Years at CSB: Three
The College of Saint Benedict tennis team got off to its best start in more than a decade in 2018-19, and in 2019-20, head coach Michael Engdahl hopes to keep up the solid play early in the season, and for some of that success to translate into MIAC play.
CSB officially started its 2019 spring season on Feb. 2 with a hard-fought 4-3 win at Division II Winona State, and from there went on to win its first eight matches of the season. The 8-0 start marked the team’s best start to the season since 2005-06. Saint Benedict also went 3-0 on its spring break trip in South Carolina – the team’s first undefeated spring break since 2009-10.
Winona State wasn’t the only Division II school CSB defeated under Engdahl’s watch last season. On March 15, CSB hosted in-town rival St. Cloud State in the first Jerry Anderson Legacy Match between the two teams, and took home the traveling trophy after a 5-2 win.
First year Lily Fredericks played a big role in CSB’s hot start, as she started the year 10-0 in singles play, including wins against both DII opponents. She finished the year with a team-best 12 singles wins and also went 5-0 at No. 1 doubles. Fellow first year Karsen Aune earned MIAC Athlete of the Week honors on Feb. 5 after going undefeated in singles and doubles in her collegiate debut.
Fredericks was named the team’s MVP – the third straight first year to earn MVP honors – and Tessa Rahrick earned All-MIAC Sportsmanship accolades. CSB finished the year 9-8 overall and 2-8 in the MIAC.
In his first three seasons at the helm, Engdahl has coached four MIAC Athletes of the Week and is 31-31 overall and 8-21 in the conference.
Engdahl, a St. Cloud native, joined the CSB tennis program prior to the 2016-17 season after working at the Division I level in South Dakota for seven years. After serving as an assistant men’s and women’s tennis coach at South Dakota State University from 2009-11, Engdahl was hired as the head coach for both programs, and he served in that role for five seasons.
While at SDSU, Engdahl took both programs from single-digit wins to conference contenders. In 2011, the SDSU women recorded just five wins, but, under Engdahl’s guidance, they won 16 matches in 2013 and 18 in 2014. Engdahl helped lead the Jackrabbit women to their first-ever postseason wins, and the program reached the Summit League finals in 2015 and again in 2016.
On the men’s side, Engdahl took a team that won seven matches in 2012 and pushed that total to 12 wins in 2013 and 16 in 2014. While at SDSU, Engdahl was named Summit League Coach of the Year in 2013 and 2014.
As well as coaching at the collegiate level, Engdahl also owned and operated the Michael Engdahl Tennis Academy from 2006-11 and served as the head tennis instructor/director at the St. Cloud Country Club from 2005-11.
Engdahl graduated from St. Cloud Technical High School in 2008 and played one year of varsity tennis at St. Cloud State University, where he made it to the NCAA Division II National Tennis Tournament. After one season, Engdahl transferred to South Dakota State where he played No. 1 singles and doubles for the Jackrabbit tennis team.
He and his wife, Carrie, live in St. Cloud with their son.
1st CSB Win - Sept. 10, 2016 Buena Vista
25th Win - Feb. 22, 2019 Minnesota-Morris