Men's tennis takes second at GVSU invitational

By Autumn Burin | 10/6/13 7:05pm

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Bryan Hodges

by GVL/Archive / The Lanthorn

The tension mounted among the hushed crowd as the final tennis balls were served at the 2013 Grand
Valley State University Invitational this weekend.

The GVSU men’s tennis players closed their eyes and groaned as the final score was announced at the
Grandville High School courts, crowning Davenport University as victorious.

“Davenport was our toughest competition,” GVSU junior Quinn Sylow said.

The Davenport duo of Eric Pell and Juan-Philip van Antwerpen defeated Sylow and sophomore Andrew
Heuerman 8-4.

Cornerstone University and Calvin College also competed in the four-team event, but it was Davenport
that ultimately found a way to prevail as a team.

The Lakers played tirelessly against their fierce opponents.

“They put the pressure on us,” Sylow said of the Panthers. “They put the responsibility on us to come
up with the goods while we failed to make them come up with their own.”

It was difficult for GVSU to accept a second-place finish after making it all the way to the semifinals.

The team had expected to come away in first.

“I think everyone came in with very high expectations, which made it easy for a lot of us to get let
down,” Heuerman said.

It took strength and determination of the entire team to make it as far as it did. Sylow, who had
missed some time due to injury, said he was pleased with his overall performance.

“The highlight of the tournament for me was playing better doubles than expected,” he said. “It was
my first tournament this fall.”

The Sydney, Australia, native said he gained a lot of confidence because none of his previous injuries
bothered him, which allowed him to strike the ball cleanly. He also said a number of teammates
impressed him in the event.

“Our team showed some real depth,” he said. “We hope it will carry over when we play in (the Titan
Invitational). It will have a rival of ours, Detroit Mercy, who we are eager to get revenge against after
losing to them last (season).”

Junior Francis Bertrand said he played well but still has room for improvement. “I still have to be
tougher on the court and not give points away,” Bertrand said.

The outcome of the tournament caused the players to reevaluate their personal strengths and find out
what they can do next time to improve their game. Although they didn’t get the exact outcome they
wanted, the Lakers were still able to enjoy being part of a team that is motivated to improve as a
whole.

Heuerman said his team could have performed at a higher level, but it certainly has the potential to
finish the season on a high note on Saturday at the Titan Invitational in Detroit.

“No disrespect to our opponents, but we can do better and we will,” he said. “We’re all hungry for
some good wins in Detroit next weekend. It will be great to finish off the fall season strong.”

aburin@lanthorn.com

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