FREMONT, Neb. – Midland University completed a clean sweep through the Great Plains Athletic Conference men’s tennis season on Saturday to win its first regular-season championship in league history. The Warriors beat (RV) Hasting 6-3 in making history.
“The men were ready for this match. It has been a long time since someone in our conference has been able to beat Hastings,” Coach John Steinke. “We came out with a lot of energy.”
The Warriors won two of the three doubles matches to set the tone for the day. Dylan Hatanelas and Jack Fryer captured a 9-7 victory in No. 2 doubles and Ryan Vitera, and Enrique Lopez won 8-5 in No. 3 doubles.
Midland then won the first three singles matches to secure the conference title. Salvador Almeida won 6-3, 4-6 (15-13) in No. 1 singles, followed by Fryer’s 6-4, 6-2 win at No. 2 and Jaime Olarieta won 6-4, 6-4 at No. 3. Lopez added a 6-3, 6-3 victory at No. 6 singles.
“All of the guys came up big today’ this was an incredible team win,” said Steinke, who is in his second year at the Warriors head coach. “What they have accomplished this year is very special. We are excited about this next weekend. We know it won’t be easy.”
The Warriors wrapped up its road season on Thursday with an 8-1 victory over Mount Marty in Yankton, South Dakota. Midland lost just one game in sweeping the doubles as Almeida and Olarieta, Hatanelas and Fryer, and Lopez and Vitera claimed victories. Fryer, Christian Slupe, Alex Zoller, Dan Klausmeier and Steven Deere won singles matches
Midland hosts the GPAC Postseason Tournament beginning at 9 a.m. Friday on the Fremont High School tennis courts. As regular season champions, the Warriors have a first-round bye and will face the winner of the Morningside-Concordia contest at 2 p.m. The championship match is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday.
The Warriors went 5-0 in conference play and 13-7 overall. They showed improvement over last year when they were fifth in the league with a 1-4 record (9-13 overall).
Midland won the GPAC Postseason Tournament in 2001, the conference’s first year.