This story first appeared in the spring 2018 issue of the Concordian, the official magazine of Concordia University Wisconsin.
Twenty-eight might not seem to be a significant number. But for the Concordia University Wisconsin women’s tennis team, 28 marks an impressive accomplishment: the number of consecutive games the talented team has won against NACC opponents.
This winning streak has led the program’s 10 tennis aficionadas to three seasons of undefeated conference matches and three conference titles, and places them in the record books alongside the longstanding success of the CUW men’s tennis program.
Since the women’s last NACC loss more than three years ago, the Falcons have outscored NACC foes by 232–20. For the Falcon student-athletes, it has been both quite the journey and culmination of personal accomplishments.
Students, like senior Hannah Tresseder, have played an integral role in the team’s successes year after year. Tresseder has been named All-NACC in singles and doubles each year, and has accumulated over 100 career victories. In her third year, Bailey Kelly has also been a rising star for the Falcons. Kelly has not been beaten in singles play against NACC competitors for the past three seasons, resulting in a staggering 28–0 conference record. Teammates Ashley Solberg, Elizabeth Carroll, Emma Sievers, and Rebekah Spiegelhoff have also played key roles as undefeated players in the 2017–18 season.
On May 6, the women will play for their third straight championship at the NACC Tournament. According to men’s and women’s head coach Steve Anschutz (’10), the tournament is a piece of a larger picture.
“The success of the tennis program over the past few years is because of the culture we have been able to build here,” Anschutz says. “We have the right student-athletes with the right attitudes and character that have allowed us, as coaches, to push our players and the program as a whole past all personal, school, and conference expectations.”
Over the past two decades, the men’s team has consistently been surpassing expectations, as well. Since 1998, they’ve won 15 conference titles, with an 11-year winning streak from 1998 to 2008. They also boast a 90.8 winning percentage (108–11) in conference play. Even though the title eluded them from 2014 to 2016, they tied for season champions last year.
In 2017, they became the first men’s tennis program in NACC history to place three doubles teams on the All-NACC list. They are again favored to win this spring season, thanks to standouts like Brad Guendel, named to All-NACC Doubles Team in the 2017 season, as well as Gabe Binversie and Ceejay Schaffner, who were each named to the All-NACC Singles Team and Doubles Team in 2017.
“I am proud of our success,” says Anschutz. “I’m even more proud of how far our student-athletes have come and how they continue to grow even after they leave our pastures.”
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