GVSU routs Michigan Tech, Lake Superior State
Lakers eye big weekend test with top GLIAC teams
GVL / Emily Frye Junior Zach Phillips
Chalk it up as another weekend sweep for the Grand Valley State men's tennis team.
The Lakers recorded two 8-1 victories against Michigan Tech (4-9, 1-5 GLIAC) and Lake Superior State (5-9, 1-5 GLIAC). GVSU improves to 11-6 overall and 4-1 in conference play, and has won three straight matches.
“I think we played pretty well this weekend,” said GVSU head coach John Black. “We have some big matches coming up obviously, but this weekend was a good step for us.”
Weather played a role in both GLIAC matches, as the original start times for the two matches were either pushed back or moved up. The April 9 match was changed from 10 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., while the April 10 contest was moved up from 10 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Both matches were moved indoors to the Premier Athletic Club in Grandville, Michigan.
As GVSU continues to grind in the middle of the GLIAC, the two weekend wins could build momentum for the rest of season, according to Black. Tougher competition is approaching in the coming weeks for GVSU.
The Lakers' first match against the Huskies started off like most matches this season. Sophomore Alex van de Steenoven got the Lakers off to a hot start, as he won in straight sets in the No. 1 flight to open the day.
“I’ve been playing pretty well in my singles game,” van de Steenoven said. “I’ve been keeping my cool on the court, playing my strokes and just listening to the coach. A key for me is playing with confidence.”
The Lakers dropped the No. 2 flight match, but a valiant effort was given by GVSU freshman Sebastien Lescoulie, who was playing in the No. 2 flight for the first time in his young Laker career.
GVSU controlled the rest of the singles matches, a thread that was highlighted by junior Jack Heiniger in the No. 4 flight. Heiniger did not drop a single game, winning 6-0 in both sets. All three doubles matches were seized by the Lakers to complete the first 8-1 victory of the weekend.
“Zach (Phillips) and I have run into a little bit of trouble lately in the doubles competition,” van de Steenoven said. “So it was nice that we managed to pull it together and get the win for the team today.”
The second match of the weekend pitting the Lakers against LSSU started in a completely different manner than the previous one. Van de Steenoven dropped the opening singles match in a tiebreaker.
The rest of the Lakers, however, stepped up and backed the sophomore. Phillips won the No. 2 flight for GVSU, which proceeded to roll through the competition.
Freshman Nicholas Urban completed a near perfect match in the No. 6 flight by way of a 6-0, 6-0 sweep. The Nos. 2-6 players for GVSU combined to drop only six games in total, and for a second consecutive day, the Lakers swept the doubles competition.
GVSU will look to continue its GLIAC conquest with trips to Detroit and Midland, Michigan to face Wayne State and Northwood on April 16 and 17.
“We plan on practicing outside for those matches,” Black said. “You can never predict the weather these days, but hopefully we are outside in beautiful weather.”
GVSU currently sits in fourth place in the GLIAC standings. Wayne State and Northwood are currently in second and third place.