FARGO, N.D. (2/18/17)---The Cobbers, and head coach Joseph Murrey, patiently waited for the first tangible sign that the early-season improvement was starting a road to success.
On Saturday Concordia was rewarded for their hard work as they swept all three doubles bouts en route to a 6-3 win over St. John's.
The victory is the first of the year for the Cobbers and the first collegiate coaching victory for Murrey who took over control of both programs in the summer.
Concordia had showed signs of their improvement from last season in the first three matches but were never able to get over the hump and get a mark in the win column. That all changed against the Johnnies as CC ground out close win after close win. The three doubles matches were settled by a combined total of nine games and three singles matches went into the super-set tie-breaker.
The one area where the Cobbers had struggled in the early portion of their schedule was in doubles play. CC was 2-7 in double play in the first three matches of the year.
"We really focused on getting better as doubles groups throughout the last week and it really paid off," commented Murrey. "I am really proud of the way the guys stayed together as partners in the really tough points."
The Cobber No.2 doubles team of Erik Porter and David Schneck continued to work well together. The tandem had one of the two doubles wins in the first three matches of the year and proved they are ready to step up in 2017. The duo won 9-7 as they played well in the last games of the match.
Junior Isaac Toivonen and freshman David Youngs won their first match as a pair as they came away with an 8-5 win at No.1 doubles.
Seniors Matthew Engum and Jesse Schneeberger finish off the doubles sweep with the most lopsided match of the afternoon. They won 8-4 at No.3 doubles and are now 2-1 as a team since being put together in the second match of the season.
Toivonen continued his stellar singles play. He won 6-2, 6-7 (6), 11-9 to remain unbeaten on the year. He is now a perfect 4-0 and has won two of his four matches in the super-set tie-breaker.
"I have been extremely happy with Isaac's consistency," added Murrey. "He has been battling on every point and gets tougher and tougher as the match goes on."
Engum and Schneeberger completed their unbeaten afternoon as they also claimed straight set wins in singles play. Engum earned a 6-4, 7-6 (4) win at No.5 singles and Schneeberger posted a 6-4, 7-5 win at No.6 singles.
STREAK SNAPPERS: Concordia's win over St. John's marked the first time since 2011. CC had lost five straight to the Johnnies by a combined total of 38-7. The doubles sweep also marked the first time that Concordia has swept all three doubles bouts since the 2008 season when they pulled the feat against Hamline.
THE YEAR OF THE ENGUM: Matthew Engum entered 2017 with a grand total of two singles wins in his college career. He has already surpassed that total as he is now 3-1 on the year. His only loss on the year came in a super-set tie-breaker.
WHAT'S NEXT: Concordia will have little time to celebrate their first victory of the season. CC will head back onto the court on Sunday, Feb. 19 at 9:30 a.m. against St. Thomas. The Tommies are 2-0 on the year and 1-0 in MIAC play.
Concordia-Moorhead 6, Saint John's University 3
Feb 18, 2017 at Fargo, N.D. (Courts Plus)
1. Isaac Toivonen (CC) def. Tim Larson (SJU) 6-2, 6-7 (6-8), 11-9
2. Ryan Meger (SJU) def. David Youngs (CC) 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 10-8
3. Hunter Krebsbach (SJU) def. David Schneck (CC) 7-5, 6-2
4. Jonah Punnoose (SJU) def. Erik Porter (CC) 6-3, 6-7 (3-7), 10-4
5. Matthew Engum (CC) def. Jess Hansen (SJU) 6-4, 7-6 (7-4)
6. Jesse Schneeberger (CC) def. Tom Prittinen (SJU) 6-4, 7-5
1. Isaac Toivonen/David Youngs (CC) def. Tim Larson/Jonah Punnoose (SJU) 8-5
2. Erik Porter/David Schneck (CC) def. Jess Hansen/Ryan Meger (SJU) 9-7
3. Matthew Engum/Jesse Schneeberger (CC) def. Hunter Krebsbach/Ben McKimm (SJU) 8-4