Luther College Chips

Men’s tennis starts season strong with early win

Sakchham Karki (‘21) and Brian Murman (‘19) practice doubles on the tennis courts.

Sakchham Karki (‘21) and Brian Murman (‘19) practice doubles on the tennis courts.

Natalie Nelson (‘19) | Chips

Natalie Nelson (‘19) | Chips

Sakchham Karki (‘21) and Brian Murman (‘19) practice doubles on the tennis courts.

Natalie Nelson, Staff Writer

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Though official conference play begins in April, Luther Men’s Tennis has already started their season, winning three of their last four games.

Head Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach Adam Strand  (‘04) prepared his players for the coming season with specific practices and goals for the winter.

“I meet individually with each member of the team after the fall season to put together a plan for the off-season while also talking about spring goals,” Strand said. “We divide our time between drilling, point play, and fitness. The mental side of the game and nutrition are also focuses for our program. I am a big proponent of spending a lot of time on doubles, as that is where I believe that I can make the biggest impact as a coach.”

Brian Murman (‘19) said practices happen in shifts throughout the day.

“You either practice in the morning or sometime in the afternoon depending on one’s class schedule,” Murman said. “We do strength work two days a week at 6:45 a.m. Practices are competitive, loud, and fun. We bring the best out in each other everyday. Each player on this team is so evenly matched which makes each practice that much more intense. As a player, you know you have to bring your best each and every day.”

Strand also said he hopes the team will win the conference championship and advance to the NCAA tournament.

“Those are always our biggest performance goals as a team,” Strand said.

According to Jake Smith (‘19), in order to win the conference, the team needs to be driven and passionate.

“Tennis is a mental game,” Smith said. “It can be extremely demanding at times. Nevertheless, when you have a group of close friends it becomes much easier to handle.”

Anders Jensen (‘18) said their biggest challenge will be Coe College, a meet Luther will host on April 21. 

“Coe College will be the favorite to win our conference, but we believe that we can beat any team in the conference if we play well,” Jensen said. “Every player on our team is dedicated to improving and competing hard every day. We push each other to be the best players that we can be.”

Strand said that half the team this year is comprised of new players.

“We have five first-year players and a sophomore transfer,” Strand said. “Our older guys have done an excellent job of welcoming these guys into our program and setting the right tone for the younger players. There is a lot of eagerness in our new players, and they have added a positive dynamic to our team.”

Jensen said he feels he carries extra responsibility as the only senior member of the team.

“I believe that I must be there for my teammates whenever they need me as I know they will have my back as well,” Jensen said. “I look forward to developing good team chemistry and achieving our team goals this year. Each of my previous three seasons I have created friendships that will last a lifetime. I am looking forward to the teammate bonding that will develop during the course of the season.”

The season will last 19 weeks, with 25-30 matches and two tournaments.

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