Norse of the Week: Nate Parsons (‘19)

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Nate Parsons (‘19) returns a hit against Simpson.

Nate Parsons (‘19) returns a hit against Simpson.

Annika Vande Krol (‘19) | Photo Bureau

Annika Vande Krol (‘19) | Photo Bureau

Nate Parsons (‘19) returns a hit against Simpson.

Katrina Meyer, Sports Editor

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Nate Parsons (‘19) was named Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Athlete of the Week for March 19-26. Parsons was 10-1 on the Norse spring break trip to Orlando, FL, helping the team get a record of 6-0 on the trip. In singles competition, Parsons was 4-1 for the week. This included a match against senior Chris Conley from Carthage College who is ranked 16th in the nation. His victory helped the Norse to a 5-4 win over Carthage. Additionally, Parsons and his doubles partner Anders Jensen (‘18) were undefeated on the trip with a record of 6-0.

Chips: You were named IIAC Athlete of the Week. What does that mean to you?

Parsons: It shows that as a team we had a good week. I was able to capitalize on what everybody else was doing. Ultimately, I didn’t really think it was just me who did well. [Jensen,] our [fourth ranked player,] had only one loss all week. Brian [Murman (‘19)] won all his singles matches. That was really good. I had a decent week like everyone else and I got lucky. I am proud of it because I have been working hard, but everybody else has too.

You guys have a tournament coming up in May. How are you getting ready for that?

I think that the matches that we are playing now are good preparation. Over spring break we played a few teams that are tricky. Ultimately, the tournament that we are getting ready for has the toughest team, Coe College. None of the teams that we have played are quite as difficult, but we had a Division I opponent in Creighton. That is a little different because they are in a different league. Coe is beatable, but still really good. These close meets against good teams are good preparation for that.

When did you start playing tennis? Why?

I started going to the park and playing when I was seven. At that point, it was just recreational. Then, when I was around 13 I started signing up for tournaments. When I got older, I played in fewer tournaments, but knew that I wanted to play in college. I played a lot of sports, but I chose tennis because I think it has the most balance between the mental strength and physical ability that you need to play. The balance of mental and physical is intriguing for me.

Do you have any role models in the sport?

I would say that I look up to our captain Kyle Appel [(‘17)]. He plays [in the top-ranked spot] for us. He’s a great role model. He helps show me that you don’t need to care about tennis too much. He knows that he doesn’t have to put everything into the game and that other stuff is important too. I think that that is important to remember when we go out on the court. Other than that, I just try to model myself around my friends and teammates, people that I respect.

What is your favorite part of playing tennis here at Luther?

The team is my favorite part. I really love the guys. It is a really fun team to be on because everyone is unique. Everyone knows each other really well, and we do everything together. That is really fun.

Another thing is the fact that we are all really good at tennis and really like it, we all are also very involved in other things. The coach understands that and lets us do our own thing while we still hold each other to our expectations of being on the tennis team. That is probably the best part of playing at Luther: we all love tennis, we all play tennis, but at the end of the day we involve ourselves in other things and understand that everyone is involved in other things. I think that is pretty awesome.

If you could play a tennis match against anyone in the whole world, who would it be and why?

I would probably play a tennis match against Gael Monfils. He is a French tennis player. He hits the craziest trick shots, and I think that it would be fun to get destroyed by him and try to look good while doing it.

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