Regional rampage

Tennis continues dominance against Findlay and Hillsdale in weekend twinbill

Ferris men’s and women’s tennis continued their winning ways last weekend, taking down two GMAC contenders by a combined score of 24-4.

The action began Friday, Feb. 10, when the Bulldogs travelled to Hillsdale to take on the Chargers. On the men’s side, Ferris swept the doubles matches before winning all six individual matchups to win 7-0. It was the first win for the Bulldog men against the Chargers in Hillsdale since 2016.

“Hillsdale has courts that aren’t normal surfaces and play very slow,” head coach Mark Doren said. “We knew we had to stay focused and aggressive with our footwork.”

In the top singles pairing, freshman Erik Kovacs upset Brennan Cimpeanu, the number 15-ranked singles player in all of Division II in a three-set nailbiter. Sophomore Alessandro Santangelo also secured a three-set win in the number five flight, while juniors Jan Koupil and Benjamin Lortie, senior Yannic-Alexander Mader, and freshman Esunge Ndumbe gained singles victories in straight sets.

On the women’s side, the Bulldogs started off by falling in doubles but rebounded greatly by winning five of the six singles pairings to earn a 5-2 victory.

“On the women’s side, we had an opposite start and struggled in doubles,” Doren said. “I was very impressed with how we responded in singles.”

Senior Morgan Waller and Sophomore Parker Nolan earned the lone doubles win for the Bulldogs while Nolan and freshman Ana Sofia Hernandez Ferrer each pulled a third set comebacks to secure a singles win. Junior Sophie Daavettila, freshman Maria Fernanda Hernandez Ferrer, and sophomore Kennedy Dumas each earned straight set singles wins.

“There is always a bit of nerves playing away, but showed up excited, loud, and ready to play,” Nolan said.

Following up on Saturday, the men’s squad hosted the Findlay Oilers at the Racquet Center. The Bulldogs continued their hot streak of play on the doubles side, with number three regional ranked pairing of Koupil and Lortie taking down the number eight ranked duo of Alfredo Berlanga and Wilfredo Lara by a dominant score of 6-1. Santangelo and Ndumbe won the number two doubles flight while Kovacs and Mader took down Findlay’s third duo. Kovacs, Koupil, Mader, Lortie, and Ndumbe would go on to earn singles victories to clinch a 6-1 Bulldog win.

When asked about the team’s depth after the first matches on the spring season, Doren mentioned that the team’s talent is extremely high and they are still feeling out the lineup moving forward.

For the women’s match on Sunday, Ferris faced a tough Oiler team that was ranked second in the GMAC preseason rankings and beat the Bulldogs a year ago in Ohio. In a dominant response, Coach Doren’s squad avenged their 2022 defeat with a 6-1 victory.

Waller and Nolan as well as Daavettila and junior Amelia Laverdiere took two of the three doubles flights to earn the doubles point while Daavettila, Waller, Nolan, and both Hernandez Ferrer sisters earned singles victories.

“The team has grown so much from last season,” Nolan said. “We are stoked to have gotten two regional wins and continue our winning record.”

The women’ team moved to 5-1 on the season with the wins while the men improved to 4-1 overall. Both teams will travel to Ohio next weekend to take on top-ranked GMAC contender Tiffin on Friday with a doubleheader against Walsh following on Saturday.