Luther College Chips

For teams, Florida offers break from cold

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Women’s Softball in Florida

Women’s Softball in Florida

Photo courtesy of Renae Hartl

Photo courtesy of Renae Hartl

Women’s Softball in Florida

Matthew Gleaves, Staff Writer

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Winter is hitting its last hurrah as the snow sticks through April. Because of this, spring sports have a hard time practicing and, more importantly, getting all of their games and matches in. During spring break, Women’s and Men’s Tennis along with the Softball Team went to Florida to fill out their schedules and escape the snow.

The warm weather is just a perk, however, as the teams travel out of necessity rather than to escape the cold.

“We live in the midwest, we can’t play outside,” Head Softball Coach and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Renae Hartl said.

The main focus of the Florida games was for the team to play as many games as the NCAA allows. If the teams do not travel, they lose out on game time. During the end of winter and the start of spring, the teams are still able to practice inside. Because they can practice at Luther, the main focus in Florida is performance.

“We mostly play games,” Hartl said. “We don’t go down for practice. The point of going is that the NCAA lets us play a certain number of games. Because we live in the Midwest, if we didn’t go, we wouldn’t be able to play a full schedule.”

Each year, the schools compete against teams that have a similar spring break schedule as Luther. Hartl commented on their opponents in Florida.

“We just match up with schools that have the same spring break as us,” Hartl said. “So we kind of have some rivalries built up.”

Luther competes against other DIII schools in Florida, though they are not a part of the IIAC. Because of this, it gives the softball and tennis teams more experience in playing against opponents with different skill sets. According to Anders Jensen (‘18), a senior on the Men’s Tennis team, this is ultimately beneficial.

Photo Courtesy of Renae Hartl
Natalie Stockman (‘18) throws the softball

“It’s probably a little tougher,” Jensen  said “The IIAC is really strong at the top, but our competition in Florida will get us ready to play at the top of the IIAC.”

Even though the competition can be difficult, Luther performs to the challenge. 

“We went undefeated last spring break and we are going to try to repeat that this year,” Jensen said in an interview before the trip. “So we’ll see how that goes.”

Men’s Tennis returned home with a four win, one loss record. They took down Calvin College 7-2, St. Lawrence University 6-3, Mount St. Mary’s University 9-0 and Huntingdon College 9-0. They only fell to Loyola University New Orleans 4-5. Women’s Tennis came back with no wins and three losses. Their losses came from Calvin College 2-7, Kalamazoo College 4-5 and Loyola University New Orleans 2-7.

Luther’s Softball team went undefeated in 11 games in Florida, beating St. Olaf College 8-7, Williams College 3-2, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point 11-2 and 6-4, Union College 5-0, D’Youville College 8-0, Thomas College 8-0, College of Mount Saint Vincent 9-0, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater 8-3 and Colby College 17-1 and 3-0.

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