ORLANDO, Fla. (3/2/20)—Concordia opened play on their spring training trip in the Sunshine State as they took on a pair of strong non-conference opponents.
North Central (Ill.) 7 Concordia 2
Freshman Cole Gillespie picked up the lone singles win for the Concordia in a 7-2 defeat to North Central on a sunny afternoon outside of Orlando.
After dropping the first set 6-2 the Thief River Falls product fought back to win the second set 6-3. Gillespie then edged his opponent 10-8 in the deciding super tie-breaker to get the win. Gillespie has four singles wins on the year at the No. spot.
Senior David Youngs also fought in a 3-set battle but came up on the wrong side of the result. After winning the first set 6-4 Youngs dropped the second set 6-1. He was unable to gain back the momentum in the tie-breaker and lost 10-4.
On the doubles court, the team of Erik Porter and Jared Saue continued their successful season with a convincing 8-4 win at the No.1 spot. The duo now has six wins on the year and is 6-3. The No.3 duo of Eli Simonson and Cole Gillespie fought hard but came up just short and dropped an 8-5 decision.
Ohio Northern 6 Concordia 3
Concordia competed for wins up and down the lineup on Monday night under the lights in urban Orlando in the second match on the opening day of Florida. Unfortunately, only a handful of the close matches turned into wins and the Cobbers dropped a 6-3 contest to Ohio Northern.
The Cobbers came out swinging in doubles, competing in all three matches. The roommate duo of Erik Porter and David Youngs teamed up to snag an 8-1 win at No.1 doubles. It was the first time the two had played doubles since the fall season of 2018.
Concordia The Cobbers debuted two new doubles teams at the #2 and #3 spots. Jared Saue and Cole Gillespie fought hard at the No.2 spot but dropped the pro-set in a competitive 8-3 match. Carter Steffes and Eli Simonson took the court at No.3 doubles and despite Steffes' big serves and Simonson's aggressive play at the net, the two dropped the contest 8-5.
In singles action there was quality tennis throughout the lineup.
Saue picked up his first singles win of spring break at the No.2 spot, cruising to a 6-3, 6-2 win. The victory was the third of the year for Saue.
Youngs also picked up a straight set win at No.3 singles. He bested his opponent 6-4, 7-5. Youngs has won five of his last six matches, has a team-best seven victories and is now 7-4 on the year.
Porter took part in one of the more exciting matches of the night at No.1 singles. After dropping the first set 6-2, he roared back to win the second set 6-3. The win was even more dramatic as he broke strings on two of his racquets which forced him to use a teammate's racquet. His opponent ended up getting the best of Porter in the deciding tiebreaker with a 10-4 win.
The two freshmen in the lineup put up strong fights in singles. Gillespie put together a strong second set comeback after dropping the first set 6-0 at No. 5 singles. His comeback came up just short as he lost the set 7-5.
Simonson made his third start of the year at No.6 singles and didn't disappoint. The Parkers Prairie native came out hot in the first set with a 6-3 win. Simonson's strong play was matched by his opponent in the second set who ended up winning the set 6-3, and the tiebreaker 10-7.
UP NEXT: Concordia will look to rebound on Tuesday afternoon when they take on NAIA squad Midway (Ky.) at 3 p.m. The Eagles are 1-5 on the year.