It seems that spring athletes in Minnesota are automatically at a disadvantage. With our state’s notoriously long winters and this year’s polar vortex, it’s no mystery why several Gustavus teams are heading out of town to gear up for the remainder of the semester. The men’s and women’s golf and tennis teams will all be among the mass exodus of Minnesota sports teams leaving this frigid state for spring break.
The men’s tennis squad will head to Boston, the women’s tennis team will go to San Antonio, and both golf teams are packing up for a trip to Jacksonville, Florida.
The change in climate is just one of many benefits to traveling out of the state for athletes.
“Spending a whole week golfing and hanging out gives us a chance to bond as we prepare for a big spring season. It gives the guys and gals a chance to play a few rounds together and get to know each other better,” senior golf captain Tyler McMorrow said.
McMorrow is not the only athlete looking forward to strengthening team chemistry over the break.
“The spring trip is always great for team bonding. We spend a lot of time bonding off the court, and a lot of fun memories are made,” junior tennis player Laurel Krebsbach said.
The spring trips won’t be all fun and games for the athletes. A very demanding schedule has been put together for each team, making the most of the opportunity to compete during a week without classes.
“We will certainly be using our time on spring break to our full potential. We’ll be doing all we can do to prepare to bring our best game possible to every tournament we play this spring,” McMorrow said.
Senior Mya Smith-Dennis, one of the stars of the men’s tennis team, is no stranger to putting in hard work on the court while the rest of the student body is enjoying a relaxing spring break. According to Smith-Dennis, the trip is a great opportunity to match up against quality teams that they would not otherwise have the chance to play.
“On this trip, we’ll get to play some of the top teams in the country, like Amherst, MIT, and Tufts,” Smith-Dennis said.
The Gustavus men’s tennis team is ranked No. 18 in the country, so the match against No. 4 Tufts will be a big one.
The Gustavus golf program, which is headed to the most tropical of the training destinations, will also have a very unique opportunity over break. The teams will play on prestigious golf courses in Florida, such as Sawgrass Country Club and Ponte Verde Golf Club.
“We are lucky enough to be able to play a variety of courses while we are there, which is a really cool part of the trip,” McMorrow said.
Assuming that the snow will have melted, both golf teams will begin their spring season on April 12— the weekend after their return to campus.
The men’s and women’s tennis teams who are red-hot right now, with 13-2 and 6-1 overall records, respectively, will also resume regular season play that weekend.