Lakers net three more wins to extend streak
GVL Archive / Andrew Mills
Senior Philipp Claus jumps in the air to return the ball
The Grand Valley State University men’s tennis team continued to cross names off its conference hit list this past weekend by taking out both the University of Findlay and Tiffin University on its way to an undefeated start in the GLIAC.
The team also defeated Davenport University 8-1 to pick up three wins in two days. The results of Sunday’s match against Ferris State University were not available at press time.
On Saturday, the Lakers ended the day with a 9-0 thrashing of Tiffin that left the Lakers feeling confident going into the rest of the season.
Senior Josh Kazdan said the team is getting a chance to see how they measure up against some of the better teams in the GLIAC conference an upcoming match against Northwood University, one of the conference’s strongest teams.
“It’s great that we were able to come together as a team when we need to, just to the start of conference matches,” said Kazdan, who won 6-0 in both of his two sets against Tiffin. “We still have a long season to go, but this is a fantastic start for us.”
Freshman Andrew Darrell said the team gains both physical and mental advantages by playing on consecutive days.
“There’s a lot of consecutive matches, but it’s nice because you get into a rhythm,” he said. “You get into a groove where your strokes are really going good for you so it kind of helps just build momentum.”
Although getting used to playing multiple games over a short time will help the team prepare for the upcoming GLIAC tournament, senior Philipp Claus said playing back-to-back can be tough for those players on the team dealing with knee and shoulder problems.
“When you have four matches in two days, you definitely feel the pain the next day,” Claus said.
Even with the fatigue and stresses from playing without very much rest between games, Kazdan said the team is doing what needs to be done and that each player is taking care of their position.
“I think everyone is holding up pretty well,” Kazdan said. “We are all well conditioned in our own right, we’re coming back each match, and we’re holding up strong right now.”
The team will need to be well conditioned when they face the remainder of their conference opponents during another marathon stretch. The Lakers play four matches on the road over the course of six days beginning Friday with Lake Erie College followed by Old Dominican University, Wayne State University and Northwood.
Claus said the team is coming together well with the start of conference matches. He noted the increase in intensity against GLIAC competition, especially against teams that have beaten the Lakers in the past.
“You play them every year so you see the same people and you develop this rivalry, and you just don’t want to lose against conference, you really don’t,” Claus said. “They’re so close to your school, you remember the match from last year, and especially if you lost the year before you definitely want to come out and get a win.”