FREMONT, Neb. – Midland University claimed a share of the Great Plains Athletic Conference regular-season women’s tennis title on Saturday, beating (RV) Hastings 6-3. The Lady Warriors finished GPAC play with a 6-1 record, 12-8 overall.
It was the first conference championship for Midland’s women’s tennis program since 2003.
“We knew this match was going to be very challenging,” Coach John Steinke said. “Hastings has beaten the other conference schools fairly comfortably, but we knew that we had the team to pull the upset.”
Midland picked up momentum by winning two of the three doubles matches. Annie Allmand and Christina Villarreal won 8-4 in No. 2 doubles, and Carolyn Howton and Danielle Martin won 9-8 (7) in No. 3 doubles.
All four of the Lady Warriors’ victories in singles matches came down to third-set super tiebreakers. Allmand won No. 2 singles 4-6, 6-1, 10-6, Sarah Wood won No. 3 singles 6-3, 1-6 (14-12), Villarreal took No. 4 singles 4-6, 6-2 (10-4), and Howton captured No. 5 singles 6-1, 1-6, 10-5.
“Today, things went our way. Our girls have worked so hard and believe in each other,” Steinke said. “I could not be more proud of this historic season they have put together.”
Midland’s victory over Hastings was the third straight win for the Lady Warriors, who beat Morningside College 8-1 on April 24 and then sweep Mount Marty College 9-0 on Thursday.
The Lady Warriors will host the GPAC Postseason Tournament beginning at 11:30 a.m. Friday on the Fremont High School tennis courts. As conference co-champions and the No. 1 seed, Midland received a bye in the first round and will play the winner of the Doane-Concordia match in the 4:30 p.m. semifinals. The championship match is set for 10 a.m. Saturday.
“We know this weekend will be very difficult,” said Steinke, who is in his second year at Midland. “Whomever we play in the semifinal will want some revenge. We beat both Doane and Concordia 5-4. Everybody will be ready to play us.”
Midland was 2-5 in GPAC play and 9-15 overall last season. The Lady Warriors finished seventh in the league then.