Luther College Chips

Tennis spring season gets underway

Nate Parsons (‘19) waiting to return a shot.

Nate Parsons (‘19) waiting to return a shot.

Photo courtesy of Trent Schneider (‘18)

Photo courtesy of Trent Schneider (‘18)

Nate Parsons (‘19) waiting to return a shot.

Emma Busch, Staff Writer

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The Men’s and Women’s Tennis teams traveled to Gustavus Adolphus College on March 1. Both teams lost by a score of 9-0. The men’s team now has a 5-2 record, while the women’s team record stands at 11-4. Both teams will continue their spring season during their annual trip to Orlando, FL, during spring break.

According to Head Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach Adam Strand (‘04), both teams have been performing well so far and improving on last year’s season.

“Our top seven players from our varsity lineup last year are all back and we have a couple other guys that are really contributing as well,” Strand said. “One thing that this group struggled with a little bit last year was closing out those tight matches. We had several matches throughout the spring where we were right there, but we couldn’t quite pull it off. So I think having our first three really tight matches go our way has been really encouraging for them.”

According to Strand, the men’s and women’s seasons are structured a little differently from each other. The women’s conference season takes place in the fall before the spring season. During the spring season, they focus on playing more competitive teams in order to prepare themselves for the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Women’s Tennis Captain Lauren Welch (‘17) says that the team prepares for this change by continuing to train between seasons.

“Our team does a great job between our fall and spring season of staying active,” Welch said. “We all lift together to prepare for the spring season. We also have random court times during the winter that many girls use. This is a great time to take a mental break from tennis to be able to hit it hard when we get back to spring season. There is a bit of dust that needs to come off when we hit the courts in the spring, but it is shaken off pretty quickly due to the intense competition we [get during] many of our early matches.”

Photo courtesy of Trent Schneider (‘18)
Kelsey Kruse (‘20) serving.

The men’s fall season is a bit shorter than the women’s, but according to Men’s Tennis player Kenny Goins (‘17) they use it to prepare for a more competitive spring season.

“In the fall we just have a conference tournament and a regional tournament and then our alumni match,” Goins said. “It gives the coaches an opportunity to test out doubles teams and different pairings like that so we can set our lineup in the spring and be more successful. In between, we have a lifting regime and conditioning so we don’t get too rusty in the off-season.”

The teams will both go to Orlando, FL, for a tournament during spring break. According to Strand, both teams are looking forward to their annual spring break trip and the new opportunities this year’s trip offers.

“We’re going to play six matches with each team this year” Strand said. “In the past we’ve played four or five. One of the exciting things about this year is that the United States Tennis Association has relocated their home base — their national campus as they’re calling it — right in the Orlando area. It’s got 100 courts, all different types of surfaces, indoor courts and all that. We’re guaranteed to play at least one match down there, hopefully more. So they’re going to have some neat opportunities for our players down there.”

Looking forward, Strand hopes the team will continue to focus on developing their skills.

“It’s about continued growth at this point,” Strand said. “Gustavus [was] one of the tougher teams on our schedule. Whether we’re playing them or someone we’re a little bit more even with or stronger than on paper, I think at this point in the season we just want to continue to grow as a team and individual players.”

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