Tennis team dominates Lawrence Tech

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The SVSU women’s tennis team continued its forceful spring season with another win Friday, March 24, against Lawrence Tech.

The win pushed the team’s spring record to 5-0 after an undefeated trip to Florida over Spring Break. The 9-0 sweep was the Cardinals’ third sweep of the season, and their overall record between the fall and spring seasons stands at 14-5.

SVSU’s doubles pairs won both matches they participated in. Senior Ana Pico Garcia and her partner Shea Donahue, a junior, won their match 8-4. The pairing of senior Izabella Ismailova and junior Danielle Slonac outscored the Blue Devils 8-1. Freshman Taylor McLaughlin and junior Abigail Shonk won due to a forfeit.

After the match, Garcia noted that the team has come a long way since she began playing four years ago. The success of the doubles team has been important to the overall success.

“Doubles has been a key for us this season,” she said. “Most of us are singles players, and we have worked hard with (head coach Jenn Boehm) to be able to get those three doubles points every match.”

Singles competition saw McLaughlin and Shonk emerge victorious against their opponents. Slonac was also awarded a victory due to forfeit.

Freshman Madeline Miller, freshman Samantha Perkins and junior Mikayla Kazdan were also successful in singles competition. All three won their matches 2-0.

Shonk and Kozdan won both their singles sets 6-0, not allowing Lawrence Tech a single game.

After SVSU finished fifth overall in the GLIAC during the fall season, Boehm was disappointed with the result of the conference tournament. That outcome, however, fueled the team’s work ethic during the offseason, which has resulted in a strong spring outing.

“We finished the season really strong at the end of conference play last October, winning the final two matches,” Boehm said. “It was, however, disappointing in many ways, as we lost a heartbreaker to Ferris State in the opening round and we really felt like we should have advanced. That lingering feeling of ‘what could have been’ has driven us to train extremely hard in the off-season with (strength) coach Brandon Ferstl and take care of business this spring.”

Garcia echoed her coach’s statements about the spring season being a result of working and improving on past mistakes.

“Spring season has been the result of the work and improvement we made in the fall,” she said. “We were able to top big teams like Wayne State and had a regular season fighting with the best teams in the conference. Now we walk onto the court with confidence knowing what we are capable of. Our conditioning and workout programs during this semester have helped us to be ready for these matches, and the results are showing in our work.”

With the season winding down, SVSU is having its best season in over a decade. Boehm attributes the hard work the team has put in during the offseason, even if it wasn’t quite the challenge she wanted.

“We are coming to the end of a tremendous season, our best in 16 years,” Boehm said. “We have been working hard in the offseason and swept all four matches in Florida. That is great for building our confidence, but I would have liked to see us pushed a little more. We are looking forward to the final match and hopefully sending our seniors out with one final victory.”

The team plays against Hillsdale on Sunday, April 2, at 1 p.m. The match will be held at the Greater Midland Tennis Center. Garcia will be one of those Cardinals stepping on the court for the final time.

“Playing against Hillsdale is always special for us,” she said. “There is a rivalry, and we are going to give our best to finish undefeated in the spring season. As No. 1 doubles, (Donahue) and I have a tough match. We split victories last season against this pair, and in singles, I can’t wait to finish my career with a good battle and hopefully a victory.”