Vikings tennis to compete in MIAA/GAC conference

The men’s tennis team, who competed independently for the past six years, will compete in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association’s Great American Conference (MIAA/GAC) North Division conference starting in the spring.

The MIAA CEO council approved their associate membership in the division. The conference’s other participants are Washburn, Northwest Missouri, Newman and Emporia State. The only competitor the Vikings team has not faced off in this lineup is Newman.

“It will be a tough challenge for us, but it is a great opportunity for us to improve and look at our goals,”  coach Marc Kurtz said.

Kimberly Miller, associate athletic director for compliance, established the startup for the men’s tennis team. The conference was willing to accept.

In spring 2021, the men’s team went 4-8.

“We have worked our tails off to get to this point, especially coach Kurtz,” said junior tennis player Cade Damgaard. “We are extremely excited to show what Augustana is made of when it comes to competing.”

This season, four freshmen are in the lineup, and they have participated in the ITA regionals at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. This tournament occurred Oct. 1 to 3. These games and practices will help set the background for the athletes and prepare them for when their season starts in the spring.

“The MIAA is excited to welcome the Vikings to the MIAA-GAC Men’s Tennis Conference,” MIAA Commissioner Mike Racy said in a release, “a partnership designed to help protect the sport of NCAA Division II Men’s Tennis in the Midwest.”

The Vikings are participants in the NSIC and will keep their full membership moving forward. Although the NSIC does not sponsor men’s tennis, the Vikings will have affiliated sponsorships.