Men's, women's tennis sweep Southern Indiana

Lakers use match as tune-up for tough Spring Break slate

By Mason Tronsor | 2/28/16 10:37pm

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GVL / Emily Frye Freshman Nick Urban prepares to serve on Friday Feb. 19, 2016.

by Emily Frye / Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Grand Valley State men's and women's tennis teams swept matches against the University of Southern Indiana on Feb. 28. The men's team won a tight matchup 5-4, while the women went undefeated 9-0.

The Laker women's overall record in the 2015-16 season improves to 15-2 thanks to their dominant performance at Premier Athletic Club in Grandville, Michigan.

“I thought we played very well as a team overall,” said sophomore Rachel Sumner.

The women opened the day by sweeping all three doubles matches by a combined total score of 24-5.

After sweeping the doubles matches, the singles matches were a breeze as GVSU finished 6-0. The singles winners included Abby Perkins, Alexa Sweeney, Aimee Moccia, Madison Ballard, Livia Christman and Sumner.

“The win gives us plenty of confidence for the rest of the season,” Sumner said. “The support from the GV faithful at Grandville today was awesome.”

The men's victory improves their overall record to 3-1. The men’s match was much closer than the women's, as the men's doubles matches finished 2-1 in favor of the Lakers.

The singles matches ended in a 3-3 tie, which helped propel GVSU to the overall victory. The No. 1 and No. 2 matches were taken by GVSU thanks to sophomore Alex van de Steenoven and junior Zach Phillips.

“I think it was a huge boost that we won two of the three doubles matches,” said senior Michael Kaye. “It gives that much more confidence heading into the singles that you only need to win three out of six instead of the majority in four.”

Southern Indiana won the No. 3 and No. 4 matches, but GVSU senior Andrew Bole won the No. 5 match, which gave the Lakers the overall team victory.

“I definitely knew what the situation was,” Bole said. “There is always pressure every match you play. It was stressful, for sure. In the past, I did not perform in those match-winning situations. This time, though, I stayed calm and my teammates really kept me going.”

The team hopes to carry the momentum of this victory into next week when it travels with the women's team to Orlando, Florida for spring break to face multiple schools.

“This win today definitely helps build momentum,” Bole said. “We played a great team today. Hopefully we can ride this win into spring break and keep it up going into the rest of the season.”

The spring break trip to Florida for both men's and women's sides will be more than a competing tour. The teams will use the time, like most teams would, to bond as cohesive units.

“It's definitely a great team bonding trip,” Kaye said. “All 12 of us stay in one place and we're just together all the time. It’s a great experience both tennis-wise and socially for our team.”

The trip will challenge both squads, as each will face different levels of competition throughout the trip. This trip will help prepare the Laker men for the upcoming GLIAC season, though the women's team will face out-of-conference competition for the rest of the season.

“We are playing a few different levels of competition,” Kaye said. “Some of the teams will be a little weaker than us, which will help boost our confidence. However, some teams are very competitive with us and will help boost our confidence heading into the rest of the season.”

Both the Laker men and women will compete from March 7-11. 

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