Women’s tennis finishes season


Photo submitted to The Simpsonian

After a tough season, the Storm will graduate most of their team and must now look to recruit.

by Abby Hintz, Layout Editor

The Simpson College women’s tennis team wrapped up their 2022-23 season on April 1 in Fort Dodge, going up against Iowa Central Community College and falling 9-0. After having two canceled matches, the team only played one other match in the spring. The Storm went up against Midland University at home and lost 7-0. 

The team finished their season 2-9 overall and 2-6 in conference play, winning against Buena Vista, 6-3 and Dubuque, 6-3. 

The team plays both in the fall and in the spring. The fall has more matches, including conference matches which help determine whether or not the team qualifies for the conference tournament in the spring. The individual conference tournament is also in the fall. In the spring, the team had fewer matches and the team conference tournament, which they did not qualify for this year.

Five team members landed a spot on the 2022-23 American Rivers Conference All-Academic Team. Members selected include seniors Carina Covington, Donni Kinghorn and Kennedi Wright, along with sophomores Maddie Hays and Anna Schewe.

Sophomore Bella Tranquilino landed a spot on the All-American Rivers Conference Honorable Mention Team. Tranquilino was the No. 1 singles spot for the Storm in the fall. She was also the No. 1 doubles spot for almost every match, normally pairing with Kinghorn.

This is the sixth straight season the Storm has had at least one member land a spot on the all-conference squad.

Kinghorn, a senior, stated while they didn’t perform at the level she would have liked, the team still had fun.

“We lost a lot of our top players last year, we had two seniors who were one and two, so we had to have some underclassmen step up and fill some big shoes,” Kinghorn said.

Schewe, a sophomore, loves the team, stating they are a close-knit group that feels like family.

“Our biggest accomplishment is we’re a lot smaller than some of the other programs and we still go out there every time with a smile on our face and hold our own,” Schewe said. “And we truly do love each other and support each other in every minute. We all love to play and be together.”

Junior Maggie Hall joined the tennis team for the first time this season after Tranquilino convinced her to join. 

“I thought this season was very fun. We did struggle with coming out on top in matches, but I feel like I definitely got a lot better throughout the season. The whole team also made big improvements throughout the season,” Hall said.

Hall would like to improve individually next year and win more conference matches and she wants to see the team make it to conference play in the spring season. Schewe would like the team to specifically work on doubles for next year.

The team will graduate three seniors this year, making the already small team even smaller. 

“We need more players, it’s really hard with only having six girls on the team. And out of those six, two had never played tennis before,” Kinghorn said. “We asked them to come join the team because we needed six players.”

Kinghorn would like the team to focus on recruiting and getting more players for next season. She would also like Simpson to put in the time, money and effort to give them the facilities they need to be successful. 

“It’s really hard to play out-of-season. We also don’t have lights on our courts. So we can only hit until sunset, and most courts have lights,” Kinghorn said, “So if we’re all busy, we really can’t practice until seven or eight, which a lot of teams do. We don’t have lights to be able to do that because, you know, the sun sets.”

She mentioned many other schools have indoor courts, which allows them to play out-of-season and practice when the weather is bad outside. Unfortunately, there is only a singular court up for grabs in the increasingly busy Cowles Fieldhouse that both the men’s and women’s tennis teams must share.

Even with these difficulties, the team still practices together once or twice a day. If someone on the team wants to hit and practice more, other members will join in, which helps add to their team bond.