The Simpson men’s tennis season is underway and the team took to the courts Saturday to face Augustana and Buena Vista.
In the first, Augustana swept the Storm 7-0. It was then unable to pick up a win against conference foe Buena Vista, losing 5-2.
Simpson will be facing tough conference competition as Coe is ranked No. 1 in the conference and No. 21 in the nation.
“Basically we want to finish fourth in the conference and push to get third place,” said Head Coach Bob Nutgrass. He said that regionally ranked Luther and Central are tough too, but he thinks the Storm can compete with the Dutch for third place in the conference.
Leaving the team with eight numbers, the tennis team lost two athletes from last year. One due to graduation and the other because of overseas travel.
“We are going to be very solid in the middle of the lineup. We will need the five and six guys to step it up,” said Nutgrass.
The next meet for the Storm tennis squad is today versus Graceland in Cowles fieldhouse at 3:30 p.m. The Storm is 1-1 overall and 1-0 in the conference.
The Simpson women’s golf team is ready to get out on the links and make a run at nationals.
“We always want to get to nationals,” said Head Coach Bob Darrah.
In the fall season, the Storm placed first in the conference with sophomore Janelle Claiborne named IIAC most valuable player. The Storm finished 63-3 in the fall.
Over spring break, the women’s golf team is traveling to Branson, Mo. to work on their skills before the season starts.
The Storm is currently ranked No. 7 nationally and is looking forward to a chance at nationals in Green Lake, Wis. May 13-16.
Some of the top competition in the IIAC is Wartburg and Buena Vista. UW-Oshkosh and UW-Eau Claire are great competition in the region.
“The future looks good for us,” said Darrah.
The first meet for the Storm is on April 4-5 in Kirksville, Mo. at the Truman State Invitational.
The Simpson men’s golf team is ready to tee it up for the spring season.
Head Coach Larry Shoop is starting off on his first season and has a promising outlook on the season.
“Our goal for the season is to get at least third in the conference with two or three all-conference selections, and also to get one of our golfers to nationals,” said Shoop.
The last time the Simpson men’s golf team won the conference was 1970. There is one particular opponent that is very tough again this season.
Central is ranked No. 8 nationally in Division III and has won 23 out of the past 27 conference championships. Simpson will also have tough competition from Wartburg and Luther.
A top prospect for the spring season includes all-conference selection in 2002, senior Josh Luehmann.
The number two and three positions also include sophomore Mike Martin and junior Matt Zeller. Also looking for a varsity spot is transfer Jason Bjorkland.
Shoop is taking his number four through seven players to Missouri over spring break to get ready for the season. The first meet of the season is March 28-29 at the Central Invitational in Pella.
The Simpson softball team is looking to head to the national championship this season.
The 31-member team is led by first team all-conference selections senior Amy Kulisky and junior Alexis Quijano who are returning from last year’s team.
The Storm only lost one senior from last year’s 27-11 team while keeping a 12-6 record in the conference.
“Our goals don’t really change from year to year, just the players,” said Head Coach Henry Christowski. These goals include anything from an IIAC championship to a Division III national championship.
Christowski has accomplished all of these at some point in his seven years at Simpson.
Simpson has won six IIAC championships, most recently winning in 2000. Simpson has also made 11 playoff appearances in the past 14 years and most recently won the NCAA Division III national championship in 1999.
Simpson does have difficult competition in the IIAC with Central currently ranked No. 12 nationally and Coe tied for No. 22 in the nation on the coaches’ poll.
The women are looking forward to participating in some tough competition during its spring break trip to Florida.
The men’s baseball team is hoping for a better finish in the IIAC this season.
“We want to contend for the conference championship this year,” said Head Coach John Sirianni as the goal of this year’s Storm baseball team.
Last year the Simpson baseball squad finished 19-19 and tied for seventh in the conference with a 5-13 record.
The Storm lost six seniors from last year’s squad, but is returning senior, first team all-conference selection, Scott Sibbel.
“We want to be more consistent throughout the year,” said Sirianni.
Overall, Simpson has won five IIAC championships, most recently in 1994.
The IIAC will be a battle with Wartburg ranked No. 26 in the Collegiate Newspaper Poll. Wartburg has won the past six IIAC championships.
The Storm will start its games over spring break when it travels to Cocoa, Fla.