The start of the Augustana men’s tennis season included a historic 5-4 win against South Dakota State University.
It was the team’s first win against a Division I school and a first in playing the Jackrabbits.
“I don’t think anyone saw it coming, including me,” junior Zach Adkins said.
Adkins and his brother, Charlie, started off the match with an 8-4 win in doubles. Towards the end of the match, freshman Logan Barr saved a match point in doubles and singles, winning both.
“In doubles, my partner [sophomore] Joe Sawatzke faced two match points,” Barr said. “If we would have lost either one of those two points, we would have lost the match and eventually the dual against SDSU. Our team kept fighting even when it looked like it was over.”
Then, as junior Mark Desigegler took to the court in singles with the teams tied, Adkins said he could feel the hype building.
“It came down to Mark playing No. 6 singles in the last match and after every point everyone was just going insane. … [it was probably the] most energized we’ve ever been,” Adkins said.
With rising optimism, the team faced off against long time competitor Gustavus Adolphus—a team ranked in the top-20 nationally in Division III. Getting trounced in a 0-9 loss, Gustavus marked the Augustana’s men first defeat of the season, bringing their record to 4-1.
“One of our team goals was to beat a Division I school, which we did and it was the first time the Augustana men’s team has ever done so,” Barr said. “The way our team looks right now, I think we could have the best record we have had in a long time, in about 20 years.”
Head coach Marc Krutz is also optimistic the remainder of the season. And as for having no seniors on the team, “we’re still young,” Krutz said. “But we’re already doing some good things. On the whole I’m pleased with our freshmen’s performance.”
On Friday, the Vikings compete with Morningside before taking Division I University of North Dakota this weekend.“But I think we could do it,” Adkins said. “Everyone just has to play their best.”