Men’s and Women’s Tennis enters GLIAC play

James Herrick , Staff Writer

Grand Valley State University tennis played their first GLIAC game of the season as the men’s (8-3) and women’s (6-4) teams traveled to Big Rapids to take on Ferris State University. The teams split the day as the women earned a 5-2 victory and the men fell 6-1. 

The women’s team was the first to take on the Bulldogs. The Lakers were able to get an early lead after a strong performance in the doubles. The sister duo of senior Vera Griva and sophomore Visileia Griva won their doubles match by a score of 6-4. The Lakers received another point in the doubles when junior Taylor Barnett and freshmen Estefania Hernandez earned another 6-4 victory. 

“The girls started really strong in doubles, getting the point there with wins from the two and three and then we just kept the momentum going from there,” said coach Samantha Schall.

To start singles, Vera Griva fought back from a first-set loss and came back to win the final two sets which resulted in a victory. GVSU’s next win came from Visileia Griva who won two competitive sets that ended in scores of 7-6 (2) and 6-4. Senior Marily Canellopoulos and Hernandez finished off the match as they each won in two sets. These solid performances pushed the Lakers to a 5-2 win over the Bulldogs. 

“For the women, I just thought we were the better team and we showed it today,” Schall said. 

On the men’s side, the Lakers struggled to leave with wins despite being in some very competitive matches. In the first, senior Josep Canyadell lost in a close match with sets that ended in scores of 6-7 (2), 7-6 (5) and 7-6 (2). Meanwhile, the men’s only win of the night came from junior Ignacio Morera-Lucas who won both sets by scores of 6-2 and 7-5. 

With no wins from the doubles either, the Lakers fell 6-1. Thankfully for GVSU, this loss will allow the Lakers to make some improvements before they continue their next match. 

“On the men’s side, Ferris was the better team and they exposed some things for us that we want to improve on,” Schall said. “We’re excited to get back to practice this week and work on some of these areas. Doubles is one for the men’s team and controlling points off of our serve; being a little bit more aggressive.”

Despite seeing different results, the men’s and women’s teams both played with a respectable level of effort and heart. 

“Both teams competed well; they fought well,” Schall said. “Both teams responded well after doubles and started the first round of singles matches well.”

After a successful out-of-conference schedule for both teams, GVSU will be entering the most difficult and important portion of their regular-season schedule.

“The GLIAC is really strong this year,” Schall said. “It’s probably the strongest it’s been for a couple of years. So I think every weekend is going to be tough for us, we have a lot of matches coming up so now we’re focused on playing Lake Superior State and Michigan Tech next weekend.”