GV tennis extending win streaks, searching for rhythm


GVL / Macayla Cramer

Brian Bloom, Staff Writer

Grand Valley State University tennis recently began conference action with the women’s team playing against Saginaw Valley State in a 6-1 victory, as well as both teams hosting Wayne State University with the women’s side winning again (4-3) while the men’s team lost in a tough showing, 1-6.

Prior to their second home match of the spring season on March 25, the day previous featured the women’s team playing against the Cardinals in Saginaw with the teaming sweeping doubles (3-0) and nearly completing the clean sheet on the day with a 5-1 finish in singles matchups.

As two of the four veterans on a fresh-faced roster, junior Vasileia Griva and senior Taylor Barrett (swept doubles matchup, 6-0) look to set an example for the rest of their team through their fluidity on the court.

“We have great communication and we compliment each other well,” Grvia said. “When I’m not playing great, she (Barrett) has my back and vice versa.”

Moving ahead to the next day at home, the women’s side continued to add to their win streak while the men’s continued looking for answers to get back on the winning side. Head Coach Samantha Schall said even while in the midst of a five-game skid, the men’s side is remaining confident in their ability to make a positive turnaround.

“For the women, it was a great team win,” School said. “(Wayne State was) ranked No .9 and it’s one of the best wins we’ve had in our program so far this year. For the guys, we’ve had to rebound for the past few games and we haven’t been able to. There’s a little bit of disappointment, but we had a good conversation about the things we need to improve upon.”

The women’s matches against Wayne State were much neck-and-neck as the Lakers took the doubles matchups, 2-1 and split the singles, 3-3.

In the No. 1 position for doubles, junior Vasileia Griva and senior Taylor Barrett won 7-5 followed by reshman Rachel Sam and sophomore Estefania Hernandez (No. 2) winning 6-2. For singles, Griva held her own at the No. 1 spot with a 2-1 win (6-7, 3-6, 6-1), as Barrett secured No. 2 (6-4, 6-0) and freshman Anna Soteras (6-4, 6-3) winning the No. 4 spot. 

“We did a great job overall, we never had a mindset that we would just win,” Griva said. “Everybody fought to the last point and put in the same effort. We all want to win and we do a great job adjusting to our opponent.”

Although the men’s games weren’t nearly as successful as their teammates as GVSU failed to win any of the doubles matches, a tightly contested game in the No. 2 doubles showcases the grit the team has in tough moments. Senior Jack Dausman and junior Freddy Cossio had a chance to take the win, but unfortunately would fall in a 6-7 decision. 

The singles matches did not yield much success either, as senior Ignacio Morera-Lucas would be the only Laker to take a victory on the day in the No. 6 singles spot that went down to the wire (6-2, 4-6, 10-8). 

“We need to be committed to practicing as hard as we can and have the same intensity in our matches that we do in practice,” Schall said.

While the Men’s team has dropped five-straight matches dating back to March 6, there is still time for them to contend for the 2023 GLIAC Championship and more, as the women’s side is 2-0 in conference and No. 2 in the GLIAC rankings.

“I’m just focused on winning every game, if we’re able to do that we’ll win the conference,” Griva said. “Making it to nationals is the end goal, but I think it’s better to make short term goals so that we can achieve our long term goals.”

Both teams will travel crosstown to face Davenport University on March 31 followed by another home match against Purdue Northwest Apr. 1 at 5 p.m.