Coming off a large victory against Morningside College, four members of the men’s tennis team are heading to the ITA Central Regional Championships on Sept. 29th in Springfield, Missouri.
Zach Adkins, Charlie Adkins, Logan Barr and Joe Sawatzke will be representing the men’s team at the championship.
“It’s a big deal,” said senior Zach Adkins. “I’m super excited to play”.
The women’s team will also be represented by players Grace Goble, Berkley Darr, Kornelia Staniszewska and Taylor Jackson.
To prepare, men’s head coach Marc Kurtz said that they are trying to play sets and matches despite the recent wind.
The four men’s players also competed in the ITA tournament last year, with the Adkins and Barr earning singles victories.
“It’s all the teams in the NCAA central region,” Kurtz said. “It’s usually a big draw—the best players in the central region, singles and doubles.”
The team played its most recent competition on Sept. 10th, winning 9-0 in a match against the Morningside Mustangs in Sioux City, Iowa.
In his first match as a Viking, lone freshman North Knewtson won 6-1 and 6-2.
The doubles team, consisting of brothers Charlie and Zach Adkins, won their match 8-1.
Both other doubles teams won their matches as well. Partners Barr and Sawatzke won 8-5, while the duo of Frank Kelly and Reed Ritterbusch winning 8-2.
This was the fourth year in a row that Augustana defeated Morningside to open the season.
“It was a good result,” said Kurtz. “They’ve gotten a few games off us in the past, you know, so to win 9-0 was nice.”
Last year, the team finished with an overall record of 6-8.
“Last year we were pretty good, but we had the toughest schedule we ever had, so we actually did worse than the previous year,” Adkins said.
Kurtz noted how the more challenging the match, the better the overall team.
Kurtz also said that the team’s main goal this year is to win as many matches as possible, especially against rivals with whom they have had close matches historically, such as SDSU.
“We’re a better team now than we’ve ever been,” said Adkins, noting that none of the team had graduated from the 2016-17 season.