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Calvin Women’s Tennis Team Defeats Albion 6-3 - Remains Unbeaten in MIAA Play

Thursday, April 22, 2010

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(Written by Calvin Sports Information Student Assistant Mitch Blankespoor)

The Calvin women’s tennis team looked to remain undefeated in the MIAA season by taking on the Albion Britons.  Calvin defeated the Britons 6-3 on Thursday afternoon.

Once again the doubles matches were the most thrilling of the match.  Second and third doubles were rather straightforward however.  Senior Jill VanVeen (Grand Rapids Christian High School) and Rachel Strikwerda defeated Cassie Simmelink and Sarah Towler 8-5 at second doubles.  The Britons took third doubles by a score of 8-4 as Morgan Walter and Marissa Messinger defeated Elizabeth Geenan and Rachel DeGroot.

First doubles was the match of the day.  Shelly Zambler and Anna Gunderson defeated Melissa Oosterhouse (Grand Rapids Christian) and Kaitlin Spoelhof (Holland Christian) 9-8 (6).  The Brits jumped out to an early 5-1 lead, but could not hold it. Oosterhouse and Spoelhof battled back to take a lead 8-7.  The pro set went into a tiebreak, but only for Albion to win the tiebreaker 8-6.  This gave Albion the crucial point advantage after doubles 2-1. 

The singles matches went by rather quickly.  Calvin took the first four singles matches rather handily to clinch that match.  Melissa Oosterhouse defeated Shelly Zambler 6-0, 6-2.  Kaitlin Spoelof beat Anna Gundersen 6-2, 6-3.  Elizabeth Geenan beat Cassie Simmelink 6-2, 6-2.  Rachel Srikwerda handled Sarah Towler 6-1, 6-0.  Michelle Busschen edged Morgan Wattler 5-7, 6-0, 10-4.  The lone singles point for the Brits came from the sixth singles flight.  Katherine Batten beat Rachel DeGroot 6-4, 1-6, 10-7.

“This was a big win,” said Calvin women’s tennis coach Jerry Bergsma after the completion of the match. “We knew Albion would bring a very talented team here today and I was pleased with how our players stepped up to the challenge. We have work left to do but today was an important step in our season.”

The win by Oosterhouse in singles play boosted her season single mark to 19-1 overall including 7-0 in MIAA play. In the process, Oosterhouse has established a new Calvin single-season record for singles victories. Geenen moved to 15-4 in singles action, Strikwerda 14-3, Busccher 12-5 and Spoelhof 11-7.

In doubles play, DeGroot and Geenen are now 15-2, Strikwerda and VanVeen 11-5 and Oosterhouse and Spoelhof 12-6.

“They were one of the toughest doubles team we have faced this year in the conference,” said Spoelhof of Albion’s No. 1 doubles team after the match.  “This is our second loss in conference with the other one being to Hope.  It was very encouraging to come back from 5-1 down and force a tiebreak.  Even though we lost, it was nice to even the slate in the singles match.”

Calvin returns to action next Monday when it travels to Alma for a 4 p.m. match. The Knights will be bidding to become just the second team in Calvin women’s tennis history to finish an MIAA dual meet season unbeaten as the 1981 Calvin women’s tennis team also achieved the feat.

Posted in: Women's Tennis
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