With full sunlight heating up the courts, the two teams squared off in front of a dedicated crowd, raising money for both programs with an entry fee and tantalizing concessions.
The fundraiser was an attempt to break the mold of candy bar sales and can drives, making for a fun afternoon of tennis between friends.
“It was coach Karen’s idea,” said Spring Lake tennis coach Jodi Stoll. “We wanted to do something different and had come up with a few things, but this seemed like the most fun.
“Most of the kids playing each other are friends.”
The match followed a standard format, pitting corresponding flights against each other.
Jensen Hussey took on Eduard Lidke at No. 1 singles, Taylor Duer battled Joshua Duer in family-rivalry action at No. 2, Maddy Duer faced Callum Saxe at No. 3 and Morgan Whitaker tangled with Nate Starr at No. 4.
In the doubles flights, Adeline Sherman and Rachel Oostinde matched up with Stephen Zambiasi and Jonah Schmuker, Zoe Walters and Erin Burke squared off with Connor Saxe and Jack Lauinger, Erika McSheehy and Taylor Gates battled A.J. Dalman and Dawson Sherman and Mahli Braak and Abbi Perkins danced with Alex Mathew and August Druzgal.
With the girls coming off a recently concluded one-loss O-K Blue Conference season and the boys just shaking off the rust from a winter and spring off, the lady Lakers were ready for battle. But, at the end of the day, what mattered was the camaraderie built and funds raised.
“We probably should have asked for the scores, but that’s alright. It’s not what today was about,” Stoll said. “I’m sure they will remember themselves.”
The money accrued by the hot shot tennis players will go toward program costs, including tournament fees and equipment purchases.
With school still barely in session, it was a challenge getting all 24 players back and on the court. With exams running for the underclassmen and the seniors released into summer work and play schedules, it was quite the feat gathering for the good of the program.
“It was a chore, but we pulled it off,” Stoll said. “They had exams today, so it was a half day which meant we could start early before the seniors had to work. He had kids running right off when they finished their matches, but it turned out to be a nice day for everyone.”