Women's tennis wins home opener
The Luther women’s tennis team started their fall season Sept. 1 by picking up wins against Upper Iowa University and UW-River Falls. This was the first time the Norse has played either team.
Luther defeated UIU 7-2 and UW-River Falls 9-0 in their home opener.
New opponents are not the only new aspect of Luther’s program. This year’s team is comprised of five seniors, one junior, three sophomores and eight first-year players.
“We have a big freshmen class, but we also have a big senior class,” Coach Adam Strand (‘04) said. “I think [the seniors] are doing a good job of getting [the first-years] acclimated.”
“We’ve got some freshmen who are ready to play at the varsity level and help us, and some others who are maybe not quite ready, but there is some good potential that maybe later this fall or next spring, they’re going to be contributing for us,” Strand said.
Strand expects this year’s team to be particularly deep in singles and the team will continue to improve their doubles teams with more drills and conditioning.
“We’re a big team, so we’ve got a lot of talent. I think that is definitely one of our strengths,” Elise Allen (‘13) said. “We only lost one senior last year, so we still have a senior class that’s pretty strong. I’m really excited to get it started and see how our team does against new teams.”
Allen also believes the team’s size will give their singles lineup and doubles teams a depth in playing ability. Lola White-Baer (‘15) agrees that this depth will be key to the team’s success.
“We have a good mixture. A lot of our seniors play at the top of our lineup, so they’re really good role models for the rest of the team,” White-Baer said.
It is this mentality that contributes to a tight-knit team dynamic.
“Even if you’re not playing, you’re still a part of the team, and you’re still a part of that winning-slash-losing process,” Allen said.
“We all get along really well. The freshmen and seniors mesh really well together, and everyone in between, too,” Allen said. “The team chemistry is something we’re looking forward to this year, and we would like to see it continue throughout with everyone getting closer.”
The team agrees that a strong team dynamic is their number one goal this season.
“Obviously being conference champions is a big deal for us, and making it to nationals would make it a success. But, since it is Division III, the team dynamics make it a successful season, so that we’re all getting along and not getting too caught up in winning and losing,” White-Baer said.