COVID-19 Cancellations Limit BVU Tennis Seasons

COVID-19 Cancellations Limit BVU Tennis Seasons

Tanner Frost

Cancellation after postponement after delay has marred the Fall Sports seasons for BVU. 

Throughout COVID-19 riddled competition, the Beaver Men’s and Women’s Tennis teams have persevered and fought point-by-point and eventual meet-by-meet for this chance to improve before the Spring, or in some cases, their last collegiate season. 

Advantage, Buena Vista. 



The Beaver Men’s Tennis team, led by fifth-season Head Coach Brett Groen, found themselves on the receiving end of “badly served” luck. 

Although our season was shortened by the pandemic, I was still very happy with the progress of the team as a whole. We were able to get a lot of practice time in, even if we didn’t get any dual matches in. We had some breaks here and there with players being quarantined, but instead of letting us get down at the situation, we just adjusted and did more one on one type of practices,” says Groen. 

Setting a season goal of more total wins in match play than past years (seven), Groen and the squad comprised of eight Beavers set out to claim their first victory of the year in Orange City, Iowa against Northwestern. 

However, COVID-19 complications saw the potential meet get canceled before the Beavers could hit the road. 

History then repeats itself twice more, as the next two weeks and matchups for Buena Vista against Iowa Central and Morningside would suffer the same unfortunate fate. 

Cancellation and loss of competition. More importantly for Groen, the team lost the opportunity to improve. 

Despite the continuous setbacks, Groen and the team set their sights on the American Rivers Conference Individual Tournament, taking place back on September 26 in Des Moines.  

On the day, the Beavers impressed top-to-bottom.  

Without much ‘match’ time to prepare for the tournament, I was very pleased with how the team performed.  At the C singles spot, each of our athletes got to play a lot of tennis that day, and it was fun to watch them get better each time they took to the court,” says Groen. 

Freshman Sam Musman stood out at the tournament for Buena Vista, taking four victories and securing a third-place finish in the C Flight, only losing to the eventual champion from Luther. 

 Similarly, Kris Mintle also notched a big win as well on the day. Overall, Groen was impressed with his team’s effort and ability to overcome extenuating circumstances all season. 

The standout of the day was the third-place finish by freshman Sam Musman from Minnesota,” says Groen. He adds, He played steady all day long and hit some well-timed shots at big moments to get to the semi’s before his first loss, then had the strength to come back and win one more match for the team. Groen notes that the team has turned their focus over winter break to qualifying for the American Rivers Conference team tournament in the Spring. Despite missing out on the tournament by a lone win two years ago and the cancellation of the competition due to COVID-19 last Spring, the Beavers remain steadfast in their ability and consistent improvement. 



On the other hand, the BV Women’s Tennis team enjoyed an eventful and exciting Fall, notching a pair of wins in a season cut in half, and their most in a year since 2017-2018. 

At the helm for the Beaver Ladies is second-year Head Coach Dan Taylor, who felt that his squad also dealt with adversity in stride.  

There were numerous changes and challenges we dealt with this season due to COVID-19,” says Taylor. “We also endured more significant matters, such as having to shut down practices for over a week and wearing masks while on the court for a few weeks. But it was all worth it so that we could still have a season and compete. 

The Beavers began their Fall competition with a trio of canceled matchups much like their counterparts in the Men’s side. 

After matches with Concordia, Doane, and Northwestern were all called off, the Women got to compete for the first time during the Fall against conference rivals Coe on September 25. 

Despite taking an 0-9 defeat, the Women bounced back to take two points from Loras and Simpson, and just fall short to Morningside, 4-5 to begin October.  

Undeterred and improving every meet, the squad fired past Grand View in a resounding 7-2 victory over the Knights on October 10 to claim their first win of the season. 

 Points taken over the Knights came in the form of victories from Alexis McGinnis, Nicole Lange, and company, impressing their Head Coach. 

It was wonderful to see the improvement from last season to this season. The quality of our team’s play increased, as did the number of players on our roster,” says an enthusiastic Taylor. He adds, “We don’t have any Seniors, so the entire team will be returning next year. If they continue to work hard and improve they would have a shot at breaking into the top half of the conference.” 

Buena Vista would ride the wave of momentum into the next week taking on Nebraska Wesleyan in Lincoln on the road, and then picking up both their second win of the season and first American Rivers Conference victory since 2013. 

One goal we had, which we accomplished, was to get a conference win. It had been 7 seasons since this team was successful in conference duals, so to get over that hurdle was huge. I think we would have gotten a second one against Dubuque as well had we been able to play that match,” says Taylor. 

Finishing the season with an 0-9 loss to the Central Dutch, the BV Women ended match play with a record of 2-7, and began to prepare for the ARC Individual Tournanet on October 17.  

Junior Nicole Lange once again stood out for her side, taking the B Flight Singles title with 8-1, 8-3, 8-2 and 8-6 victories. As a team, the 10 Women roster snagged 10 vicotries as well. 

 Junior lexis Bruns also fought her way to the quarter-finals of the consolation brakcet, and Sophomore Deanna Schaffer earned two hard foguht victories. 

As the season concluded with yet another cancelled matchup with the Dubuque Spartans, Lange led the Beavers with an overall tally of 4-4, while Bruns finished at 3-6.