Fall Tennis Recap

Tyler Brunner, Assistant Sports Editor

As fall sports at BVU enter postseason play at the end of October, regular season action slows down here in Storm Lake. This fall, both men’s and women’s tennis teams saw success during the regular season, and before the women’s team takes the court for the American Rivers Conference individual tournament, here’s a recap of what we have seen so far.  

Men’s tennis started off their regular season with a home opener against Morningside College. The biggest standout moment from this contest was by John Foss, a senior psychology major at BVU, battling Jesus Sanz-Garcia for an hour! Foss emerged from a tie break to win the matchup 8-6. Foss ended up winning his 3-set match with another 6-4 set, backed up by his teammate, Jake Thompson, a sophomore physical education major, winning both of his sets 6-4. This would be the only positive of this contest as Morningside would snag the better end of the match, winning 7-2 in overall games. 

Then, it was off to the ARC Individual tournament, and it proved a solid performance all around. Danny Kramer did well with his own gameplay, solidifying his spot in the quarterfinals after winning a crucial tiebreaker 10-8. Kramer’s day would go downhill from there, losing straight sets 6-0 and 6-2. In doubles action, Kris Mintle and Aaron Mumm were able to win their first set 8-1 before stumbling in the second set 8-4.

Kramer and Foss teamed up and were able to advance to the next day’s semifinals match. They were able to win their first match 8-2, the second match 8-5, and ended the day with a dominant 8-1 victory. The duo’s next day was a bit tough, losing 8-4 to Coe’s Jordan Oaks and Al Clarkwilt. They had to settle for a third place game, where they ended up defeating Wartburg’s Grant Kincaid and Ben Mason 8-3. 

Coach Brett Groen spoke about his team’s performance during the season and what needs to improve for next season’s tournaments saying, “We just need to stay focused during our matches on our goals and shots and not worry about who we are playing or what needs to happen. When you start worrying internally, things get harder on the outside to concentrate, so we will focus this spring on just playing that one point out.”

Foss and Kramer continued their dominant ways into the next home contest against Iowa Central Community College. The duo drew first blood and won their match 8-6, and it was only up from there. Foss won the super tie breaker 11-9 to win his match, and Kramer nabbed his best win as a Beaver, winning 6-0 and 6-4. The Beavers would win overall 8-6, and turned around the next day to welcome Northwestern College at home for the final match of the Fall season.

Foss and Kramer did their best to fend off Northwestern, but fell 7-8 in doubles. Brenden Schlader and senior Aaron Pluym were able to bounce the team back and win 8-4 to even up the score 1-1. After losing No. 3 doubles, the Beavers found themselves down 2-1 when a rain delay drove the teams inside. This proved to help rather than hurt, as Foss was in another super tiebreaker winning it 10-7. Kramer found himself stuck as well, but was able to win both his sets in super tiebreakers 7-5 and 10-7. In the final two matches of the meet, Aaron Mumm and Kris Mintle were able to clinch the final two wins for BVU, giving them the win, ending their season with a 2-1 record.

Pluym comments, “We need to work on consistency. We can hit perfect shots at practice but when it comes to the match we tend to hit a bit off. This can also just be match jitters taking place, but if I had to say anything we need to work on, it would be consistency.”  

Women’s Tennis, on the other hand, has had an interesting year full of learning experiences. The Beavers started off their season against the Luther Norse and were unable to get a win from them. Luther started off game 1 hot with a 8-0 win and didn’t slow down from there. Luther swept games 2, 3, and 4 before the Beavers could even blink. Nicole Lange, a sophomore special education major, and Destiny Einerwold, a senior biomedical science major, tried to keep their doubles match tight, being tied at 2-2, but it wasn’t enough. Lange was the one Beaver to push the Norse to their limit, bringing her singles game to a 3rd set, but ultimately losing the tie break 10-5. The Norse ended up decimating the Beavers in this contest 9-0. 

This has continued to be the story for this struggling Beavers team, being shut out 7 times this season. The best game the Beavers have played was against Northwestern College. Emily Tapia, in No. 2 singles, was able to rattle off a win against Abby Patrick, winning her sets 6-3 and 6-1 respectively. The other two wins for the Beavers in this contest came from Wins by Forfeit. Nicole Lange, again, came close to winning her sets, forcing a tie breaker, but losing 7-5, and eventually losing her second set 6-1.

Regardless of what the stat sheet reads, Einerwold wouldn’t trade this season for the world.

“We love to compete, and we support each other in everything we do. We do not let the numbers define us because our program is just beginning,” she says.

As the American Rivers Conference Individual Tournament is just over the horizon for the Women’s Tennis team, Einerwold reflected on what the team needed to improve upon before then.

Einerwold says, “I think we have to continue to go into each match with a positive attitude. It is technically a brand new season, and everything that has happened prior does not matter anymore.”  

Einerwold is not the only hopeful individual on this team. This also includes head coach Dan Taylor. Taylor views at the individual tournament as an opportunity for his team to face players at their own skill level.

“The good news is we have seen significant improvement take place with all six players. I am excited to see how we do in this format where they are grouped with competitors that are of more equal levels of ability and experience,” he says.

Surprisingly, Coach Taylor says the biggest factor playing against the Beavers is weather.

“When we are forced inside we have way fewer courts, the days get long and drawn out, so it becomes challenging to stay positive, focused and ready to play,” he adds.

Women’s Tennis will be heading to Waterloo to compete in the ARC Individual Tournament on October 11th and 12th.