GVSU men's tennis falls short against Northwood, Ferris

By Louis Ricard | 4/2/18 12:07am

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GVL / Emily Frye Nick Urban during the match against Michigan Tech on Friday March 23, 2018.

This weekend was nothing short of disappointing for the Grand Valley State men’s tennis team.

The Lakers lost against Northwood University 6-3 on Friday, March 30, and could not redeem themselves against Ferris State on a 7-2 decision on Saturday, March 31.

However, head coach John Black and his team know what needs to happen if they want to go far in the postseason. The first is that nothing is given, and everything is earned—especially against top-25 teams. Although GVSU won against Northwood last year, the Lakers did not show enough aggression to come out on top.

“I felt like we played a solid match,” Black said. “We just didn’t close out a few matches. We had a lot of close matches, and we did not win enough of them.”

The close matches came later in the day during the singles play. While Sebastien Lescoulie and Jack Geissler won in two sets, their teammates could not follow. Nicholas Urban had a tough match at the No. 4 position, losing 7-6, 6-4, while D.J. Colantone took it the distance in three sets but lost 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Geissler and Lescoulie have been the success stories of the season. Lescoulie is currently ranked 72 in the nation, while Geissler conceded his first conference loss this past weekend.

That loss came against FSU, which is ranked No. 23 in the nation and is one of the top teams in the region.

Geissler lost in two sets, 6-2, 7-5. However, he is not to blame for the team's loss. GVSU did not win a doubles match, which is crucial in team play as they are played first.

“The biggest takeaway is that we need to work on doubles,” Geissler said. “They are played first and are worth 3 points. You have to win 5 points out of 9 to win a match. We haven’t been able to get up with the double play.”

Down 3-0 against an elite team, GVSU’s chances were slim against FSU. But the Lakers are not giving up, not if Lescoulie has anything to say about it. The junior shined against his opponents this weekend.

“He’s our top player, and both of his wins were 6-1, 6-0,” Black said. “He pretty much dominated two of the best players in our region.”

Both Geissler and Lescoulie play a patient style of play, waiting for their opponent to make that one mistake they can exploit. But as the season is winding down, Geissler knows he needs to take the fight to the opponent.

“I’ve been trying to play more aggressive this year,” Geissler said. “Sometimes the opponent does not miss very often, and it’s important to play some offense to finish up the points instead of waiting for an error.”

Closing out close matches is also something GVSU has to work on, according to Black. With the conference tournament approaching, there is a small margin of error for Geissler and his teammates, especially in the GLIAC conference.

There are six teams in the hunt for the title, and GVSU is one of them.

“It’s going to come down to the doubles and closing out matches," Black said. “We have to be tough mentally and make good shot selection, fight hard and get ready for tough matches coming up.”

With their record now standing at 10-6 (2-2 GLIAC), the Lakers will next face Davenport University on Wednesday, April 4, in Grandville, Michigan.

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