Women’s tennis face GRCC men in annual scrimmage

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Morgan Patterson lunges to the ball during a previous match.

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GVL / Archive Morgan Patterson lunges to the ball during a previous match.

Tate Baker

The GVSU women’s tennis team had a unique opportunity to scrimmage the Grand Rapids Community College men’s tennis team this weekend.

“It was a fun opportunity for us,” said sophomore Leah Dancz. “It’s something that we really only get one chance out of the year to do, so we really have fun with it.”

Although it was a scrimmage where the outcome neither counted nor mattered, the girls still took the competition to heart, and played with the same competitive edge that they would use in normal matches.

“If we kept score I think we ended up winning 10-8,” Dancz said. “Everyone definitely took it seriously. It was different, but also a lot of fun to play against guys for once.”

Early matchups like these serve as great prep for the important GLIAC matches, which are right around the corner in early March.

“This type of match just kind of gets us going for the GLIAC matches that we will be playing in later down the road,” Dancz said. “It definitely helps us get back into the feel of the game.”

Although this match has no effect on their overall standing and ranking of any sort, it still served as great importance to the team, the coaches, and the overall process of improving as individual players.

“This match is nothing like our normal matches, but we still prepare the same way,” said head coach Jon Black. “Their focus and preparation goes into these type of scrimmages just as they do any other match.”

Early prep matches such as these provide a uniquely calm style of play. You don’t see the normal stresses that you would see at the GLIAC matches throughout the year.

“The pressure was definitely off this past weekend,” Dancz said. “It was pretty laid back, it was nice to play without any worries.”

In one of the more unique matches, junior Anne Marie Moran went head to head with Grand Rapids Community College’s tennis head coach, which is something that you will never see at a normal Division II college tennis event.

“It was pretty cool to see Anne Marie go up against the coach,” Dancz said. “Even though things were as laid back as they were, it was still very competitive, I really think (Anne Marie) had fun with the experience of playing their coach.”

The scrimmages also serve as great experience builders for some of the underclassmen and lets them understand the feel and tempo of the collegiate level.

“Early in February, before the season really gets going, it’s important for everyone in program to get comfortable with things,” said Francis Bertrand, a sophomore on the GVSU men’s tennis team. “Scrimmages like these are great for that.”

The Lakers’ women’s tennis team will now have the upcoming week off before they travel to Florida for their annual spring break trip. GVSU will face local Florida talent in Orlando during their road trip.

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