Storm keep eyes on prize, IIAC tourney

by Nicole Dillenburg

With increased participation and an intense focus on personal and team goals, the Simpson men’s tennis team is still motivated despite minor setbacks and a few tough losses.

With every intention to keep building up the program, members of the team are determined to grab a few wins in the competitions to come.

Head Men’s Tennis Coach Bill Wright has seen improvements in competition so far this season.

“As a team, we are vastly improved over last year,” Wright said. “Our losses thus far have been against some of the best college tennis teams in Iowa. We have been competitive in all of our matches. The reason we are more competitive this year is a combination of impactful freshmen entering our program and the returning players all worked hard in the offseason and made themselves better players.”

Also seeing an improvement in the team is lone senior Noah Saunders.

“The season is going a lot better than last season due in part to having a full team,” Saunders said. 

So far, the team has already done a lot better than last year, while losing a few close ones.

Junior Adam Summit has felt the tough losses.

“We feel like we’re much more improved than last season as we’ve already matched our wins from last year,” Summit said. “We have lost some close matches this year already, including tough ones against Doane, BVU and Ashford.” 

Regardless of those close matches where the Storm did not finish on top, it is important to the team to always motivate each other.

“We all push each other every day at practice to try and improve overall,” Saunders said.

With this type of encouragement come high expectations and goals for the season.

“Our team goals are to make the conference tournament,” Summit said. “We have the players to make a run and get there and possibly do well in it.”

Tennis is essentially an individual sport but is also a team sport in many other ways. Individually, players have taken the initiative in the off-season to improve their game and skills to benefit the team as a whole once its conference tournament time. All the hard work and extra time can have noticeable effects in the long run. 

“We’re all working on footwork and the mental side of the game, especially now that we›ve moved outside, we have to adjust to the wind and we need to position ourselves correctly so we can hit the ball cleanly,” Summit said. “Tennis can be a very mental sport and keeping your head is crucial.”

The Storm will take on North Central (Minn.) tomorrow, April 1 in Indianola. The next meet will come the following day when the Storm head to Storm Lake to take on Buena Vista University and Morningside.