Tennis teams trounce UNOH in Grandville
Rosters change over the years, but the history between teams remains untarnished.
Having faced off against the University of Northwestern Ohio (UNOH) last year, Grand Valley State’s men's and women’s tennis players knew what to expect during this past weekend’s matches. The women's team swept UHOH, 9-0, last season but the Racers bested GVSU's men, 5-4, in Lima, Ohio.
Sunday’s matches at Ramblewood Tennis & Health Club (Grandville, Mich.) put GVSU to the test, but the Lakers were more than prepared. The men finished with a 7-2 victory, dropping one game in doubles and one in singles while the women notched their second resounding 9-0 sweep in as many seasons.
Coming out strong in their first foray into the spring season, the Laker women seemed to make a statement.
“For our first match this season, it’s about as good as it could get for us,” said senior Kali Phillips. “We played really well and have been training a lot since Christmas and last season. The freshmen are looking really good. We’ve done a lot of team building to prepare them as sophomores to be leaders.”
Meanwhile, the men have been without a full roster since the start of the season, although junior Andrew Bole returned to action on Sunday. Taking it easy by just playing singles, Bole took his singles match (7-6) (6-3), playing as if he had never had an injury to begin with.
Excited to be back on the court, Bole said he was just happy to win.
“I missed it so much, not being able to be on the court,” he said. “I’m relieved I was able to win and, while I could’ve played better, there’s nothing to complain about when you win.”
Despite having another player return to the starting lineup, sophomore Billy Heckman is still out for the time being. The team has a great deal of depth, however, especially with Bryan Hodges back this season, which should help buy time until everyone is healthy enough to compete at match speed.
“My biggest concern was that I wasn’t sure what to expect from Bole today, but he played for an hour and a half and finished without any pain, which is a good sign,” said coach John Black. “We’re still working on the little things, but we all need to be healthy to be at full strength.”
Rest will be for the weary as GVSU goes head-to-head against Ferris State on Wednesday night at Ramblewood.