Grand Valley State University Tennis Camps
Head Coach Samantha Schall
Grand Valley State Director of Athletics, Keri Becker, has announced the hiring of new head men's and women's tennis coach, Samantha Schall. Schall will assume her duties immediately, joining the GVSU family after three seasons as head coach of the men's and women's tennis programs at Division II University of Illinois-Springfield.
"We are excited about the enthusiasm, leadership, tennis knowledge and success Samantha will bring to GVSU Tennis," Becker said. "We had an excellent pool of candidates and she demonstrated the skills and attributes that will give our student-athletes the best chance for continued success.
Schall was quick to turn around a Prairie Star tennis program that had never had a winning season upon her arrival. In her very first season, she led the women's team to their first-ever appearance in the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) Tournament. In her final season at UIS, the women's team was regionally ranked for the first time in school history.
On the men's side, she helped Cole Buehnerkemper break the Division II record in career wins and also earned both national and regional rankings for the first time in school history. The men's program also reached the GLVC Tournament in 2019 for the first time in eight seasons.
"I want to thank Keri Becker and the search committee for selecting me to be the next head tennis coach at Grand Valley State University. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to lead the GVSU tennis programs and to join this athletics department and community," Schall says. "It was clear during my interview process that the tennis programs have the potential to be very successful on the court, in the classroom, and within the community and I am excited to lead the teams toward this vision. I am inspired by the tradition of excellence at GVSU, and I am eager to work hard alongside the men and women in this program to pursue our goals and to provide a great experience for the student athletes."
During all three seasons at UIS, both the men's and women's teams volunteered over 200 hours with Habitat for Humanity. The women's team also led all UIS programs in GPA in two of Schall's three seasons at the helm. The men maintained a team GPA of at least a 3.5 in all three seasons under Schall.
Prior to Illinois-Springfield, Schall was a player turned assistant coach at Division II Metropolitan State, where she was a three-time all-conference performer as a player before three seasons as an assistant. She graduated with a degree in business management with an emphasis in sports industry operations and also holds a master's in coaching and athletic administration from Concordia University Irvine.
Schall will look to build upon a GVSU women's season that saw the Lakers advance to the NCAA Sweet 16; the third appearance in school history, a third-place finish in the GLIAC Tournament and an overall record of 23-5 in the 2018-19 season. The men went 16-9 last season, including a 6-2 mark in GLIAC play and an appearance in the NCAA Regionals.