Midland University’s men’s tennis program captured the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) Postseason Championship on Saturday morning and are headed back to the NAIA Tennis Championships.
The Warriors, who won the regular season title, opened the tournament with a 4-0 win over Morningside College in the semifinals on Friday and then clinched their second-bid to the national tournament in three years with a 4-0 sweep of Concordia University.
Semifinals Midland 4, Morningside 0: Midland won the top two pairings in doubles play to clinch the team point. Miguel Abete and Jeremy Attrill won the matchup at No. 1s by a 6-3 score and then Luca Struffi and Tycho Janssen won No. 2s, 6-0.
In singles play, Struffi won 6-1, 6-0 at No. 3s for another Warrior point. Then Salvador Almeida blanked his counterpart at No. 5s, 6-0, 6-0. Janssen clinched the walk-off win at No. 6s with a 6-1, 6-1 win.
Championship Midland 4, Concordia 0: Playing inside the Fremont YMCA due to high winds, the Warriors dispatched the Bulldogs for the second time this week for their second GPAC title. The two met earlier in the week in the regular season finale between the top two teams and just like that meeting, Midland blanked Concordia for the victory.
The first team point came in doubles as Struffi and Janssen won 6-2 in No. 2s and Nunzio Thiel and Salvador Almeida won 6-2 at No. 3s.
In singles action, Thiel picked up a 6-1, 6-2 win at No. 2s, and then Struffi won 6-2, 6-2 at No. 3s. Almeida clinched the victory with a 6-1, 6-4 win at No. 5s. That win propelled the Warriors to their second-ever team berth to the NAIA Championships.
Midland will be one of 24 teams vying for the national championship on May 18-22 in Mobile, Alabama.
The Warrior women’s team’s tournament run ended in the semifinals, losing 4-0 to Doane Friday.
Quarterfinals Midland 4, CSM 3: The Warriors dropped the doubles points as Keyana Hastings and Sophie Mollring were the only tandem to win their match. They won at No. 3s by a score of 6-4.
In singles play, CSM took the top two pairings. Midland came back to tie the dual though with wins at No. 3, No. 5, and No. 6. In No. 3s, Grace Felder picked up the team point with a 6-1, 6-2 victory. At No. 5s, Lexie Glosser won in straight sets, 6-1 and 6-0. Jericha Fox edged her counterpart at No. 6s, winning 6-3, 6-4.
The deciding match came at No. 4s. Keyana Hastings took a 6-0 lead in the opening set before dropping set two, 4-6. With her teammates cheering her one, she battled back in the third set through heat and exhaustion to win 6-4 and send the Warriors into the semifinals.
Semifinals Doane 4, Midland 0: In the semifinals the Warriors had an uphill battle once again as Doane took the doubles point, winning all three matches. Midland tried their best to overcome the fatigue from their quarterfinals matches in the middle of the day as well as another early deficit after doubles, but couldn’t get a point from the Tigers as they fell 4-0.