GVSU tennis cruises in trio of 9-0 sweeps
GVL/Archive Bo Anderson
Junior Francis Bertrand
It’s the most important part of the regular season for the Grand Valley State University men’s tennis team – and the Lakers seem to be playing their best tennis.
GVSU defeated three consecutive GLIAC foes — Walsh University on Thursday, Lake Erie College on Friday and Malone University on Sunday – by the same score, 9-0, in each victory.
The trio of wins gives GVSU a 15-5 record on the season, including a league-best 7-1 conference record. All matches were played at the Ramblewood Tennis & Health Club in Grandville, Mich.“We just need to keep working hard in practice, work on just getting tougher and stronger and being mentally prepared for the tough matches that are coming up,” head coach John Black said.
Against Walsh, GVSU rolled to its third consecutive victory, claiming all nine matches. Junior Francis Bertrand and freshman Billy Heckman each won their singles matches 6-4, 6-4.
Heckman and Jack Heiniger, sophomore Andrew Bole, and junior Quinn Sylow also claimed victories in singles action against the Cavaliers. Sylow’s match was taken into a tiebreaker in the first set, but he came out with the 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 win.
In doubles competition, the duo of Bole and Bertrand won 8-5, Sylow and Heiniger won 8-3, and Darrell and Heckman finished the day with an 8-2 victory.
Lake Erie, the last-place team in the GLIAC, struggled to get anything going against the first-place Lakers on Friday. Bertrand, Darrell and Heckman all rolled in their victories in singles competition. Sophomore Michael Kaye also had no trouble dispatching his Storm counterpart, winning 6-1, 6-1, while senior Ben Esh-Nauta and sophomore Andrew Heuerman win the final two singles matches of the day to claim all six for the Laker men.
Bole and Bertrand, and Darrell and Esh Nauta took their doubles matches by final scores of 8-1. Sylow and Heiniger tacked on an 8-3 win, giving GVSU its second straight 9-0 win over a conference opponent.
On Sunday against Malone, the Lakers extended their winning streak to five with its third straight 9-0 victory. GVSU won all six singles flights, with the bottom four allowing just three Malone points total.
Doubles competition was dominated by the Lakers as well, as they surrendered just three points in three flights.
The key for the Lakers will be to maintain the positive momentum as the regular season winds down. The team will host GLIAC opponents Wayne State University on Saturday and Northwood University on Sunday. This week’s competition should be stronger than last week’s, providing a quality late-season test for GVSU.
Both of this week’s opponents enter tied for second place in the GLIAC with 4-1 records.
“Our last three matches will pretty much determine if we win the conference or not,” Black said.