by Kylene Compaan

Their goal was to finish number two or three in the MIAA; they are currently number four. The women’s tennis team has one more weekend to prove that they are one of the best teams in the MIAA. Head coach Jerry Bergsma thinks that is possible.

“At this point those goals are still achievable. We’d need contributions from everyone,” he said.

Player injuries have forced the team to learn what it means to have strong individual contributions from every player.

“Injury has affected our depth,” Bergsma said. “In some of our matches against tougher teams, everyone had to contribute. The lack of depth puts additional pressure on everyone.”

But the players have handled it well. “There has been frustration, but those frustrations have been worked out in positive ways on the court,” Bergsma added.

Players have had to play out of position, step up into different roles and demonstrate a real team attitude. According to Bergsma, these have been the highlights of the season on the court.

Off the court, Bergsma said the closeness of the team has been a highlight.

“The team being small in numbers has given us the opportunity to become really close. That started with our spring break trip to South Carolina.”

The Knights head into the weekend-long MIAA Champ-ionship tournament on Friday with a 4-3 league record behind Hope (5-2), Albion (6-10) and St. Mary’s (7-0). The tournament will be held at Kalamazoo College’s Stowe Stadium and will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Bergsma realizes that Friday’s competition is going to set the stage for the rest of the tournament. “Friday will be a big test. [It] will make decisions on [our] flight for Saturday.”

But the team is looking forward to the challenge. “We’re really excited about the tourney,” Bergsma said. “We have the opportunity to do really well as a team.”

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