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Luther College Chips

Women’s tennis beat Wartburg and Loras to remain undefeated in IIAC

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Kelsey Kruse (‘20) concentrates as she sprints to the ball.

Kelsey Kruse (‘20) concentrates as she sprints to the ball.

Jonathon Kuehner (‘20) | Chips

Jonathon Kuehner (‘20) | Chips

Kelsey Kruse (‘20) concentrates as she sprints to the ball.

Jonathan Kuehner, Staff Writer

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Last week, Women’s Tennis continued their successful season with wins at home and away.  On Tuesday, Sept. 26, Luther won 9-0 at home against Loras College, followed by an 8-1 victory at Wartburg College on Saturday, Sept. 30.

These wins add to this season’s record of 6-1.  The teams only loss was a home meet against Wheaton College on Sept. 2. The meet against Wheaton College was not part of the Iowa Conference schedule, putting the conference record at 6-0.

Anna Pearson (‘18) reflected on the season and assessed the team’s current position.

“We’re definitely trying to defend the conference title,” Pearson said. “We had a huge win against Coe the other week, which was awesome, and I think we’re all still on a high from that.  Now we’re focusing in on these last conference matches and just making sure we’re staying strong all the way through.”

Luther won all their doubles and singles matches during Tuesday’s meet and all but one singles match at Wartburg.

According to Head Tennis Coach Adam Strand (‘04), the team performed well when taking the athletes’ stress levels into account.   

“As a whole I thought it was a good, solid performance,” Strand said. “Our players [were] coming off a busy weekend and competing in ninety degree weather and humidity at Gustavus.”

Strand also acknowledged the stress of competing during school hours.

“Weekday meets are always tricky because kids are sitting in class all day and have to adjust not just to practice but to competing,” Strand said. “I thought our players handled it pretty well.”

One factor that improved this week’s outcomes was the notable drop in temperature. This change was felt by players and spectators alike.

“We were expecting hot and humid so it was nice to have a break from that,” Pearson said.

According to the National Weather Service, temperatures earlier this month were in the nineties with little precipitation.  These temperatures can be dangerous for athletes due to dehydration and heat-related  illness.

According to attendee Ryan Ortega (‘21), spectators also appreciated the cooler temperatures.

“It’s very ideal to be in the sixties,” Ortega said. “It’s warm enough to stay [comfortable] but cool enough you don’t sweat your mind out. Once you get in the nineties you start getting heat exhaustion.”

Spectators at Tuesday’s meet came not only to cheer on the players, but coaches.  Joan Strand (‘74), and John Strand (‘72) came to support their son Coach Adam Strand and his team.

“We don’t get to go to many meets,” John Strand said. “But it’s fun to follow their tweets and follow the matches.”

Adam Strand appreciated his parents support at the meet.

“My parents are both Luther alums and were both great supporters of me when I was a student athlete here,” Adam Strand said.  “They have continued to be great supporters of me, obviously not just as parents, but also in my coaching career.”

As the end of the fall season approaches, the team hopes to continue their winning trend and hone their skills.

“At this point in our season with two and a half weeks left of our fall, it’s really just fine tuning things and making sure people are healthy and confident,” Strand said.  “We’re not going to completely overhaul somebody’s game in two and a half weeks but we just want to get a little bit better.”

The women’s team will continue their season with meets at Simpson College in Indianola and Central College in Pella, Iowa on Saturday, Oct. 7.

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