GV Men’s Tennis welcomes ITA Regionals – Grand Valley Lanthorn

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Grand Valley State University’s men’s tennis team hosted the 2021 ITA Division II Midwest Regional Championship last weekend, September 24-26.

The tournament is marked by a 64-player tournament, a singles tournament and a 32-pair doubles tournament. It was the first time the event had taken place since 2019 after last year’s event was canceled due to COVID-19. For GVSU tennis, that meant just having the opportunity to participate in this tournament was positive.

“We weren’t able to make this tournament last fall so I think we were just excited to have the chance to come and compete and see what the rest of the region is like,” said the coach. Samantha Schall.

The Lakers have also seen positive results on the court. Senior Sebastian Arce won two games to reach the round of 16 on Friday. Both of those wins were sweeps that ended with a two-set score to zero. But in the second game, Arce had to defend against five to four in the second set to avoid going to the tiebreaker.

“I think the mental part was the key part of the game,” said Arce. “I was able to stay focused. The guy was a really good player so definitely the mental part got me through this game a lot.

Arce entered the ITA Regionals with the aim of doing his best in every point. On Friday he showed he was capable of doing it.

“Every time I walk on the pitch my expectation is to play every point the best I can,” said Arce. “The fights I was able to pull off, no matter how bad I was in tennis, I was able to keep running, bring back every ball and give my best at every point.”

Arce wasn’t the only successful player on the team. Schall was happy with the results she saw from the whole team.

“We already have two players through to the round of 16, at least in the draw, and it’s a good result,” said Shcall. “I don’t know what our expectations were, but I think we had a good result today, so we are happy with the first day.”

Graduate student Josep Canyadell was the second Laker to advance to the round of 16, alongside Arce. The rest of the team playing in Draw A also enjoyed success.

“Each of our guys, at least here at Site A, won at least one game today, so that’s positive,” said Schall. We had two separate guys and two guys won two, so that’s a pretty good ratio for the performance today.

Senior Jack Dausman won the first round of the tournament while senior Martin Matov won his first consolation match. As the ITA Regionals continue, the level of competition will increase.

“I think it’s getting better and better but the level is getting higher and higher,” said Shcall. “So our guys who are still alive in Draw A should have some really competitive games in the future and I just want to see how they handle these more important times.”

Following the conclusion of the ITA Regional Championships, the GVSU men’s tennis team will travel to the University of Illinois at Chicago on Friday, October 1 to face the Flames.


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