Division I transfer aims to lead men’s tennis

Stony Brook, NY; Stony Brook University; 2012 Tennis: Francis Bertrand


Stony Brook, NY; Stony Brook University; 2012 Tennis: Francis Bertrand

Tate Baker

When Francis Bertrand left Stony Brook University for Grand Valley State University last year, he never could have predicted what was in store. The main reason Bertrand transferred was because of GVSU’s engineering program.

Little did he know, he would be embraced by the school’s diverse campus in such a way that one would not want to ever leave.

“So far everyone here is very friendly, I felt welcome from the moment I stepped onto campus,” Bertrand said. “It has made the transition of transferring really easy on me”.

Bertrand had quite a resume before landing in Allendale. During his high school days, he was ranked in the top five for tennis players 18 and under in Canada. At Stony Brook, Bertrand competed with and beat teams such as Lehigh University and Army.

For any transfer, the transition from one college to another can always be tough, but in Francis’ case his journey to GVSU involved moving from his home in Repentigny, Quebec to Stony Brook, NY and now to Allendale all in less than two years.

Bertrand chose GVSU over the University of Texas at Arlington and Daytona Beach’s Embry Riddle. Bertrand says he picked GVSU to be his new home, in large part, because he wanted a bigger school feel with an at-home atmosphere.

“I am very impressed by all the facilities here at Grand Valley,” Bertrand said. “It’s really the big difference between here and anywhere else I have been to.”

On the court, Bertrand will be a top player for the Lakers this season alongside senior Andrew Boyle.

“I’m very excited to have the privilege to play alongside Francis,” Boyle said. “He is a natural leader and role model, someone the rest of the team can look up to.”

With a one-two punch such as Boyle and Bertrand, the Lakers have their sights set on a GLIAC championship.

Getting the attention of being a Division I transfer also brings on a tremendous amount of pressure, which Bertrand said he is more than ready for.

“I am well aware that my team is counting on me for wins, a GLlAC title and even a NCAA tournament berth,” Bertrand said. “With all that said, I know I can make a key addition to the team, and from there the sky is the limit”.

It’s apparent that the sophomore will be key to the Lakers success on the court this season. Bertrand makes his debut for the Lakers Sept. 14 at the River Forrest Invitational in Chicago.

[email protected]