OWATONNA, Minn. (2/18/18)---Concordia split its two conference road matches on the weekend but it was the huge streak-stopping win over St. Thomas on Saturday that has given the Cobbers a big boost of confidence heading into spring break.
Concordia edged the Tommies 5-4 at the Baseline Tennis Center on the University of Minnesota campus on Saturday night and then fell 8-1 to Carleton in Owatonna on Sunday afternoon.
The win for the Cobbers over St. Thomas on Saturday marked time since the 2006 season that CC had beaten UST. The victory ended a 12-match losing streak against the Tommies. The win is even more important for the program's chances to get back to the playoffs since St. Thomas advanced to the MIAC playoff championship tournament last year after finishing third in the final league standings with a 7-2 record.
"We battled for every point against St. Thomas," said head coach Joseph Murrey. "I was very happy with the way everyone on the team stayed with every point and didn't let the late-match pressure alter their games."
David Schneck earned the match-winning victory at No.5 singles for the Cobbers on Saturday. He proved Murrey's "battle" point by claiming a win in the super-set tie-breaker. Schneck dropped the first set in a tie-breaker but then stormed back to take the second set 6-1. He used that second-set momentum to breeze to a 10-1 win in the super-set.
The win was one of a team-best three victories for Schneck on the weekend. He also teamed with sophomore Erik Porter to claim an 8-3 win at No.2 doubles against the Tommies. The duo repeated their performance on Sunday as they came away with the only victory. They were able to collect an 8-5 win against Carleton's No.2 doubles team.
The win by Schneck and Porter was one of two doubles victories against St. Thomas. The No.1 singles duo of Isaac Toivonen and David Youngs rolled to an 8-2 win to give Concordia a 2-1 lead heading into singles play.
Toivonen and Porter then set the stage for Schneck's match-winning singles victory. Both players won in straight sets. Toivonen earned a 6-1, 7-5 victory at No.1 singles and then Porter breezed to a 6-4, 6-0 win at No.2 singles.
The Cobbers could have had two more singles but lost bouts at No.4 singles and No.6 singles in the super-set tie-breaker. Jared Saue lost the first set at No.6 singles 6-3 but rallied for a 6-2 victory to force the super-set which he lost 12-10. If that match was dramatic then Matthew Engum's battle at No.4 singles could have made for an epic mini-series. Engum got out to a 1-0 lead by recording a 6-4 win in set No.1. He then lost 6-2 in the second set to set the stage for the longest super-set tie-breaker by a Cobber in recent memory. Engum and his opponent battled through 38 points before a winner could be determined. Engum wound up losing the super-set by an incredible 20-18 score.
Saue and Porter also had a chance to get wins on Sunday against the Knights but both players lost in the super-set. Saue decided that he liked playing extra points in a super-set so much that he wanted to duplicate the feat on Sunday. Saue fell 6-7 in the opening set but then bounced back to win 6-3 to even the match at a set apiece. Saue finally fell 11-9 in the super-set.
Porter won the first set in his match at No.2 singles. He then fell in the second set before losing 10-8 in the super-set.
SENIOR SUCCESS: David Schneck is enjoying the experience of his final collegiate tennis season. He leads the Cobbers in team points earned. Schneck is currently tied for the team lead in singles wins and is a perfect 5-0 in doubles play with partner Erik Porter. Schneck is 3-2 in singles play this year after winning only two singles bouts in all of last season. Schneck and Porter have also bettered their win total from 2017 when they went 4-9.
WHAT'S NEXT: Concordia will look to continue their improvement when they head south to Florida for five matches during their annual spring break training trip. The Cobbers will start their southern stint by playing Hanover (Ind.) on Monday, Feb. 26 at the USTA Tennis Center in Orlando.
Concordia-M'head 5, St. Thomas 4
Feb 17, 2018 at Minneapolis, Minn. (Baseline Tennis Center)
1. Isaac Toivonen (CC) def. Ben Wait (UST) 6-1, 7-5
2. Erik Porter (CC) def. Sterling Sibley (UST) 6-4, 6-0
3. Nick Vossen (UST) def. David Youngs (CC) 7-6 (7-5), 6-0
4. Erich Nuss (UST) def. Matthew Engum (CC) 4-6, 6-2, 20-18
5. David Schneck (CC) def. James Paradisin (UST) 6-7 (3-7), 6-1, 10-1
6. Zach LeVene (UST) def. Jared Saue (CC) 6-3, 2-6, 12-10
1. Isaac Toivonen/David Youngs (CC) def. Ben Wait/Erich Nuss (UST) 8-2
2. Erik Porter/David Schneck (CC) def. Sterling Sibley/Nick Vossen (UST) 8-3
3. Zach LeVene/Jordan Schenck (UST) def. Matthew Engum/Ben Swanson (CC) 8-5