Luther College Chips

Norse travel south for spring break tournaments

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(Clockwise from top left) The baseball team poses before a game in Arizona; Jake Smith (‘19) and Kenny Goins (‘17) play doubles earlier in the season; Women’s tennis team huddles up during a match earlier in the season; Softball team huddles up before a game.

(Clockwise from top left) The baseball team poses before a game in Arizona; Jake Smith (‘19) and Kenny Goins (‘17) play doubles earlier in the season; Women’s tennis team huddles up during a match earlier in the season; Softball team huddles up before a game.

Photo Courtesy of Teddy Klingsporn (top left), Luther College Photo Bureau (top and bottom right), Teri Olson (bottom left)

Photo Courtesy of Teddy Klingsporn (top left), Luther College Photo Bureau (top and bottom right), Teri Olson (bottom left)

(Clockwise from top left) The baseball team poses before a game in Arizona; Jake Smith (‘19) and Kenny Goins (‘17) play doubles earlier in the season; Women’s tennis team huddles up during a match earlier in the season; Softball team huddles up before a game.

Julia Curtis, Staff Writer

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Over spring break, Luther baseball, softball, and men’s and women’s tennis traveled south to participate in tournaments in Florida and Arizona.

Baseball

Luther baseball flew to Tucson, AZ,        on March 17 for their spring break and played nine games against opponents including Buena Vista University, Carthage College, Allegheny College, Oberlin College, and Hamline University, with an overall record of 6-3 for the tournament.

Luther had not played against a number of the teams previously, but Head Baseball Coach Bryan Nikkel focused on improving the members’ individual performances over the week.

“When you’re playing somebody new, at the end of the day it’s baseball, so we need to worry about what we’re doing and not necessarily what the other teams are doing,” Nikkel said. “If we play our game, we’ll be just fine.”

In their matchup against Hamline, the baseball team won with a score of 7-5 and 7-0. The team won with the largest margin against Oberlin College, with a score of 10-3.  In their three games against Buena Vista, Luther took two losses and one win. In their two games against Carthage, the baseball team won one game with a score of 5-1 and lost a second with a score of 18-1.

Catcher Luke Johnson (‘17) explained the value in playing so many games right before conference play starts.

“The Arizona trip is really where we figure out our lineup that we’ll keep for the conference season,” Johnson said.

Softball

Luther Softball traveled to Claremont,  FL, to play 12 games in one week. The teams rented a house for the week. The softball team defeated the competition over their break when they played against Knox College, Hamilton College, Allegheny College and Tufts University. The first couple games against Trine University and Transylvania University proved challenging, with scores of 1-3 and 0-1 respectively, but the softball team pulled through and won the ten other games they played over break, for an overall record of 10-2.

“We play inside our entire preseason in the Midwest looking forward to playing an outdoor game,” Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Head Softball Coach Renae Hartl said. “The thing that I look forward to most each year is when we travel south is to be outside on dirt and grass.”

While they spent most of their time playing, the team members also had some time for fun activities.

“What we get to do when we aren’t playing softball changes, which makes each trip unique,” player Ashley Burrows (‘18) said. “For instance, this year we got to watch the number one-ranked softball team in Division I Softball [Florida State University] play [University of Central Florida], and we went to Orlando and did the Escape Room, both of which were awesome experiences.”

Men’s and Women’s Tennis

Luther Men’s and Women’s Tennis  traveled to Orlando, FL, on March 17 for their spring break where they rented houses for the week. For some of their games, the members played on new United States Open courts in Nona, FL.

“They have 100 courts and 84 of those courts have Playsight, so you can log onto your phone and watch the match after, so it records live stream and stats,” Men’s tennis member Sam Buffington (‘17) said.

The men’s team played six matches against teams like Grinnell College, Carthage College, and Hamilton College. The Women’s team played six matches against teams like St. Catherine University, Kalamazoo College, Grinnell College, and Elmhurst College.

The teams played singles and doubles in the standard nine-point format. The Men’s Tennis team dominated against Elmhurst College, winning all nine of their matches. They also had a strong win against Calvin College, winning the match 8-1. The Women’s Team won against Grinnell and Calvin with a score of 8-1 and 5-4, respectively. The women won their match against Elmhurst College with a score of 7-2.

“This was a week where our students spent so much more time together and they got a lot of time to grow as a team,” Head Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach Adam Strand said. “This was a chance for [the teams] to grow stronger and really develop tight-knit bonds.”

The teams would like to thank the donors and families who supported the different athletic programs to make these spring break trips possible.

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