WINONA LAKE – After a 23-year drought of championships ended last fall, the Grace College men’s tennis team earned its second straight Crossroads League title for the regular season.
The Lancers completed their successful title defense with a 6-3 win over Marian on Thursday.
Grace, who shares the regular-season championship, will await next week’s tournament draw for the 2013 Crossroads League Tournament. The Lancers will be either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed, depending on the result of Friday’s Indiana Wesleyan/Spring Arbor match.
“I could not be more proud of the guys. This was a great season from a record in points to winning conference for the second year in a row. This is a great bunch of guys who look out for each other and who seriously desire to glorify God through tennis,” said Grace head coach Larry Schuh. “We have had great leadership in our captains Michael Humphrey and Aaron Blevins. They were an example of integrity and competitive perseverance the whole season.”
The Lancers (8-2; 7-1 CL) claimed an early advantage over the Knights (6-3; 5-3 CL) by winning all three doubles’ matches.
Jack Wang and Ethan Grove at No. 3 doubles wrapped up an undefeated regular season with an 8-4 win over Marian. Michael Humphrey and Jose Marval completed a one-loss season at No. 2 doubles with a 7-1 victory.
Daniel Sanchez teamed up with Aaron Blevins for an 8-6 win at No. 1 doubles.
Grace needed just two singles’ wins to take the match. Ricardo Bedon provided the first points with a 6-2, 6-2 win against his opponent at No. 6 singles, and Sanchez sealed the victory with a 6-4, 6-0 victory.
Humphrey rallied from a set behind to give Grace its sixth point at No. 5 singles.
“Our three doubles’ team went undefeated on the year, and Humphrey went 8-0 in singles for conference and 7-1 at two doubles with Jose [Marval],” Schuh continued. “I can’t say enough about Daniel [Sanchez]. He played so strong at No. 1 singles which allows our whole lineup to be as strong as it is. Take him out of the picture, and I think we finish in the middle of conference.”