Squad sets high goals for spring

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by Lexie Hagerty/Staff Writer

The Simpson Women’s Tennis Team welcomes the warm weather as they continue into their spring season.

The Storm women have gone 1-2 in their first three matches but said winning is not their main goal in the offseason.

“Spring season is our time to develop as individuals as well as a team,” junior Jill Berner of Albia said. “Because we only have five to seven matches each spring, we have time to work on the skills that we don’t have time to work on during regular season.”

Berner said the team’s primary focus this season is hitting different shots.”We are trying to get to the next level,” Berner said. “We are thinking more behind our shots. We aren’t just hitting the ball to hit it. There is actual strategy in each and every stroke.”

The spring tennis season consists of seven matches with four of them being at Simpson.

The Storm won their first match 9-0 against Midland Lutheran College in February. The Storm won eight of the nine sets in two games.

“For our first time out, it was very encouraging and a good confidence boost,” Berner said. “In our fall season, we didn’t get many wins on the board. It’s exciting that we are experiencing some success after lots of hard work.”

Simpson’s two losses were to Hastings College 4-5 in late February and Graceland College 0-9 in early March.

“It helps to be able to play teams in our offseason that aren’t in our conference, because we get to see different players and different styles of play,” sophomore Lynae Gruber of Shenandoah said. “We get more experience on the court, which is necessary for our young team.”

Freshman Lindsay Nash of Keokuk agreed with Berner and Gruber that offseason is a time to try new skills.

“This isn’t our prominent season,” Nash said. “There is less pressure in the spring season which gives us the opportunity to improve our game.”Nash said she gets a lot more individual attention, something that is necessary for her success.

“I have improved on shots that I have always struggled with,” Nash said.Gruber said she enjoys how relaxed offseason is.

“There is nothing on the line during our spring season but the opportunity to get better,” Gruber said.

Gruber and Nash said that spring season can be challenging with the constant change in weather.

“It’s been challenging being inside and then moving outdoors,” Nash said. “It’s a completely different atmosphere with the snow and then large amounts of rain.”

Berner said she loves having all nine girls at practice and doing what they can to be better at the game.

“In my time here, spring season wasn’t always a priority for the team,” Berner said. “But the girls this year are very dedicated and always wanting to improve.”

The women will take on Northwestern (Iowa) April 9, at Simpson. The first match will begin at 3:30 p.m.

“From my past experience, the spring season is when I have become the player that I am today,” Berner said. “I am anxious to see the underclassmen add strengths to their game as well.”