GVSU men’s tennis team posts 2-2 week

Lucas Rains

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After dropping the first two matches of the week, the Grand Valley State University men’s tennis team took the next two over the weekend to salvage a 2-2 week.

GVSU began the week with losses to Aquinas College and Western Michigan University on Wednesday, but bounced back with victories at Michigan Technological University and Lake Superior State University.

The No. 10 team in the NAIA, Aquinas, won 5-4 over GVSU in Grand Rapids with wins in four of the six singles matches. Freshman Jack Heiniger and junior Quinn Sylow each won their singles matches, and teamed up to win their doubles match 8-2. The pair of sophomore Andrew Heuerman and senior Andrew Darrell notched a 9-7 doubles win.

NCAA Division I opponent Western Michigan rolled to a 6-1 win over GVSU in Kalamazoo. Michael Kaye came away with the only victory for the Lakers.

Despite the two losses early in the week, the Lakers were determined to compete against GLIAC foes in the Upper Peninsula.

“Our matches this weekend were conference matches, so they were very important,” head coach John Black said. “We played a lot of tough matches to get us ready for them. We played strong doubles and played very strong singles too.

“We had different guys stepping up each match. The whole team contributed.”

Michigan Tech came into Saturday’s matchup unbeaten in conference play, but the Lakers would end the streak with a 6-3 victory. GVSU took five of six singles matches from the Huskies and added one doubles win.

Darrell, Heiniger, junior Francis Bertrand, freshman Billy Heckman, and sophomore Andrew Bole each won their singles matches. The duo of Darrell and Heckman claimed their doubles match with an 8-5 victory.

“It looked good. I saw that we just moved into first place into our conference with the win,” Black said. “We’ve got a long way to go, but it’s better to be in first place than somewhere lower.”

On Saturday against LSSU, the Lakers won by a final of 5-4. The teams split the six singles decisions, with Heiniger, Bole and Sylow each winning their matches. In doubles, Betrand and Bole, and Heckman and Darrell each won 8-4.

“It was very important to get these wins this weekend, and we need to make the top eight in the region,” Heiniger said. “(Beating Michigan Tech) was an important win because they’re a really good team in our conference.”

GVSU will prepare for next week’s matches against Walsh University, Lake Erie College and Malone College. Black says that there is still plenty of room for his team to get better as the season progresses.

“We’ll be working on doubles in practice quite a bit,” Black said. “We still have a lot of tennis ahead of us, but we’re in good position for the rest of the season.”