Women’s tennis looks towards future

Womens tennis looks towards future

by Ben Frotscher

Women’s tennis took their youthful team to the Iowa ConferenceChampionships this past weekend at Cedar Rapids and ended upfinishing sixth place overall.

In the first match of the day, the Storm faced Central Collegeand fell by the score of 7-0. The Storm dropped all of theirsingles and doubles matches against the third seeded Dutch.

The Storm had previously lost their regular season match-upagainst the Dutch, 9-0. Coach Bob Nutgrass, who is in his seventhyear coaching the women’s tennis team, was much happier with theirperformance against Central this time around even though the scoremight not reflect that.

“We played much better and we made some of the matchescompetitive,” said Nutgrass

In the second match of the day, the Storm faced seventh seededWartburg. Simpson had previously beaten Wartburg by a score of 5-1in the regular season meeting for the year.

“We played up to our ability (against Wartburg),” saidNutgrass.

The Storm played much better in their following matches and cameaway once again with a 5-1 win over the Knights. Doubles play forthe Storm has been a strong point this year and they won two ofthree matches. Sophomores Tracy Schiltz and Emily DeBolt andsophomore Carrie Brannen and freshman Shelby Gierstorf won pointsin the doubles play for the win while Gierstorf, senior Amanda Byasand freshman Mickaela Milby all scored wins for the Storm insingles play.

On Saturday, the Storm played their final match of theconference tournament and fell to Loras by the score of 5-2. DeBoltwas the only winner in singles play and Brannen and Gierstorf werethe only doubles match winners for the Storm.

In the regular season match-up, the Storm lost a close 5-4battle against Loras.

“I think that overall we performed well, but we didn’t performup to our potential,” said DeBolt about the teams’ play at the IowaConference tournament.

Luther was the winner of the conference championship for the21st time in 22 years after they defeated Central, 6-2.

Finishing sixth in the conference and in the conferencetournament, Nutgrass was content with their finish.

“We preformed pretty much as expected,” said Nutgrass.

The Storm have a bright future, considering that their squad hasonly one senior, six sophomores and six freshmen.

For the season, the Storm finished at an overall record of 9-7and 4-4 in conference play.

Some of the most consistent play came from Gierstorf and DeBolt.Gierstorf finished the season at 10-6 in singles play while DeBoltwas 7-6.

The women’s tennis team has a few things to work on before theyfeel that they can ultimately compete for the Iowa Conferencecrown.

“We need to really work on finishing matches,” said DeBolt. Whowent on to say that in many singles and doubles matches, theSimpson players would be leading and then would let the lead slipaway.

The women’s tennis team is looking forward to the spring seasonand ultimately to the future.

“This was kind of a growing season,” said DeBolt. “I am reallylooking forward to next season.”