The Ferris State women’s tennis team plays their conference tournament this weekend.
After a 3-6 loss against Grand Valley State last Friday, the team sits in sixth place in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. They aren’t settling though, and are going into the GLIAC tournament with their goals set high.
According to junior Janie Sell, the team is motivated to take home a first place trophy for the first time since 2002. They will have some tough competition, with an undefeated Wayne State team in their way as well as a Northwood team who has won the tournament 10 out of the last 11 years.
“We need to play our best tennis when it counts,” Janie Sell said.
The Bulldogs are 8-5 overall and 7-5 in GLIAC matches this year under third year head coach Chad Berryhill. Berryhill said the biggest thing he is trying to get across to his players going into this weekend is to get ahead early.
“We have to play better doubles. If we can get up 2-1 or 3-0 going into the six singles matches, then I think we can do well,” Berryhill said.
This is the last match of the year for the team until the season starts back up again on Feb. 21. The Bulldogs will have eight more matches from that time until the start of the NCAA tournament.
According to coach Berryhill, the top seven teams in the region get into the NCAA tournament. Last year four out of the seven teams were from the GLIAC.
In order to have a shot at the NCAA tournament, Berryhill said, “Realistically, we need to be in the top four of the conference.”
During the time between this weekend’s tournament and their next match in February, the team can only get together for practice two hours a week due to league rules. Coach Berryhill said since the time is so limited, the team will hit the gym more during the break, and also use the time for video analysis of the team’s technique.
The GLIAC tournament will take place in Midland on Friday, Oct. 24 at 6:45 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 25 at 3:45 p.m., and Sunday, Oct 26 morning at 8 a.m.