GVSU women's tennis shuts down Ferris State
The Anchor-Bone Classic was renewed on the tennis courts Wednesday, Oct. 19 in Big Rapids, Michigan as the Grand Valley State Lakers women's tennis squad defeated the Ferris State Bulldogs 8-1.
“We came out and played really strong,” said GVSU coach John Black. “It was a great win today and it sets a great tune heading into the conference tournament next weekend.”
GVSU needed a victory to stand alone in third place for the GLIAC regular season standings. The Lakers now await the results of other GLIAC matches in order for the 2016 GLIAC tournament bracket to be released. With this victory, the Lakers will slot into the bracket as the No. 3 seed behind Northwood and Tiffin (the two losses on GVSU’s schedule this fall).
Entering enemy territory, the Lakers felt the pressure, especially since the Bulldogs were the lone loss from an almost perfect conference season a year ago. This time around, things were completely different.
GVSU came out making a huge crowd-quieting statement by sweeping the doubles play. The doubles pairs included: Madison Ballard/Rachel Sumner (No. 1 seed), Aimee Moccia/Allie Sweeney (No. 2 seed) and Abby Perkins/Livia Christman (No. 3 seed).
“The doubles sweep definitely helped,” Sweeney said. “That didn’t allow them to go off of anything really. What are they going to say when we are up three to zero?”
Singles play is when the Bulldogs began to fight back, and not just with their play.
“They had horrible sportsmanship,” Christman said. “Beating them was better than beating anyone else in the conference.”
The Lakers continued to roll into singles play from the doubles sweep. No.1 seed singles player Ballard set the tone for GVSU with a hard-fought win, including a 14-12 tiebreaker.
Sweeney, the No. 2 singles seed, followed suit with a three-set victory of her own, clinching the overall match for the Lakers.
“It feels really good to win this match especially since Ferris was our only loss last year,” Sweeney said. “I think we knew we needed to step it up and get the job done.”
GVSU sophomore Nicole Heiniger was the No. 6 seed for the match and she continued her conference-undefeated streak in singles play. She is now 8-0 on the season.
The Lakers will have this weekend to rest up before preparing for the GLIAC tournament next weekend (Oct. 28-Oct. 30). The brackets have not been released yet, however if the season ended as of Wednesday, Oct. 19, GVSU would face either Michigan Tech or Wayne State. If the Lakers win their first-round match, they would receive a rematch with Tiffin in the semifinals.
“We can’t look past whoever we play in the first round,” Black said. “We need to be ready for a tough match no matter who it is. We’ll just go out and give it our best no matter who we are playing against.”
Last season, the Lakers made it to the GLIAC tournament title match and lost to the Timberwolves, who remain undefeated this season.