LINCOLN, Neb. – The Bulldogs competed in the GPAC fall individual tournament on Friday and Saturday (Sept. 15&16). The team took hard courts at Woods Tennis Center in Lincoln, Neb. playing against common GPAC individuals for the first time in the 2023-24 season. Tessa Blough and Alana Lopez Pagan lost zero games in their semifinal match on the way to win the doubles B draw bracket for Concordia.
This tournament was the second competition under head coach Lisa Hart, after competing in the Bethany College Invitational on Sept. 8 and 9. Coach Hart talked about how the team played over the weekend.
“Our kids fought hard, and I was proud of their effort. Our level of play took a great step in the right direction from the last tournament to the GPAC individual tournament. I thought a few individuals stood out for us and a lot of our team played their best so far this season.”
Blough and Lopez Pagan led the way in doubles B draw with wins over Faith TenHulzen and Mackailee Longobricco (6-0) in the semifinals and over Tashlynne Badger and Kayla Marsh (6-4) in the finals.
Doubles partners Gabrielle Heiser and Alexa Richert went 3-0 in C draw, before falling in the final to Hanna Beckloff and Ainslie Robinson (6-2). The two won (6-2) over Sarah Day and Maria Shortenhaus in the round of 16 and over Sofia Hurst and Cierra Schwarzkopf (6-3) in the quarterfinals. Teya Badger and Mia Golka won (6-1) over Amanda Skinner and Pamela Martinez in the quarterfinals before meeting their teammates Heiser and Richert in the semis. Heiser and Richert would best them (6-3) for the bid to the finals.
In C Draw, No. 2 seed Richert fell in the final once again after having a great tournament. Richert defeated Madeline Warning (8-6) and No. 3 seed Mackailee Longobricco (8-5) to reach the final.
Golka, in B draw, won over Blake McDowall (8-6) and Sofia Hurst (8-6) in the quarterfinals, before falling to the eventual draw champion. Badger, in the same draw, claimed victories over Sarah Day (8-6) and Aliya Peterson (8-4).
Blough faced Paige Wilcoxon in the quarterfinals of singles D draw, coming out with a 8-2 win. No. 1 seed Lanie Fanton bested Blough (8-2) in the semifinals giving her a 1-1 singles record. Lopez Pagan defeated No. 4 seed Macy McDonald (8-6) before falling to Graziella Dallagnol in a tight one (8-6).
Mariana Molano Canon took a victory in A draw, in a win over Jil Hellerforth 8-1 in the round of 16.
Concordia will split up on their next travel date to the NAIA Central-West ITA Regional Championship and Kansas Wesleyan Invite next week (Sept. 24-26). Both take place in Salina, Kan., and are set to start at 9 a.m. CT each day.