Women’s Tennis Off to a Steady Start

by Erin Guzman

Strong returning players and solid doubles pairs are in the women’s tennis team’s favor.

The women’s tennis season is already underway, and both coaches and players feel optimistic. After facing off against four conference teams, the Storm looks to its experienced players to help make the conference tournament.

Head coach Lindsay Chase begins her third season with the Storm and looks forward to growing in experience and success with her team.

“Our experience is invaluable,” Chase said. “We have a really strong doubles team this year. There’s good morale, attitude, and communication on and off the court. But we’re always looking to improve our strategies and work on different kinds of shots.”

Junior and co-capitan Lynae Gruber agrees that regardless of experience, hard work is still essential.

“We ultimately want to improve our skills,” Gruber said. “We want to win, but also become better players. We are really looking to make the conference tournament this year.”

The Simpson Storm defeated Dubuque on Sept. 11 with a score of 9-0, and turned around to grab a 6-3 victory against Loras on Sept. 12.

Chase feels that the women’s team can get it done on the court, as long as they’re focused and goals are kept in mind.

“Our girls are naturally competitive, but I encourage them to use practice like a stress reliever,” Chase said. “If they take everything out on the court it makes it easier to focus when it’s time to focus.”

Also a capitan this year is senior Jill Berner. Berner is in her fourth season for Simpson and is looking forward to utilizing all of her skills over the years to compete hard this season.

“I’ve grown more than I ever thought possible with the help of my coaches, and I’m anxious to put it all into play this year,” Berner said. “It’s also very important to me that I finish as a good teammate and opponent in both my actions and sportsmanship. Tennis at Simpson has been competitive and fun for me, and I wish to instill those same feelings in everyone around me as well.”

Berner and Gruber are part of the upperclassmen leadership for the Storm this season with a team that is primarily made up of freshmen and sophomores.

“We are considered a young team in the conference, but I’m very encouraged by the younger members and their eagerness to be leaders as well,” Berner said.

The women’s tennis team is currently competing in its fall season, but will also participate in the non-traditional spring season. They will play fewer matches against non-conference teams, but the extra practice and play will help the team work on more strategic shots and skills.

“The spring is where we improve our technique,” Chase said. “We’re looking forward to playing different competition, but also going on our spring break trip to Orlando where we’ll play five matches.”

Having fun is a big part of what this year’s team is about.

“We like to have support,” Gruber noted. “Mostly our parents and friends come, but it’s fun to have people cheer us on.”

The next chance to see the Storm compete at home will be on Sept. 21 as they will take on Central College at 3:30 p.m.