Double(s) trouble

GVL / Eric Coulter
Freshman Kali Phillips returns a serve during Wednesdays match up with Calvin College

Eric Coulter

GVL / Eric Coulter Freshman Kali Phillips returns a serve during Wednesday’s match up with Calvin College

Melanie Huhn

After falling to regional competition on Monday, the Grand Valley State University men’s and women’s tennis teams see tough competition as a tool to make them better, taking the losses with grain of salt.

The Lakers took on nationally-ranked Lewis University in matches relocated to Ramblewood Tennis Club due to weather. Both teams fell, and head coach John Black said his team couldn’t afford any mistakes against the “sharp” team with the men losing, 8-1, and the women, 5-4, later on in the afternoon.

“We fought on when we got down and were competitive during the singles matchup, but Lewis just played really well today,” Black said.

For the men, the loss dropped their record to 10-11 for the season as they head into their final conference match of the year on Thursday against Ferris State University. It wasn’t all disappointment for the Lakers as freshman John McDonald pulling out the only win with a 6-2, 6-2 victory in the No. 6 flight.

“This match showed us that we need to work particularly on our doubles,” Black said. “We came out slow, and we can’t afford to do that, cause if we do, we are going to be done right away, it’s not like singles were you have a chance to come back.”

The men gave Lewis the lead right off the bat after falling 3-0 in doubles. When it came down to clutch plays, the Lakers couldn’t get the match or break points, which ended up giving Lewis the momentum pull out the win.

Today’s loss tested the men’s team, but its focus has always been on conferences and it is looking to finish strong in that tournament.

“We need to have stronger doubles play and come together as a team,” said senior Josh Kazdan. “We have the right players, we just need to all be great on the same day.”

It was a difficult match for the women later that afternoon, losing by one point. The Lakers are ranked No. 3 in the region and No. 23 nationally. The bottom three singles flights for the Lakers — Lexi Rice, Anne Marie Morin and Allison Fecko — picked up points in their victories.

The deciding set came down to the No. 3 spot, but freshman Leah Dancz couldn’t gain control and fell, 7-5, 2-6, 6-1 in her match.

“It came down to one match for the win, but we all contributed to this loss because we could have won it with our doubles,” said senior Tara Hayes. “We were at a disadvantage since Lewis did play over the weekend and we rested. Overall, it was just a tough match.”

Like the men, the women gave the lead to their opponent early on after losing two of their three doubles matches, with the No. 3 doubles picking up one point with an 8-1 win. Coach Black is looking to pick up the doubles play and head into the rest of the season with their heads held high.

“Whether we have a great win or a loss, as soon as its done, its done,” Black said. “We need to put it behind us and get ready to play the next match.”

The Lakers look to come together with the men facing Ferris State Thursday at 3 p.m. at home, while the women take on Davenport University at home on Friday at 4 p.m.

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