Bulldogs earn share of first conference title in program history

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

FREMONT, Neb. – It was a historic day on Tuesday (April 27) for Concordia University Women’s Tennis. With her victory at No. 1 singles, Sofia Morales clinched the team victory for the Bulldogs – and a share of the GPAC regular season title. Concordia defeated Midland, 4-3, in Fremont, Neb., and claimed the first conference title in program history. The Bulldogs won four of six singles decisions.

Head Coach David DeSimone’s squad shares the conference regular season title with Doane and Morningside. All three teams went 6-1 in GPAC play. Concordia will enter the postseason at 9-6 overall.

“We started off slow in doubles and dropped the point,” DeSimone said. “We picked up the energy in singles and won the first four singles matches off the court. Sofia, Claudia (Miranda Viera), Ansley (Gates) and Luisa (Esquivel) played some great matches today.”

DeSimone was named the 2019 GPAC Women’s Tennis Coach of the Year while leading Concordia to a school record 15 overall wins. However, that particular squad placed third in the GPAC regular season. The 2021 Bulldogs have had some close calls (such as 4-3 wins over Morningside and College of Saint Mary), but they routinely find ways to win. They were forced to come from behind on Tuesday after falling at the Nos. 2 and 3 doubles positions.

With a championship on the line, Morales (No. 1), Miranda Viera (No. 2), Gates (No. 5) and Esquivel (No. 6) came through in the clutch. In continuing a theme throughout this season, Concordia dominated at the back of the lineup while showcasing its depth. Gates won in a 6-2, 6-1, decision and Esquivel topped Sophie Mollring, 6-2, 6-0. As part of her fine freshman season, Morales won at the top of the lineup and moved to 5-2 this season in GPAC singles matches.

The Bulldogs did manage to take the No. 1 doubles clash thanks to the efforts of Morales and Miranda Viera, who won, 6-1. Midland defeated Concordia by scores of 6-4 at No. 2 and 6-3 at No. 3 doubles.

With the tiebreakers factored in, the Bulldogs have garnered the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament. Concordia will play sixth-seeded Hastings at 11:30 a.m. CT on Friday in the GPAC quarterfinals. The winner will play again on Friday versus second-seeded Morningside.