Close. Not a word that athletes or coaches care for but it does describe what transpired between the Eagles and Rams Thursday afternoon. It wasn’t the outcome Grand Rapids Christian had hoped for, but spectators and players were able to witness some outstanding tennis in the best result in recent years against a Rockford tennis team.
As the first 4 matches were completed the Rams and Eagles were tied 2-2. #5 Devin Meeuwsen/Matt Molenhouse and #6 Cade Boender/Derek Jacobsen each won their flight 8-5 and 8-6 respectively. #7 Gordon VerMeulen/Preson Lewis and #8 Ben Walters/Nate VerMeulen were unable to come away with a win.
The first 4 flights were full of drama and gritty determination. Flights 2 and 3 fought back after losing their first set to take the 2nd set. #3 Dan Betten and Owen Greer were unable to come up with the points to win in the 3rd set tiebreak losing 5-7, 6-3, (4-10). However #2 Brad VanWienen/Charlie Walters came back and won in the tiebreak 3-6,6-3,(10-8). #4 Jordan Bergsma/Lucas Oezer left everything on the court including some skin after a tough loss in straight sets 5-7,5-7.
With the Eagles trailing by 1 all eyes watched #1 Mark Haga and Drew Hoeksema to hopefully sneak in a tie. After the Eagles dominated the first set, the Rams fought back to take the 2nd pushing the match into a 3rd set tiebreak. The tiebreak was close but finally Rockford claimed the final point for the victory 6-0,5-7,(9-11).
Chase Jackson/Preston Lewis and Jimmy Doles/Joel VanHekken were able to come away with a couple great exhibition wins. Gavin Sosnowski and Christian VandenBerg also played a great match just missing the win by a few points in a tiebreak.
Though the win would have been great, coaches are proud of the intensity the Eagles displayed against a very tough Rockford team.