With the recent success of blue-collar teams such as the Detroit Pistons, it’s no surprise that the trend would spread to other sports. Hard work and determination are a part of men’s tennis senior David Anving’s repertoire, but they are anything but a fad. Although his hometown of Tvaaker, Sweden, is anything but Detroit, Anving has picked up the city’s perceived work ethic without missing a beat. Anving has been the workhorse for Michigan for four years now. And although it wasn’t always the glamorous thing to do, his hard work has always benefitted his teams.
“I pride myself in coming into practice each day ready to work hard,” Anving said. “I hope that it rubs off on my teammates.”
Anving shouldn’t have to worry much about his teammates’ perception of him. He was elected team captain along with fellow senior Vinny Gossain.
“It was nice to be voted a captain along with Vinny,” Anving said. “It’s especially nice knowing that it’s voted on by my teammates.”
But Anving doesn’t just contribute behind the scenes. Along with his motivational encouragement, he certainly does his part on the court, as well. He began his dual season with a bang earlier this month against Western Michigan. After the Wolverines picked up the initial doubles point, Anving furthered the team’s lead by winning the first completed singles match of the dual, 6-1, 6-1, to give Michigan a two-point lead. That lead was maintained, and the Wolverines won their first dual of the year, 5-2.
Along with his early success this year, Anving’s accomplishments stretch back throughout his career at Michigan. After struggling a bit through his freshman year (8-9), Anving began to break out during his sophomore season. Playing at the fourth and fifth singles positions, Anving compiled a 15-7 record in dual matches. He followed with another solid season last year, tallying a team-high 15 dual match wins en route to a 15-5 record. One might expect Anving’s focus to be on setting more individual goals. But just like his unselfish, blue-collar work ethic, Anving’s focus is all about the team.
“I have no personal goals,” he said. “I think the focus for everyone is what we can do as a team.
“The only record that we care about is our team record, and we want to do whatever we can to make (our record) the best that it can be.”
The No. 51 Wolverines will have a chance to enhance their 1-0 dual record this weekend when they travel to Virginia for a full slate of matches. First, they will stop at Williamsburg on Saturday to face No. 46 William & Mary. With no time to rest, Michigan will head a few miles west to battle Virginia Commonwealth on Sunday.
“I think we played OK against Western Michigan,” Anving said. “Hopefully we go one step up this weekend in our duals.
“Playing on the road is a lot different, and it will be a lot different of an environment.”
Anving, Gossain and the other Michigan seniors — Michael Rubin and Josef Fischer — hope their experience will guide the Wolverines through a tough road trip. William & Mary is undefeated on the season and is hoping to make a run into the NCAA Tournament by scheduling tough opponents. Michigan is in the middle of a gauntlet of duals for William & Mary against four consecutive ranked teams.
But the Wolverines aren’t prepared to play scared. They’ll hope to continue building on their reputation of working hard and coming out on top.