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ISSUE 115 VOL 16 PUBLISHED 3/22/2002

Baseball, Softball and Men’s Tennis ready for spring break

By Various Contributors
Sports Editor

Friday, March 22, 2002

What do the baseball, softball, and men’s tennis teams have in common?

In less than a week they will all kick off their 2002 seasons by hitting the road to take on some tough competition in sunny and warm climates.

The baseball team, ranked 28th in preseason polls, will head down south to play against other top Division III teams in the nation. Their first stop will be Missouri and then they’ll make their way down to Texas to test their skills against strong competition.

According to senior Steve Ryan, "These games will be the stepping stones that will lead us into the conference season. They are also going to be especially important at the end of the season for our overall record."

The trip will consist of more than just games, however.

"It will be a huge team bonding time because we spend 20+ hours on the bus together", Ryan said.

"Everyone comes together after a trip like this."

The softball team will leave Saturday for Orlando, Florida where they will play 2 games a day for 4 days.

The team went 4-4 last year at spring break so they are looking to improve on that record.

Senior Carrie Cooley said, "We lost our entire outfield as well as our 2nd basemen to graduation, so it will be fun to see who steps up and fills those shoes." This trip will be a lot about having fun too. "It’s just a great trip because we really bond as a team and get to know each other and welcome in the freshmen. We have a day off when we’ll go to Daytona beach where it’s pretty crazy during spring break time. Then we will head to Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville for dinner. In the past this is when we do our freshmen initiation. We usually have them stand up on the chairs and sing "Um Ya Ya" in front of everyone and we paint their faces." According to Cooley, the main goals for the trip are "to win some games and make it to the Waffle House at least twice." The men’s tennis team will leave Thursday after classes and drive down to Chicago where they will participate in the Wheaton Invitational tournament. On Friday they will play both Carthage and Wheaton, two of the top teams in the region. Then on Saturday they will depart for Hilton Head, South Carolina where they will play one match per day against very tough teams. This will be a new trip for the squad so they are pretty excited about it. According to senior Karl Wilbur, "It should be some real challenging competition and a good test for us. Our team is looking forward to playing outside since our playing style as a whole is more conducive to playing outside. It should also be good for our team chemistry to drive there." Slather on that sunscreen, roll up those sleeves, and let the games begin!

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