GVSU women’s tennis team moves to 9-1

GVL / Emily Frye
Senior Leah Dancz

GVL / Emily Frye

GVL / Emily Frye Senior Leah Dancz

Nick DeMaagd

While the season may not have ended yet, the senior members of Grand Valley State University’s women’s tennis team finished their final matches at home. Playing three matches over the course of the weekend, GVSU defeated Walsh University, Ohio Dominican University and Ashland University on Friday, Saturday and Sunday respectively.

The Lakers began the weekend with a bit of a rough start, dropping the first match in doubles play and the first two in singles. Those losses would be the only ones of the day as GVSU took its second and third matches in doubles play. The Lakers rounded out singles play with four straight wins, the first coming from senior Carola Orna while the toughest match was won through a tiebreaker by freshman Abby Perkins.

Saturday’s matchup with Ohio Dominican began much different for the Lakers, as they won their first two matches before dropping the third. After a long duel on the court, the first match of singles play was dropped. However, GVSU took off after that, winning the last matches straight in singles play allowing GVSU to tally another win to their record.

GVSU coach John Black was happy overall with his team’s performance. He said the team has made many improvements since the ITA Regional Tournament, but improvements to play can always be made.

“We need to be a bit more aggressive in doubles and finish at the net rather than the baseline,” Black said. “Other than that we just need to stay cool in singles play and we’ll be fine.”

Going against Ashland University for the Lakers’ final match of the weekend, seniors were given a sendoff by friends, family and teammates. It was an emotional day for the seniors, who were playing in their final match on GVSU’s courts.

To conclude the beautiful weekend in Allendale, GVSU swept Ashland University 9-0. The Lakers came out on top in doubles 3-0 and topped off their team performance by going 6-0 in singles play.

The team seemed to gain momentum over the weekend, which helped the Lakers stay on top of their game and allowed them to have a strong finish for their last home match against Ashland.

“We’ve improved every match since Friday,” senior Kali Phillips said. “We always are able to find something to improve on.”

The legacy left behind by the seniors will impact the future of the women’s tennis program. Senior Leah Dancz said after the seniors are gone, it will be up to the freshman to lead the program.

We’ve tried to mentor the freshmen too so they can carry on traditions and know what’s expected of them,” Dancz said. “We want them to represent the university in the best way possible.”

While the season is nearing its end, the seniors will be looking to start a new chapter in their lives upon graduating. But that time has yet to come to pass and until then the seniors will enjoy their time left with their teammates.

The team has two matches left on the fall schedule. GVSU plays at Ferris State University on Friday and at Northwood University on Sunday before the GLIAC Tournament starts on Oct. 24.