 1 p.m. CT at the Fremont YMCA. In the regular season matchup, the Broncos nipped the Bulldogs, 5-4. Concordia is aiming for its first ever GPAC championship in women’s tennis.