Men’s Tennis Defeated by Kalamazoo 6-3 at Huizenga Tennis & Track Center
Saturday, April 25, 2009
By Chaz Amidon
GRAND RAPIDS—Marcus Zeilstra and Steve DeMaagd recorded a come-from-behind win in No. 1 doubles action, but each fell in singles play as Kalamazoo defeated the Knights 6-3 at the Huizenga Tennis and Track Center on Saturday.
The Hornets (12-8, 5-0), who have captured 70 straight MIAA titles, notched two crucial wins in doubles and staved off a late Calvin surge in the lower singles flights.
“It would have been really nice to have beaten them here,” said Calvin coach John Ross. “We just can’t finish in doubles. That’s the biggest thing. We were right there.”
The loss dropped the Knights (13-6, 3-2) to third place in the conference, one game behind second-place Hope (10-9, 5-1) and two behind the unbeaten Hornets.
Zeilstra and DeMaagd started the afternoon by storming back against Kalamazoo’s Cyrus Jadun and Jason Brown at the No. 1 doubles slot. Trailing 6-4, Calvin’s top tandem claimed four consecutive games in front of a home crowd of 167—the largest home attendance so far this season.
“It was a fun doubles match, real fun,” said Zeilstra.
But after Kalamazoo cinched wins in both No. 2 and 3 doubles, Zeilstra fell 6-4, 6-2 to Jadun in the No. 1 singles match-up while DeMaagd, who tweaked his ankle against Brown, lost in the No. 2 spot, 6-3, 6-1. Zeilstra lost to Jadun in No. 2 singles last season, and he could potentially play the Hornet’s ace one more time in the MIAA Tournament, which begins on Thursday.
“I knew playing Cyrus on this surface was going to be tough,” said Zeilstra. “It favors the player who is more defensive, who can slice a little bit more.”
Nick Steenstra revived the Knights with a win in No. 4 singles, clawing his way back from a first-set loss to Nate Eddy to post a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory. Matt and Andrew De Vlieger each lost pivotal matches, but Andrew Rescorla notched a three-set win (6-4, 1-6, 10-8) to join Steenstra as the only Knights to contribute in singles play.
The Steenstra-Rescorla duo suffered an 8-5 loss in double action to Tom Cafmeyer and Pat Boyd, and the De Vlieger brothers gave up six unanswered games to Eddy and Joe Unger in an 8-5 loss.
“We’ve got to find a way to win two doubles matches in all the matches we have coming up,” said Ross. “If we can get two, we’ll find a way to muster up three singles. In all of our losses, we haven’t got two doubles wins.”
Calvin will travel to Albion on Tuesday to wrap up its regular season before the start of the MIAA Tournament on Thursday. Because the Knights are currently in third place, they will either play Trine (6-8, 1-3) or Alma (11-8, 1-4) in the first round.