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Men’s tennis falls 6-3 at Hope - shares MIAA title with Hope and Kalamazoo

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

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Box Score

Story and Photo by Mitch Blankespoor

HOLLAND, MI - The Calvin men’s tennis team traveled to the DeWitt Tennis Center on the campus of Hope College Tues. afternoon in search of an outright MIAA men’s tennis championship.  The Knights clinched a share of the title with a 7-2 win over Albion on Apr. 19.  Hope defeated Calvin 6-3 to clinch a share of the MIAA title with Calvin and Kalamazoo.

The Flying Dutchmen jumped all over the Knights early on.  Hope went up a break in all three doubles flights early on, and won all three doubles flights.  Calvin seniors Preston Phillips (Bexley, OH/Bexley) and Phil Reinken (Morton, IL/Morton) were defeated by Hope seniors Bobby Cawood (East Lansing/East Lansing HS) and Gabe Casher (Ann Arbor/Pioneer) 8-2 at first doubles. 

Calvin senior Brian DeMaagd (Grandville/Calvin Christian) and junior Loukus Peterson (Brentwood, TN/Brentwood HS) fell to senior Jason Muller (Petoskey/Petoskey HS) and junior Parker Bussies (Zeeland/Zeeland West) 8-3 at second doubles.

Senior Jarrod Brower (Holland/Holland Christian) and junior John Strikwerda (Holland/Holland Christian) were defeated by seniors Kyle Kreps (Holland/Holland HS) and Davis Vander Veen (Clarkston/Clarkston HS) 8-4 at third doubles.

“Usually whoever wins two of three or in this case all three doubles flights is going to win the match,” Calvin head coach John Ross said in a post-game interview. 

Calvin needed to win five of the six singles flights to win the match.  The first singles match off the court was the second singles flights.  Phillips defeated Bussies 6-1, 6-3.  Hope responded with a straight-set win of its own.  Cawood defeated DeMaagd 6-3, 6-1 at first singles.

The match-clinching flight came at sixth singles.  Calvin sophomore Tom Griffin (Elmhurst, IL/Elmhurst) fell behind a set, but battled back to force a decisive third.  Hope sophomore Jan Panzer (Rockford/Rockford HS) won the set and won the match by scores of 6-2, 4-6, 6-1.  Hope also won at third singles.  Muller defeated Reinken 6-3, 1-6, 6-4.

Calvin won the final two flights.  Peterson defeated Kreps 7-6 (2), 7-5 at fourth singles while Brower defeated sophomore Cody Herbruck (Grand Rapids/Forest Hills Eastern) 6-4, 0-6, 6-4 at fifth singles.

“There was a lot of pressure on us, but I give a ton of credit to Hope,” said Ross.  “They played very well.”

Calvin shares the MIAA title with Hope and Kalamazoo.  The Hornets’ incredible streak of 75 straight conference titles, dating back to 1936, continues. 

Through a tiebreaker, Calvin gains the number-two seed for the MIAA Tournament semifinals next Thursday while Hope is the third seed and Kalamazoo the number-one seed. The fourth seed has not yet been determined. Calvin will host Hope next Thursday in an MIAA Tournament semifinal match at 4 p.m.

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