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Calvin Women’s Tennis Comes From Behind To Defeat Rival Hope 5-4 at Strikwerda Courts

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

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(written by Calvin sports information student assistant Mitch Blankespoor)

The Calvin women’s tennis team wanted to start off the MIAA regular season with a win.  There is no better team for the Knights to to beat than their rivals: the Flying Dutch of Hope College.  Calvin did win its season opener nipping Hope 5-4 Tuesday afternoon at the Strikwerda Tennis Courts. 

The doubles matches proved to be very competitive.  Calvin’s No. 1 doubles combination of juniors Melissa Oosterhouse (Grand Rapids Christian) and Kaitlin Spoelhof (Holland Christian) fell 9-7 to Alyssa Austin and Danielle Worely in a hotly contested pro set.  The Knights also fell to the Dutch at 2nd doubles with the score again 9-7.  Calvin’s lone doubles win came at third doubles.  Seniors Elisabeth Geenen and Rachel DeGroot defeated Schulz and Olson 8-2.  Going into the singles, Calvin needed to win four of the six matches.

Junior Melissa Oosterhouse made quick work of Hope’s Alyssa Austin defeating her 6-1, 6-1 at first singles to improve to 13-1 in singles play this year. 

One down, three to go. 

Next off the courts was the third singles match between Elisabeth Geenen and Danielle Wurley.  The Knights picked up their second singles point and third in the match as Geenen defeated Wurley 6-1, 6-3.  The fourth singles match ended right after third singles.  Calvin won 6-3, 6-4 as Rachel Strikwerda defeated Nicole Spagnolo. 

Calvin was sitting in pretty good shape at this point in the match.  There were three matches still on the court, and all the Knight’s needed was to win one of those matches.  To swing the match more in Calvin’s favor, Rachel DeGroot had fought off back-to-back set points to take the first set in a tiebreak at sixth singles.  Some forget tennis matches can turn around quickly.

Hope then won at fifth singles as Casey Bruxter defeated Michelle Busscher 6-4, 7-6(0).  This put the overall match score at 4-3 in favor of Calvin.  Rachel DeGroot came up clutch for the Knights winning the sixth singles match for the Knights 7-6(5), 7-5 in dramatic fashion clinching the match for the Knights.  Kaitlin Spoelhof could not hold on to a set lead in the second singles matchup falling to Katherine Garcia 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(4).

“ I was expecting a tough match at doubles from Hope since they are very strong there.  Losing two matches 9-7 deflated us a little bit, but I was proud of this team for rebounding.  Rachel (DeGroot) was big for us today.  She has had a lot of close matches some of which she has lost.  Her win sealed it for us.” Calvin head women’s tennis coach Jerry Bergsma

The victory allowed Calvin to improve to 9-2 overall and 2-0 in MIAA play. A year ago Calvin dropped a pair of 5-4 decisions to Hope including a one-point decision in the MIAA Tournament Championship final.

Tuesday’s match also featured a pair of regionally-ranked teams as Hope came in ranked 12th in the ITA Division III Central Region rankings while Calvin came in ranked 13th.

Calvin is back in action on Friday, traveling to Trine for a match slated to start at noon.

Posted in: Women's Tennis
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