Tennis squad victorious

by Krista Schuur

The men’s tennis team played hot this past weekend in spite of less than desirable temperatures.

The men improved their record to 5-4 this past weekend by defeating conference foes Wartburg, Dubuque and Loras.

These three games were really important for the men to win because with the inconsistency of the weather, it was unknown if the games would be moved inside or remain outside.

“We had hoped to go 3-0 this weekend because we are very competitive with all three teams and if we had to play Wartburg inside, it would have been tough. We just look toward our depth on the team to carry us,” said Coach Bob Nutgrass.

Against Wartburg, the Storm’s number one, two and three guys, sophomores Sam Skalland and Garrett Piklapp and senior James McNeal all chalked up wins.

Also, against Dubuque and Loras, the Storm dominated the doubles division winning at each level.

The top three teams in the Iowa Conference are Coe, Central and Luther; before this weekend, Nutgrass placed the Storm men in about fifth place. The team is young this year with only one senior, James McNeal.

“We have a lot of talent, but we are also young with not a lot of college experience to use,” said Skalland.

Depth proves an important factor in the success of the team.

“A key strength is the depth that we have to work with,” said Nutgrass. “On any day our number six player has a chance in beating our number two player.”

However, prior commitments take valuable time away from the men’s practices.

“Our weakness on the other hand is that not everyone can make it to practice at all times because of prior commitments, this makes it hard to accomplish things in a consistent manor,” said Nutgrass.

Prior to this past weekend, team goals were established.

“We definitely want to finish at least third or fourth in conference, and improve on our doubles matches,” said Skalland.

The men have an entire week off of matches before they go head to head with one of the Iowa Conference leaders, Luther at home on April 6.