The Grand Valley State University men’s tennis team jumped into action this past weekend at the River Forrest Invitational in Chicago. The tournament featured a mix of Midwest Division I schools in Belmont University, the University of Chicago, Northern Illinois University, Butler University and Youngstown State University.
“The competition of this opening tournament is really going to help us down the road,” said GVSU head coach John Black. “It also was a good basis of what areas we need to improve in.”
The Laker’s held their own against the Division I talent as sophomore Francis Bertrand and senior Andrew Darrell led the way to get the season’s first match wins on the board.
“For the most part we played well, of course we have small things to work on at practice, but other than that I’m happy with our performance”, said Sophomore Francis Bertrand.
Bertrand and Darrell were two bright spots for the Lakers this past weekend, as they helped the program surge past Belmont University in total points.
“Having the opportunity to play against a collective of Division one schools is always great experience for us,” Darrell said. “It will definitely improve us when we continue play throughout the season.”
Other strong points for the Lakers this weekend included freshman Andrew Bole and junior Bryan Hodges. Both players notched their first wins of the season for the Lakers.
“It’s always nice to see our players get off to a good start,” said Black. “I think everyone one our team had a good weekend in there own right, hopefully they will build off of this and keep the success going in the tournaments to come.”
Getting the kinks out during the first weekend of play is always a team’s goal, and GVSU has slowly worked to improve after the weekend in Chicago.
“Everything we have been working on prior to this weekends tournament really came together,” said Bertrand. “I think we just need to learn to take chances, after all your not going to improve if you don’t.
The team continues their season on September 28 as the Lakers compete in the ITA Regional Championships in Indianapolis.