With high expectations, men’s tennis swings into action


(Photo: Maddy Hermon/The Simpsonian)

by Cole Poots, Sports Reporter

INDIANOLA, Iowa — Simpson men’s tennis team started the season off with a perfect 3-0 opening weekend record.

With high expectations, the team has its sights set on the conference tournament.

The Storm blanked Aurora and Knox earlier in February and beat Illinois College in a slim 5-4 victory.

The team faced Bethany Lutheran and Martin Luther on Feb. 10, splitting the day 1-1 with a 4-5 loss and 6-3 win, respectively.

Head coach Matt Price said it’s important to start the season off with momentum.

“For some of the young guys, it was their first match in college,” Price said. “It helps build confidence.”

Price expects his team to stay competitive in the IIAC, which looks to have a lot of talented teams.

“There is going to be tough competition in the conference, but I think this team can compete to win some of those tough matches that are going to be close this year,” Price said.

Junior Sam Dykstra had a solid outing to start the season winning two out of his three singles matches and two of three doubles matches with teammate Zach Nelson.

Dykstra, a transfer student from Central, said the team is bringing experience into the season and hopes it will lead the team to making the conference tournament.

“Our main goal every year is to make the conference tournament at the end of the year,” Dykstra said. “I think we are bringing some experience into our team that will be helpful.”

Dykstra said it’s important to start off the season playing out of state schools in preparation for conference play.

“Some of these out-of-state schools we get to play gives us some experience before we go into conference play,” Dykstra said. “We have some very talented schools in our conference, so it’s important to get momentum early in the season.”

Nelson also has high expectations for the team.

“Our main goal is to make the conference tournament this year,” Nelson said. “We haven’t been there in a while, so that is our main priority.”

Nelson had a stellar performance during the first meet of the season, winning all three of his singles matches.

The Storm has something they’ve been lacking in previous season: depth.

“I think our biggest strength is how deep we are,” Nelson said. “This is probably the deepest team I’ve ever been on. We have nine guys that can all step in and make a contribution.”

Simpson split its two matches against Bethany Lutheran and Martin Luther in Lakeville, Minnesota, on Feb. 10, giving the team a respectable 4-2 record early in the season.

The Storm fell to Bethany Lutheran 5-4 but managed to top Martin Luther in a 6-3 victory.

Dykstra and Brett Dewerff both went 2-0 in singles competition.

The Storm will look to continue their solid start to the season as they travel to Ripon, Wisconsin, on Saturday to take on Ripon and Northwestern.