Women’s Tennis Edged by Hope 5-4 at Huizenga Tennis & Track Center
Saturday, April 16, 2011
By Sports Information Student Assistant Derek Neice
Calvin battled hard against rival Hope Saturday afternoon but came up just short in taking the outright 5-4 loss to the Dutch. After falling behind 1-2 in doubles, the Knights swept the top three singles matches and led 4-3 going into the final two singles matches but the depth of the Hope lineup prevailed.
Starting out with a trio of doubles matches, the Knights number one pair of Melissa Oosterhouse and Kaitlin Spoelhof defeated Hope’s Katherine Garcia and Leah LaBarge 8-1. But the Dutch responded by winning the other two matches as Shelby Schulz and Pickelman defeated Calvin’s Michelle Busscher and Elise Doezema 8-3, and Casey Baxter and Mallory Smith defeated Calvin’s Lauren Schlagenhauf and Bethany Zoerhof 8-3.
“I think we got off to a little bit of a slow start and I think we can play better doubles than that,” Coach Bergsma said after. “Hope has traditionally been strong in their doubles play so we knew we had to bring our best there.”
In singles, Oosterhouse took down Hope’s Garcia in the top seeded match 6-4, 6-3. It was a long battle of a match in which both players played very well but Oosterhouse managed to come out on top with some key breaks.
Spoelhof won her #2 singles match against Hope’s LaBarge 6-2 6-1, with Spoelhof coming back from a 2-1 deficit in the first set to take 10 straight games and the match win.
Busscher then gained a key victory in the #3 singles match against Hope’s Casey Baxter 6-3 6-4. With Hope’s Schulz defeating Schlagenhauf in the #4 singles match, Calvin still had a 4-3 lead going into the final two matches.
“I thought we fought back well in singles with key wins from our seniors,” Bergsma said. “We came up just a little short but I’m pleased with the effort for sure.”
Doezema was defeated in the number 6 singles match as Hope’s Smith cruised to a 6-1 6-0 victory to even the score at 4-4 overall. Calvin’s Jordan Ipema against Melissa Bieri became the final showdown in the 5 singles match, with the winner determining which team would win.
The two battled hard in the first set with Ipema jumping ahead 5-4. Bieri then won three clutch games in a row to win the first set 7-5, and then cruised in the second to a 6-3 victory, giving the Dutch the team win.
“The experience they have [seniors] is invaluable,” Bergsma said. “The intensity of a rivalry like this does not phase them too much and it brings out the best in them.”
The next action for the Knights will be Monday April 18 at home against the Saint Mary’s Belles. Those matches are set to kick off at 4 p.m.