Grand Haven boys tennis draws with state power Allegan

Josh VanDyke • Sep 16, 2016 at 12:57 AM

The Grand Haven boys tennis team was hoping to come away with another win on Thursday as they hosted perennial state power Allegan at Grand Haven High School.

The Bucs were strong out of the gate, winning all four singles matches, but weren’t able to get the fifth win they needed, drawing a 4-4 tie with visiting Allegan on Thursday.

“It could have gone better,” said Grand Haven coach Chris Wilton. “We lost a couple matches that we probably could have won, but they were toss-ups. Allegan is a good, quality team, so anything can happen.

“We’re just glad we were able to play a quality opponent that was capable of pushing us. Even though they are a lower-level school, they’ve made the state meet every year, and they’ve had a great program for the last 30 years. It’s nice to play them finally. That is the kind of program that we are hoping to copy for the future of our program. To tie this team is a decent result, but we had hoped for more.”

Photos from Thursday’s match

Freshman Noah Bachmann was the first player off the court for the Bucs on Thursday, defeating Allegan’s Brody Carns, 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1 singles.

Junior Spencer Sortman defeated Allegan’s Brandon Day in No. 2 singles play, 6-1, 6-0 and junior Riley Wilton added a 6-1, 6-1 win over Allegan’s Alex Babbitt in No. 3 singles play.

Also capturing a win for the Bucs was junior Nathan Sexton at No. 3 singles. Sexton battled through a three-set match with Allegan’s Kody Harrington for a 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 win.

“Our one, two and three (singles players) played really well,” added Coach Wilton. “Riley at (No.) 3 singles collected a lot of quality points, and Noah stepped up his game and was the first one off the court today. Any time that happens, especially at No. 1 singles, that’s a nice thing.”

While the team wasn’t able to come away with any wins at the doubles flight, Wilton was impressed with the performance of one of his duos.

“John (Richardson) and Cullen (Davison) (at No. 3 doubles) played a really nice match,” he said. “They were playing strong, but the other team just got hot at the end. We just have to keep working on getting to the net faster and see if we can win some more doubles matches.

“I just want to see our doubles teams execute a little better and work on getting to the net more. Our singles have to continue to stay positive throughout the match and play without fear.

“That’s been one of my big themes this year. We have to play aggressively and positively instead of passively and scared. Our whole team is too good for that. They have to play aggressively from that start and just go.”

Grand Haven travels to Holland on Saturday where they’ll see crosstown rival Spring Lake and O-K Red Conference foe Grandville as well as the host Dutch.

“Grandville just tied West Ottawa this week, and we tied West Ottawa the other day as well, so there’s about five teams that are just about equal in our conference,” Wilton added. “It should be an amazing league race. We’ll get a chance to compete and improve on Saturday.”

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