GVSU tennis captures eight total wins in annual spring trips

By Kady Volmering | 3/11/19 4:32pm

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Courtesy / gvsulakers.com

After a dominant fall season for both the Grand Valley State men’s and women’s tennis teams ending in late October, the teams headed down to Orlando to jump into their spring season.

The women started off on Sunday, March 3 against East Carolina, ultimately ending in a loss after a tough battle in the Florida heat. On Monday, the women played a double header, first against North Carolina Wesleyan, pulling away with their first win of the week. 

Later in the evening, the women faced off with Minnesota State Moorhead to earn their second win of the day. The Lakers lost two out of three doubles matches, gaining a win from No. 1 pairing of senior Madison Ballard and freshman Marija Leko, who defeated their opponents 6-1.

Fortunately, the Lakers had better luck in the singles matches, winning five out of six matches. Top performers were Ballard, Leko, senior Livia Christman, senior Nicole Heiniger, and sophomore Liv Hanover, as they all won in their matches.

Later in the afternoon, Lakers continued their winning streak with competitive play against Minnesota in the doubles department. The women won all three doubles matches early in the evening, and carried the strong momentum into singles play. The Lakers went away with another sweep, earning the win in all six matches of the night.

On Tuesday, March 5, the women split the day with a win and a loss. The first matches of the day against Keiser ended in 0-5 loss for the Lakers, but they were able to rally up for their 8 p.m. match against Concordia, winning 7-0.

Overall, the competition both the women and men have been up against has put their skill to the test.

“The Florida competition has been tough,” said head coach John Black. “Conditions are hot, around 85 and hotter, and we have had several double headers. Both teams play four ranked teams on the trip, whether that’s nationally or regionally.”

The men started their trip on Saturday, March 2 in Lakeland, Fl. against Florida Southern. The day ended in a close fought loss, 3-4. But the men were able to switch it up on Monday, earning a 7-0 win over Coe in Orlando. 

The Lakers got on the scoreboard first by winning all of the doubles matches, and continued to dominate in the singles play as well. Top performers were senior Sebastien Lescoulie from the No. 1 single seat, followed by junior Jack Geissler in the No. 2 seat and freshman Jack Dausman from the No. 3 seat.

Tuesday was a bit of a mirror to the women, splitting the day in half with a win and loss. The loss was to Keiser University, a close one as the Lakers lost 3-4. But, yet again, the Lakers rallied in the evening and earned the 7-0 win against Concordia. The men continued on with the good energy to Wednesday, in which they found two wins, the first against St. Francis and the second against Chestnut Hill.

“The trip has gone great so far,” Black said. “We are getting lots of tough competition and bonding as teams. We’ve been mini golfing, swimming at the pools, shopping, and visiting some theme parks.”

The team has found great success down in Florida, not only on the court, but also growing together as a team. The trip should serve as great experience for the men and women, who are both looking to get going on the spring season shortly after getting home.

“I’m looking forward to our men’s conference matches in March and April, the GLIAC is wide open and there are five teams that will be very close with each other,” Black said. “For the women, we are looking at finishing strong and preparing for NCAA regionals in May.”

The men pick right back up on Friday, March 15 in Indianapolis against Butler. The women follow the men’s lead, as they play again Saturday, March 16 in Greencastle, Ind. against DePauw at 10 a.m.

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