Lakers win two, lose one in weekend play

By Pat Bicanich | 9/15/13 7:07pm

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GVL / Hannah Mico. Senior Lexi Rice focuses hard on returning a volley at Saturday morning’s match against Wayne State University; Rice was playing doubles with her partner Carola Orna (junior).


After sweeping the opening weekend, the Grand Valley State University women’s tennis team used a balanced attack to continue its success in its opening weekend at home.

The Lakers defeated Findlay by a score of 8-1 in their 2013 home opener on Friday. GVSU got off a
to a strong start winning No. 1 and No. 3 doubles.

The Lakers’ only loss came in No. 2 doubles where Lexi Rice and Carola Orna took the match into a
tiebreaker. GVSU took complete control of the match by winning each of the six singles matches.

Kali Phillips, Niki Shipman and Leah Dancz all went 2-0 on the day winning both their singles and
their doubles matches.

GVSU lost an exceptionally close match to Wayne State University 5-4 on Saturday. It was the first
loss of the season for the Lakers.

The players had a promising start as they were able to win two out of the three doubles matches.
Kali Phillips and Leah Dancz teamed up to win a hard-fought No. 2 doubles match 8-6, while
Morgan Patterson and Niki Shipman won their No. 3 doubles match 8-1.

Wayne State took over the match by winning four of the six singles matches including the first
three. Kali Phillips lost a very competitive match in which she forced a third set.

Niki Shipman was victorious at No. 4 singles by scores of 6-2 and 6-4, and Kelly Trapp won a
three-set match 3-6, 6-4 and 7-5.

Head coach John Black said he was pleased with the team’s effort against Wayne State. It was a
good measuring stick for what the Lakers need to improve on in order to win those tight matches.

“We had our chances and it could have gone either way,” Black said. “It showed us some things we
need to improve on. In doubles we need to be more aggressive and have more movement. It’s good
because you’re not going to learn from winning 8-0, you’re going to learn from close matches like
this.”

Despite the loss, the Lakers believe that they can learn from the match. They are optimistic that
they will be able to make the necessary adjustments to defeat the Warriors when they meet again in
GLIAC play.

“The matches were very close and everyone played well,” Phillips said. “Every year I have been on
the team we have lost to Wayne State in the regular season and then beat them in the conference
tournament, so we hope to do the same this season.”

Sunday’s match against Hillsdale was moved to Ramblewood Tennis & Health Club due to rainy
weather in Allendale. The Lakers closed out the weekend on a high note by defeating the Chargers
8-1. GVSU lost the No. 1 doubles match before tearing off 8 consecutive victories to finish the
weekend.

The Lakers were able to come out ahead in doubles play in all three matches, which has been a
point of emphasis this year. It helps to get an early lead play instead of having to battle back being
down 3-0 or 2-1 before singles matches begin.

“It really makes a difference for your confidence going into singles,” Phillips said. “It gives us a
boost to know that we are on our way already and that we just need to do continue to keep the
pressure on the other team and close it out.”

The Lakers are pleased with the direction that their doubles teams are going, but they still haven’t
reached their full potential. This will come in time as every player has a new partner, and it takes
time to build chemistry.

“All of our doubles teams are new this year,” Dancz said. “No one has played together in the past.
We have had a lot more practice in doubles this season and I think we will continue to improve the
more we play together.”

The Lakers host Saginaw Valley State University on Sept. 20.

pbicanich@lanthorn.com

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