Women’s tennis concentrates on improving, having fun

by Brad VanEatonStaff Writer

The women’s tennis season is officially underway and is looking to be extremely competitive in this year’s already-tough conference.

Lindsay Chase is in her first year as head women’s tennis coach after assisting the Storm in the 2005 and 2006 seasons. When the head coaching position became vacant, Chase was hired to conduct this senior-led team into their 2008 campaign. Chase says she has a true passion for the game and has enjoyed helping the girls in the previous years.

With upperclassmen representing the majority of the team, leadership is the key word on the court this year.

“The team is very small this year, but we have a lot of potential,” said senior Jackie Suckow. “Everyone seems to be pushing each other and really helping the younger girls become more comfortable on the court and with their teammates.”

Freshman Lynae Gruber agrees that the leadership led to a sense of teamwork from the very start of the season.

“The leadership on the team is really great,” Gruber said. “From the start they offered to help me move in and get settled. They also take charge during practices and meets. They really know what’s going on.”

Senior Jessica Nims of Urbandale has been named captain of this year’s squad and looks to lead the team along with Chase, into a challenging, yet welcomed schedule ahead.

After starting off with losses against top-tier, undefeated teams in the Iowa Conference, Central and Coe, the women picked up their first win of the season, 7-2 on the road against Buena Vista University Wednesday.

“The girls have played to the best of their abilities and the scores don’t show the kind of effort they have given,” Chase said.

The team recently played two tough teams, Graceland on Sept. 6 and Central on Sept. 9. They are looking to get back to .500, with games coming up that could boost their confidence going into the second half of the season if they pick up wins.

The Storm start with Loras and Dubuque on Sept. 13 at the Buxton Tennis Complex. Both teams are currently 0-0 in the IIAC.

They then travel to Waverly on Sept. 16 to pursue a victory against the 0-4 Wartburg Knights. Simpson looks to defeat the Cardinals of William Jewell back at Buxton and end the week on the right foot, holding their heads high the rest of the season.

Chase says she sees this opportunity to direct the Storm as a rewarding challenge. She uses personal life experiences to teach her student-athletes about more than just the raw tennis skills necessary for this season.

She hopes that they will take everything she teaches them about life, as well as what she learned herself as a student-athlete at Coe College, and carry it with them into the future.

“It has been a beneficial experience for us as a team so far,” Chase said. “We have some very winnable matches coming up though. Our main goal is just to have fun and get better.”