Men’s tennis secures win over Adrian despite demeaning behavior

Dave Brown serves up the ball earlier in the season against Albion College. Photo courtesy Calvin Sports Information.
Dave Brown serves up the ball earlier in the season against Albion College. Photo courtesy Calvin Sports Information.

On April 22, 2017, the Calvin men’s team defeated Adrian in a close 5-4 match to capture third place in the MIAA season.

Calvin won all three doubles matches. Freshman Rodrigo Vaca Guzman and junior David Brown were the first to secure a victory, with a score of 8-1 in No. 2 doubles. Senior Anthony Vroon and sophomore Jason Wolters won the No. 3 doubles next, finishing with a score of 8-2. Junior Matt VanWinkle and senior Taylor Asfour scored the third victory in No. 1 doubles for Calvin ending with an aggregate of 8-6.

The Knights struggled in the singles match, winning two matches out of six. No. 2 and No. 6 singles were won by VanWinkle and Wolters, respectively. Vaca Guzman, Brown, Asfour, and Vroon lost No. 1, 3, 4, and 5 singles.

Calvin’s victory was not the only story to come out the match, however. Several Calvin players mentioned a violation of the unwritten rules of tennis etiquette by some Adrian players as well as the Adrian fans in attendance.

One of the Adrian players played against an international Calvin tennis player, and continued to trash talk him. This included telling him to go back to his country, that he was a liar, and that he should be expecting the “hook” back home. Furthermore, another Calvin player was referred to as being “gay” for asking a referee to mediate the game. The crowds encouraged and participated in this type of behavior.

There were also instances of impolite behavior, where Adrian players would hit the ball up to the corners between points, which is not normal tennis etiquette.

To clarify, not all Calvin players were subject to this type of behavior, nor were all Adrian players part of creating this atmosphere.

Coach Ross said, “I was very proud of our attitude and effort not only throughout this match but our entire season. Our team was up against a very tough and challenging opponent and we were able to keep our emotions in check. Our action throughout the match was clear to anyone who observed this match. We accomplished our goal, which was play to in a manner that honored and represented our Heavenly Father.”

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