WINONA LAKE – The Grace College men’s tennis team defeated Taylor 7-2 in the first round of the Crossroads League Tournament on Tuesday.
With the win, the second-seeded Lancers (8-2) will host the third-seeded Marian Knights at Miller Field on Thursday in the CL Tournament Semifinals.
The Lancers gave themselves an early boost by sweeping all three doubles matches. Aaron Blevins and Daniel Sanchez won 8-3 at No. 2 doubles, and Michael Humphrey and Jack Wang found the same margin of victory at No. 3 doubles.
The No. 1 duo of Michael Blevins and Nikola Todorovic had an early lead over the Trojans (4-10) but was forced to hold on late for an 8-6 win.
Sanchez was quick in victory at No. 1 singles by the score of 6-2, 6-0, and Todorovic clinched the match at No. 3 singles by the score of 6-4, 6-2.
Aaron Blevins (6-4, 2-6, 6-4) at No. 4 singles and Humphrey (7-6, 3-6, 1-0) at No. 5 singles both managed to dig deep to win in the final set of their three-set matches.
“We really came out and played strong in doubles which gave us three points off the bat. That really gave us a lift,” said Grace head coach Larry Schuh. “We’re playing very strong right now. I’m looking forward to Thursday knowing that we can put forward this type of effort.”
The Lancers and Knights will play on Thursday in the tournament semifinals in a rematch of the season opener, which Grace won 6-3 in Indianapolis. Thursday’s match time at Miller Field has yet to be determined.