Golden Eagles tennis team fly into history books

The Concordia Courier


By Maad AlKadhim | 3/17/2023

The men’s tennis team defeated Azusa Pacific University (APU) for the first time in program history in the first home conference game on Fri., March 3.

The Golden Eagles defeated long-time rivals APU 5-2. The road towards victory started when our Eagles took the doubles point.

Graduate student and tennis player James Caddies said, “In any close college tennis match, the doubles point is a huge factor. Not only because it is a point for the team, but you go into singles with a bit less pressure, with the momentum, and just a lot of confidence. So it was massive for us to get that point. I think it spurred on the lads to put it over the line. We really pushed home our advantage and it all started with the doubles point.”

Knowing that they had made history, the tennis team was very excited. Freshman Alex Edmonston had been undefeated so far this season, and the win against APU was special.

“It really made the win extra sweet knowing we haven’t beat them in 14 years. The whole team was super pumped for the match and it gave us a lot of belief moving forward,” said Edmonston.

Although breaking a 14-year drought was essential to graduate student Leon Czarnikau, he was motivated by what awaited the team after the win. Czarnikau said, “It was a big game. The first actual win of the season. The first time performing well and it was good for the team and good for the coach as well. It was a big win because we also won a Korean barbeque [from coach], which was a big motivation for us.” 

Besting APU took the effort of the entire lineup to win. It started with the Golden Eagles securing the doubles point, but it continued with the players' effort on the court. 

“It was a very good day to be an Eagle. A lot of the players on the team played to their capabilities, which is pretty fun to be a part of. Special shout out to Leon winning at one against a top 20 ranked player. Alex Edmonston, a freshman, has not lost all season, which is very impressive. Also similar story with Adam Large, he hardly lost a match. Some really good performances and I am really excited to be a part of this team,” said Caddies. 

The win against APU gave the Golden Eagles confidence to be able to compete with any team on the highest level. The team competed and lost a tight match to Hawai’i Pacific 4-3, which was beyond expectations. 

Caddies looked at the loss to Hawai’i Pacific in a very optimistic way. “HPU last year we went there just as a formality. They destroyed us and we went home. So to play them again and for it to come right down the wire like that is exciting for us moving forward and for our season moving forward because they are the best,” Caddies said, “Next time we can definitely take them. It feels right now as a team that if we all turn up we can’t really lose to anyone. It is good and I am really excited for the season.”

Edmonston agreed that the win against APU added confidence in the team to compete at the highest level. Edmonston said, “It was a super fun experience for me and it gives me a lot of confidence going into the rest of season.”

“I feel like the whole team is hyped. I feel that we are all ready to compete against the good guys,” Czarnikau said. 

The win against Azuza Pacific will go down in the history of the players as well as in the history of the program. Caddies said, “It is honestly going down as one of the all time best memories as a college tennis player. It was a good feeling.”

The Golden Eagles love the support of the CUI community. Senior Adam Large said, “The extra energy and the support from the sidelines is highly appreciated.”

To continue following the journey of your Golden Eagles, follow their Instagram page @cuitennis and support them in their next home game on Sat., March 25, where they face Westmont.



About Maad AlKadhim

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