Playing through adversity

Women’s tennis deals with lineup changes, head coach departure

The Ferris State women’s tennis team is finding their rhythm as they picked up their fourth straight win Saturday, Oct. 8, before dropping a match to Tiffin on Sunday, Oct. 9.

The Bulldogs have grinded their way to a 5-3 record, despite dealing with a great deal of adversity. The biggest problem that has plagued the Bulldogs to this point according to head coach Chad Berryhill is injury.

“We have had a tough time with injuries, so we haven’t had a chance to build off our strengths,” Berryhill said. “We just focus on one point and one game at time. We have played very gritty tennis to start out.”

Putting players in the right place based on their strengths is a huge part of being successful in tennis. Injuries have made it tough for the Bulldogs to do so, but it appears Berryhill is capable of making the best out of the cards he was dealt.

“Honestly, I have no idea how he does it,” said senior Sydney Berens. “With so many new players, it’s difficult to gauge how they will play. Coach Berryhill switched the doubles lineup around so many times, it was insane.”

Although injury has affected the Bulldogs greatly, a different type of adversity struck them when it was announced that Coach Berryhill would be departing Ferris State following the 2016 season.

“The news shocked everyone on the team,” said sophomore Nika Hein. “We are lucky that we get to finish the season with him. It gives us a little extra motivation to make this a great last season for ourselves and for Coach Berryhill.”

Any extra motivation the team can get could make a huge impact for a team that wants to play well for their coach in his last year as a Bulldog.

The FSU women’s tennis team will return to Big Rapids this Saturday, Oct. 15, to take on the Ashland Eagles at 10 a.m.