Men’s tennis returned home from Florida to open GLIAC play with a near clean sweep against their league rivals, the Grand Valley State Lakers.
The Bulldogs (9-2, 1-0 GLIAC) looked to build upon their success from last year when they faced the Lakers to open GLIAC play in 2021-22. The only way to do it was to keep up their patented high energy pace of play from start to finish.
The competition started with three doubles matches, all of which resulted in convincing wins. Ferris also dominated in the singles portion, winning the top five matches.
“Yesterday was the culmination of lots of hard work and preparation leading up to our big rivalry matchup,” head coach Mark Doren said. “The guys played outstanding starting with one of the most high energy doubles I’ve seen in my four years at Ferris.”
The first pairing of doubles was Mathis Guerre and Jan Koupil. The duo had an answer for everything that their opponents threw at them. They started the sweep with a 6-3 victory.
On court two, Benjamin Lortie and Alessandro Santangelo sank their Laker pairing 6-2. They rallied early and put pressure on the Lakers.
Josh McDermott and Ayush Deswal’s serving gave them an edge to close out their match 6-3, which propelled the Bulldogs to the driver’s seat in the singles competition.
“I think doubles was really important, starting off the right way, because then we just needed three out of six singles,” Guerre said.
Despite the scorelines in doubles, the Lakers proved tougher when it went to singles play. However, they just could not match the energy and attitudes that Ferris brought to the table.
Guerre went toe-to-toe with Grand Valley’s Josep Canyadell, going deep into all three sets. After losing the first 6-7, Guerre claimed victory after a pair of 7-6 wins.
“Keep fighting, stay in it and stay confident all the way through to six singles,” Guerre said about keeping the energy up for the team.
Koupil kept the same mantra, as he fell short in the first set 3-6. He changed the pace in the second and third sets, winning convincingly 6-4 and 6-3.
Yannic Alexander Mader and Lortie shared identical outcomes to their matches. Both eased into the first sets with 6-4 wins, then closed the door 6-2.
McDermott played with intensity, but lost the first two sets 2-6 and 5-7. His loss was the only one of the Bulldogs’ shortcomings, but the loss didn’t stop him from supporting his teammates to finish the matches and get the win.
The win over the talented Laker squad gave the Bulldogs a much-needed boost after a 2-2 record in Orlando, Florida over spring break. Especially with opening conference play as the defending champions, the Bulldogs have a target on their back that is bigger than ever.
“It was great to get a win against a rival to start the season, but after last years undefeated season, we know every team is coming for us, and we just need to focus on each week’s matchup,” Doren said.
The team will continue their three game home stand this weekend on Friday, March 25 at 5 p.m., when they host the Michigan Tech Huskies.