NICK THOMPSON, TRUMPET SPORTS WRITER
Seniors Sydney Powers and Sydney Rottinghaus earned second place in the A-doubles competition when Wartburg’s women’s tennis team competed in the American Rivers Conference (A-R-C) individual meet on Saturday, Oct. 17.
Tennis is one of the few sports where there is little to no physical contact between players. This allowed Wartburg’s tennis teams to not have to make too many changes with what was happening on the court amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The game has no infection chance, it’s all the things we do in between that we’ve had to adapt,” Chris Gustas, Wartburg head men’s and women’s tennis coach, said. “When we meet as a team, we spread out. We no longer make physical contact to celebrate a good point or encourage each other. During a meet is when we have the most changes. Fans and players wear masks when they’re not competing. Only the home team touches the score cards. And each player receives their own tennis balls for serving.”
The women’s tennis team, which has 12 members, has gone 9-1 this season with Powers leading the way. Powers has also been leading the team off the court as well. She has been helping out the four first-years on this year’s team transition into college.
“Each one of them was very eager to compete and ready to learn so it was really easy to show them the ropes of what it is like to play tennis at the D-III level,” Powers said. “Overall, as the season went on, we were all able to rely on each other during this hard time by coming to practice every day with a positive attitude and then enjoying team dinners afterward.”
With goals of winning the A-R-C, the Knights fell just short. The Knights lost to conference champion Luther earlier in the season.
“Even though we did not win conference this year, I felt we competed extremely well at every meet not only at the varsity level, but also on the JV level,” Powers said.
“Our team last year had a lot of talent and experience. Our team this year has just as much, maybe more talent, but less experience,” Gustas said. “I was curious how we would play in the biggest meets.”
Wartburg women’s tennis will resume play in the spring. Schedules are yet to be released.