Lakers fall in final round of GLIAC tourney

GVL/ Rane Martin
Senior Tara Hayes returns a volley during a past match.

Rane Martin

GVL/ Rane Martin Senior Tara Hayes returns a volley during a past match.

Stephanie Deible

The Lakers (13-2, 10-2 GLIAC) started the weekend with dominating performances against Lake Superior State University, sweeping doubles action from their first round opponent in route to a 5-0 victory.

GVSU head coach John Black commended seniors Tara Hayes and Alyssa Lucas, who were competing in their last conference tournament, for setting the tone early by defeating their doubles counterparts 8-3.

“Tara and Alyssa have been doing a great job,” he said. “They’ve been playing first doubles together and this is the first year they’ve been together so they’ve had to make some adjustments, but they’ve gotten better each match, and they’ve done a great job of pushing the team.”

Black added that the Lakers put together arguably their best match of the season on Saturday, upsetting second-seeded Wayne State (13-2, 11-1 GLIAC) to advance the to the tournament championship match.

“It took us a little while to get there, but we started playing really well at the end of the year,” he said. “I would much rather has a strong finish than a strong start.”

With the 5-1 win, the Lakers were able to avenge an early-season 5-4 loss to Wayne State while also making their way to the conference championship match.

The Lakers were led by sophomore Lexi Rice and junior Allison Fecko, who were victorious in both singles and doubles play, accounting for all but one of GVSU’s points in the match

“Lexi and Allison both played really well,” Hayes said. “They both knew they had to give it all they had in singles, but I think the most important thing is they didn’t play under pressure. We had a bad match last time we played Wayne, but they were confident [Saturday].”

After two wins in two days the Lakers moved to the GLIAC Tournament Championship match Sunday against Northwood University (15-0, 12-0 GLIAC), a team that defeated GVSU during 5-4 during regular season play.

The Timberwolves were victorious against the Lakers, winning all three doubles matches and winning the tournament title 5-2.

Freshman Leah Dancz and sophomore Anne Marie Morin picked up the only victories during the championship match, defeating their opponents 6-3, 7- 5 and 3-6, 6-0, 6-0 respectively.

Despite the loss Sophomore Niki Shipman said she thinks everyone played tough this weekend and will continue to practice to be prepared for a possible trip to nationals, in May.

“I think everyone has made improvements this season,” she said. “I think we have a good chance at going to nationals and hopefully having some good results at nationals.”

[email protected]