The match, which was played indoors at the Warsaw Racquet Club due to weather, was a repeat of the 2011 tournament title bout.
Grace fell behind early with a pair of tough losses in doubles play. Jack Wang and Michael Humphrey were strong at No. 3 doubles with an 8-2 win, but the Lancers (9-3) still entered singles play trailing 2-1.
Daniel Sanchez and Aaron Blevins seemed to be on the verge of winning at No. 2 doubles with a few match points in their favor, but ultimately the Cougars (10-2) came from behind to win 9-8.
Aaron Blevins recovered nicely to win in three sets at No. 4 singles by the score of 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, and Humphrey earned his second point of the match with a quick 6-1, 6-1 victory.
Spring Arbor took care of their lead, however, with wins at No. 1, No. 3 and No. 6 singles to secure the tournament championship.
“We had a great season. The guys are super disappointed because we knew it was there for us to take. If it were not for a couple points here and there, we’d be writing a different story,” said Grace head coach Larry Schuh. “We’re keeping our chins up. We knew we were co-champs in conference which hadn’t been done in a long time. It’s a lost opportunity but still an opportunity we can grow from.”
The loss wraps up the fall season for Grace. The Lancers will hope to earn a spot at the NCCAA National Championships from Mobile, Ala., on May 7-10.