Men’s tennis bumps Concordia-Moorhead, falls to North Dakota


After an unexpected blizzard hit the Sioux Falls area, the Augustana men’s tennis team had to rearrange its schedule. Instead, it went north to Fargo for matches against Concordia-Moorhead and University of North Dakota on Sunday, April 15.

image12 (5)The team faced Concordia-Moorhead first, winning two of three doubles matches and dominating the singles competition, earning an 8-1 victory over the Cobbers.

Sophomores Charlie Adkins and Logan Barr won 8-1 at No. 1 doubles while juniors Joe Sawatzke and Austin VanDerWeide earned a 9-7 victory at No. 3 doubles.

Charlie Adkins defeated his opponent 6-2, 6-4 at No. 1 singles while Zach Adkins won his matches 6-1, 6-2 at No. 2 singles. Barr earned 6-2, 6-4 win at No. 3 singles and Sawatzke and VanDerWeide won their matches at No. 4 and No. 5 singles, 6-3, 6-2, respectively. North Knewtson topped it off with a 6-2, 6-0 win over his opponent.

The team then geared up to face North Dakota later in the afternoon, coming out with a tough 9-0 loss to their D-I opponents. Charlie Adkins and Logan Barr dropped a 7-5 loss at No. 1 doubles while Zach Adkins and Frank Kelly were defeated 6-4 at No. 2 doubles. Joe Sawatzke and Austin VanDerWeide were also defeated 7-6 at No. 3 doubles. 

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Joe Sawatzke swats the ball back to his opponent. On April 15, Sawatzke suffered two losses in single play and one loss in doubles with Austin VanDerWeide against the Fighting Hawks in Fargo, ND.

“In our first match against Concordia I think we played with good focus and intensity and won a match we were supposed to win,” said freshman North Knewtson. “In our second match we played a tough D-I UND team. I thought we played with really good energy and played pretty well, we just weren’t able to execute as well as they did.”

Head coach Marc Kurtz said the team played extremely well in doubles and probably the best doubles it has played all year. 

“All three of the doubles matches were very tight,” Kurtz said. “We very easily could have got that doubles point but they are a really good team, you know, and we weren’t able to get it. Our guys competed hard and fought, [they] played well. I thought it was a good weekend for us.”

The team has two games remaining in the regular season, one being the highly-anticipated match against South Dakota State, which will take place this Friday, April 20 in Sioux Falls. The team defeated the D-I Jackrabbits last year 5-4 and are hoping to repeat its victory again this year.  

“We’re just hoping that we can come out with that same sort of focus and intensity that we had the other day against North Dakota,” said Kurtz. “Hopefully [we can] do that again against SDSU and start strong and finish strong against them.”

The team will close out its season with a match against Iowa Central the next day on Saturday, April 21. With an overall record of 6-8, the team hopes to end on a high note. 

“It will be fun to have our last couple matches at home here in Sioux Falls,” said Knewtson. “Obviously you hope to win every match and I think we can win if we execute well and play with good energy.”

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