Big Rapids tennis team splits matches

Owen Westerkamp plays the ball.

BIG RAPIDS — It was a mixed night of success for the Big Rapids boys tennis Cardinals in Monday’s home opener.

BR lost to Spring Lake 5-3 but then came back for a 7-5 win over Greenville.

Against Spring Lake, “the boys played well,” Cardinal coach Austin Brinker said. “The execution wasn’t where it needs to be. You can expect that early in the season.”

Freshman Owen Westerkamp won at No. 1 singles. Also winning were Tyler Bigford at 3 singles and Jonah Weber and Alex Dubowski in doubles.

Westerkamp won along with Michael Steffens at No. 2 singles and Demarcus Lee at No. 4 singles against Greenville

“Owen is a talented freshman that will be thrown into the top of our singles lineup,” Brinker said. “His strengths are his quickness around the court, the consistency of his groundstrokes and his ability to end points at the net. Owen is naturally talented. If he continues to work hard throughout the season, the wins and improvement to his game will follow. He is one of the most skilled freshmen in the area, and has a bright future ahead of him.”

The Cards won all four doubles matches.

“I thought we played well,” Brinker said. “Overall, I’m impressed the way the guys handled it. It’s a good start. We had the one on Friday and had this one today.”

“It’s going fairly well,” Steffens said “Our season just started. It’s looking good.”

The Cards were at the Ludington Quad on Friday to open the season. Spencer Olen and Bryce Courtright at No. 2 doubles took second.

“That was our best finish,” Brinker said. “We had a very good showing. The boys played hard. It was a good warmup. We played some tough teams and didn’t give up. Ludington was ranked No. 4 in Division 4 last year. East Kentwood was in it and is very good.”

Big Rapids has a quad at Wyoming on Saturday.

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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