GVSU men’s tennis split weekend GLIAC double-header

Courtesy / gvsulakers.com

Courtesy / gvsulakers.com

Jerod Fattal

The GVSU men’s tennis team started GLIAC play on the road this weekend, defeating Michigan Tech on Friday, March 22, before losing to Lake Superior State on Saturday, March 23.

Last year, GVSU finished fourth in the conference with a 5-3 record, and despite starting 1-1, they are still looking to reclaim their crown.

“We control our own destiny,” said head coach John Black. “The conference is still wide open and if we play well we will win it.”

The Lakers swept Michigan Tech 10-0, outscoring the Huskies 72 to 19 in singles matches and 18 to three in doubles play. Jack Dausman and Nicholas Urban started the match off with a sweep from the three spot, scoring six unanswered points in a 6-0 win. 

Jack Geissler and Martin Matov followed their lead with a 6-1 victory in the two spot. The 38th nationally-ranked doubles team of Sebastien Lescoulie and DJ Colantone finished off the doubles sweep, winning 6-2 from the one spot.

Geissler and Matov continued the Lakers momentum in singles, each winning both of their matches 6-1 and 6-2, from the two and three spots. Lescoulie clinched the match for GVSU from the one position, winning 6-3 and 6-1. Dausman (6-2, 6-0), Eric Zwemer (6-2, 6-2), and Urban (6-2, 6-1) added three more points, in the four, five and six spots, completing the Laker sweep.

“We played well as a team,” Black said. “And we were prepared going into the match, having played on that surface for the past few months.”

Following Friday’s victory, the Lakers traveled 263 miles to and across the Upper Peninsula to take on Lake Superior State, but the playing surface and LSSU’s talent caused problems for GVSU, who lost 4-3.

“They play on a rubber multipurpose court and the ball bounces very differently than a regular tennis court would and it put us at a disadvantage,” Black said.

“There’s a learning curve and you are hitting uncomfortable shots more often on a surface that is as peculiar as this,” Urban said. “It takes a strong mental game to convince yourself to look past it and focus on your game.”

The Lakers started the match in a hole, losing two tight matches in the two and three spots. Lescoulie and Colante kept their rhythm from Friday and produced the lone victory, winning 6-4 in the one spot.

“We had a lot of mistakes at the end of sets,” Black said. “Especially double faults and that’s something that cost us some points down the stretch.”

GVSU tried to right the ship in singles, but it wasn’t enough and they ended up splitting the matches three apiece. 

Geissler continued his success from Friday, winning his match in a pair of 6-3 victories from the two spot. Matov followed his doubles teammate’s lead and won his match in a hard-fought three sets, sealing the victory with a 6-4 victory in the final set, from the four spot.

Urban’s match also went three sets, but the final set didn’t come without adversity.

“It started off great (and) I had a big lead,” Urban said. “He came back from seven down to tie the match at 10 and it took a lot of mental strength to hang on and score those final two points.”

Despite Saturday’s loss to LSSU, most of the team’s goals are still in front of them and they still feel confident in their ability to reach them.

“This is the closest team I have been on in my four years and we are a fantastic team,” Urban said. “We need to put this match behind us and use it to motivate ourselves going forward.”

The team improves to 10-5 overall on the year, and will be back on the court Thursday, March 28, with a home meet against Hillsdale. The Lakers resume GLIAC play on the road against Northwood on Saturday, March 30.