Three Gustavus Spring sport teams will be using their Touring Week break to head to warmer climates to open their 2011 seasons. The men’s tennis and women’s softball teams are in Hawaii, while the women’s tennis team is in Puerto Rico.
The softball team will head to the Hawaiian Island of Oahu and will use the nice weather to practice outside and play doubleheaders against Chaminade (Feb. 2), Hawaii Pacific (Feb. 4), and Brigham Young-Hawaii (Feb. 5). Head Coach Jeff Annis is looking forward to the team spending some quality time together in beautiful surroundings. He stated, “To start the season on a trip as a team will give us a great opportunity to bond as one. This year our Theme is “One Heartbeat” Hopefully, we will be able to come together and have that one heartbeat.” Annis added that he thought the chance to play six games right away would challenge the team to grow together quickly stating, “The trip will give us an opportunity to give everyone a taste of game situations, so when we practice those situations we will have had first hand experience as to what we should do.”
The men’s tennis team will also be spending the week on Oahu and will play two matches, while practicing the other five days. Head Coach Tommy Valentini commented, “We are very excited to travel to Hawaii to begin our 2011 spring season. We have a group of talented young players joining guys who gained a lot of valuable experience last season, and we can’t wait to get started. We’ll have an excellent opportunity to train outdoors and compete against two strong Division II teams on this trip. We’re also very excited to show the team the island Kauai, one of the most beautiful places in the world. Most of all, this is a tremendous life experience for our guys, and a big step in their continual development as a family.” Gustavus will play Hawaii Pacific on Thursday, Feb. 3 and Brigham Young-Hawaii on Friday, Feb. 4.
The women’s tennis team will spend the week in Puerto Rico using the time to practice and bond as a team. Coach Jon Carlson is looking forward to his squad spending some quality time together. He stated, “It will be nice to be outside in sunny 80 degree weather in early February! We’ll get some quality tennis in, as well as plenty of time to explore all that the island has to offer. Getting away from the cold and snow in Minnesota and focusing on tennis together is a great way to get the season started.”