Women’s tennis drops GLIAC opener

GVL/Bo Anderson Morgan Patterson lunges to the ball on Saturday.

GVL/Bo Anderson Morgan Patterson lunges to the ball on Saturday.

Tate Baker

The Grand Valley State University women’s tennis team got off to a rocky start Tuesday as they were down to Wayne State University, 5-4.

“This is an eye opener for us,” said head coach John Black. “We started out strong by winning two of the three doubles matches, but our singles just couldn’t win the close ones.”

The Lakers are now somewhat backed up against the wall, as another conference loss from here on out could cost them not only a shot at the conference regular season title, but also a favorable seed in the GLIAC tournament.

“We may have been overconfident coming into (Tuesday’s) match,” Black said. “Any more losses could result in a bad seed at conference, it’s going to force us to work even harder in practice.”

Morgan Karney shined as a bright spot for the Lakers as she won her doubles match with teammate Niki Shipman 8-1, and also her singles match 6-2, 6-2.

“Morgan came to play today,” Black said. “She’s capable of doing that every time out, it didn’t really surprise me.”

The Lakers have a big road trip ahead of them this upcoming weekend when they play at Saginaw Valley State University, Lake Superior State University, and Michigan Technological University — all in a three-day period.

“We really just need to put this past performance behind us,” said junior Niki Shipman. “As long as we take into consideration what happened tonight, and focus on what we need to improve on then we should be fine.”

Despite the early conference loss, the Lakers can build off of their doubles success, which was a goal for the tennis team.

“Its good to see that we already have confidence in our doubles,” said sophomore Leah Dancz. “If we can build off of that, I can see all of the pieces come together for us.”

With the success seen nu Black and the team in past years, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they regain momentum this weekend as they face a couple of GLIAC foes.

“We just have to stay mentally tough,” Dancz said. “I’m confident we can learn from this and continue to improve.”

The Lakers have a long road ahead early into the GLIAC season, and their weekend trip begins with a match up against rival Saginaw Valley State on Friday at 2 p.m.