By Shane Lydon, Sports Editor
Photos courtesy of aqsaints.com
Despite a slow start to the new season, the Aquinas Women’s tennis team have sent out a statement in recent weeks that they’re saving their best form for the business end of the campaign. After losing their first three encounters, Aquinas have now won seven of their last nine including a conference victory against Concordia at the MVP Sports Complex.
In the first conference game of the season, Aquinas sent out a message to the other teams in the tournament with a 9-0 victory. The win was highlighted by incredible performances by Martina Devetak, Remington Gerst and Kiara Berry in the singles; Gerst and Devetak also starred in the doubles together to take their game 8-0, while the other doubles teams of Bella Buck/Darcy TerHaar and Kiara Berry/Bailey Chouinard were also convincing winners.
Aquinas backed up their victory against Concordia with some impressive victories in their tour of Florida. “The highlight of the season so far were the wins against Wheaton and Southwestern colleges on our last day of spring break in Florida,” said senior Martina Devetak.
She was also blown away by the new doubles team of Buck and Berry in Florida. “Also, our #2 doubles- Isabella Buck and Kiara Berry surprised us with many victories, even against Southeastern University (who are ranked in the top 10 in the country). “She continued, “They have never been partners on the court before and it was a great discovery to see them playing so well together.”
Aquinas returned to the courts of Grand Rapids in style as they demolished Adrian College 9-0. Next up for the Saints are two home conference encounters with city rivals Cornerstone and Indiana Tech next weekend. Aquinas will be hoping to go 3-0 in conference play before they travel to Lawrence Tech on March 30th for their fourth conference match-up.
In terms of the goals for the rest of the season, it is about much more than just winning for the Aquinas women. ” I believe one of the goals is already achieved – we became a support for each other and will continue to do so. No matter where the team stands in a record, its members should always have each other’s backs,” Devetak said.
“Another goal we are working on is being competitive and at the same time representing the school well. Many times in college tennis, you can see teams cheating and being inappropriate during the matches. We try to avoid that and perform our best while at the same time respecting our opponent,” Devetak added.
Devetak is now entering the final weeks of her Aquinas tennis career and although combining college, tennis, work and a social life has been difficult, she is thankful for the friendships and relationships she has formed over the past four years.
” Throughout the four years, I’ve made friendships on the court which will hopefully last for a long time after I graduate. Staying friends with those people off court would be part of a perfect ending. Also, trying to perform my best and see the results would be a great way to end the tennis college career,” Devetak declared.
“AQ tennis will always have a special spot in my heart because once a Saint, forever a Saint!”