GVSU women's tennis sweeps three-game weekend
Lakers top Tiffin, Davenport and Findlay to remain unbeaten
The Grand Valley State women’s tennis team looked to extend its winning streak with a double-header against Tiffin and Davenport on Saturday, and a match against Findlay on Sunday.
The Lakers (9-0, 8-0 GLIAC) did just that, making short work of the weekend's opponents as they beat Tiffin 6-3, Davenport 7-2, and Findlay 9-0.
GVSU faced Tiffin (6-3, 5-3 GLIAC) first on Saturday at Hope College’s indoor tennis courts. The Lakers took two doubles matches from the Dragons, with only the No. 1 seed pairing of Aimee Moccia and Rachel Sumner falling, 8-5.
The Lakers wrapped things up in singles play, taking four of six from the Dragons with only one of the wins going to a tiebreaker. The only losses came from the top of the lineup, No. 1 seed Abby Perkins, and the bottom, No. 6 seed Sam Schrepferman.
“Our team is really strong, all the way from doubles to the singles one through six,” Moccia said. “Our team doesn’t have quitters, we all work hard from start to finish.”
Once that match was complete, GVSU took on Davenport (1-1) in the second leg of the double-header.
GVSU brought the momentum from its win into doubles play against the Panthers, sweeping them 3-0 in doubles. Laker head coach John Black is impressed with how his doubles players have progressed, but thinks they have room to grow.
“Our doubles are playing very well, but I feel like we can play even better. We need to continue working on improving and getting used to our doubles partners. We’re a lot better than we were in the first week of the season, but we can’t be satisfied with where we are,” he said.
In singles, Black mixed up the lineup due to the back-to-back match scenario. Four Lakers who don't usually play - Madison Ballard, Katarina Samardzija, Nicole Heiniger and Calla Ramont - were put in the lineup, and all four came away with wins. The match was the first regular season action for Samardzija, Heiniger, and Ramont.
Perkins started at her usual No. 1 spot, but lost to Davenport’s Alyssa Fuentes, 6-2, 0-6, 1-0 (10-6). Sumner started at the No. 2 seed for the first time this season, but lost to Puck Luttikhuis 6-3, 6-2.
On Sunday, GVSU capped off a perfect weekend with a perfect win, blanking Findlay 9-0. The shutout was the first of the year for the Lakers, and the loss dropped the winless Oilers to 0-8 overall and in conference play.
Black went with a different lineup again to give his starters a rest after the doubleheader. Sophomore Alexa Sweeney started at the No. 1 seed in place of Perkins, Moccia went to the No. 2 seed, Livia Christman slotted in at the No. 3 seed and Madison Ballard slid to the No. 4 seed.
Heiniger played again, this time from the No. 6 seed, and notched another victory over Findlay’s Cassie Cox 6-0, 6-0.
Six of the sets on the day resulted in shutouts, including the No. 3 seed in doubles, as Perkins and Christman defeated Findlay’s Kymberlyn Warner and Cox, 8-0. After a dominant weekend, Black says his team needs to keep their heads down and go to work.
“We’re playing real solid, we need to keep our intensity high our focus high, and stay healthy. We need to make sure we’re mentally prepared for each match, give 100 percent, play smart, and work on what we’ve been working on in practice,” he said.
The Lakers have a busy weekend coming up. Part of the team will head to Wisconsin on Oct. 9 and 10 to take part in the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Invitational. Another part of the team will go on a GLIAC road trip to face Walsh (3-5, 3-5 GLIAC) on Saturday, and Ashland (2-6, 2-6 GLIAC) on Oct. 11.