Crushing the courts

Ferris women’s tennis undefeated through weekend

The Ferris women’s tennis team improved to 4-0 over the weekend after winning three road games.

As the team cruised through the weekend’s matches, it has taken command of the GLIAC by having an undefeated record.

Though it is early in the season, Ferris State has already improved upon last year’s performance by having a 4-0 start instead of last year’s 2-2 start to the season.

During the 2009-10 season, Ferris lost a match to Wayne State University 5-4, while this year Ferris capitalized by edging out the Warriors 6-3 on Sunday. The Bulldogs snatched an 8-1 victory over Tiffin on Saturday and shut down Findlay with a 9-0 triumph to kick off the weekend action on Friday.

Women’s tennis coach Alex Palladino says even though she played against the top player from Wayne State, who has had very few losses in her singles career, senior newcomer Alina Stanila demonstrated her exceptional capacity to hang tough under immense pressure and an unwillingness to break down on the big points.

“She was able to come up big when it counted most, a characteristic of champions and a quality that will serve her and her team very well this season,” said Palladino.

Stanila has won every singles match at the number one spot and every doubles match she has played in for the Bulldogs this season.

Senior Tiffany Rheynard is also undefeated in singles play for the Bulldogs, while junior Melissa Flowers and senior Amy Ingle are 3-1 in singles play.

“With the addition of Alina, we match up very well with any opponent and we will have a legitimate shot at winning against the toughest teams,” said Palladino.

Last year, the Bulldogs were 12-9 overall with a 5-4 conference record, before placing fifth at the GLIAC women’s tennis tournament.

Tabitha Simpson, who was a freshman last year, will also be a key contributor to the team. Palladino says with several experienced players on the team, they have a unique opportunity to challenge for the GLIAC championship this season.

“There is a significant amount of talent waiting for us yet this season, so we will continue to work hard and hope that it pays off when the big matches play out,” said Palladino.

The team will be playing in the Intercollegiate Tournament Association Midwest Regional Championships Sept. 17-19 in Jenison.

Following the ITA, the Bulldogs will take on conference rival and seven-year defending GLIAC champion Northwood University on Sept. 21 at the Ferris Racquet and Fitness Center with match time set for 3 p.m. n