On Saturday, April 2 the Northwestern men’s tennis team (8-5, 0-2 GPAC) traveled down to Seward, Nebraska to compete in a conference match against the Concordia Bulldogs (6-6, 3-0 GPAC). The Raiders fell to the undefeated conference team 1-6.
The doubles point went the way of the Bulldogs after close matches. Freshman Collin Harmelink and Senior Juan Mackrey lost a very close match to the No. 2 spot 4-6.
“We knew the doubles point was going to be big. We had a lot of games go to deuce but just could not finish them off,” head coach Monte Tilgner said.
Junior Brian VandenBerg lost a close match in the No. 1 singles spot 4-6, 3-6. Mackery had a long first set, eventually falling 6-7 (5-7) and then 5-7. Harmelink earned a win in the No. 4 spot as he dominated the first set 6-1 and then finished the win off 7-6 (7-3).
“The singles matches were also close, but we only picked up one win on the day. Collin is starting to play better, so it was great to see him pick up a win during the match. The conference is so improved this year and we just need to keep battling,” coach Tilgner said.
The Raiders continued to compete in conference play April 5 against the Morningside Mustangs. The windy conditions were not ideal for the match that day. However, the Raiders took two of the three doubles matches to win the doubles point.
“It was the windiest conditions that I’ve ever seen anyone play in. We got the doubles point, and then after that kind of struggled,” said coach Tilgner.
NW has fallen to the three conference teams they have played. They fell in a tough match against Midland as their first conference match. The Raiders look to continue to fight as they host a home match against Doane, held in Sioux City, Iowa on Friday, April 4 at 4 p.m.