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The Scarlet & Black

Fall Athletic Teams Prepare to Face Off Against the MWC


By Lily Seibert and Candace Mettle

With the new semester starting up, fall athletes have been hitting the courts and fields to prepare for another season. As always, the teams hope to represent Grinnell proudly and play competitively against the other teams in the Midwestern Conference. A few of the fall coaches offered their thoughts on their teams:

Women’s Tennis:

The women’s tennis team is off to a strong start of practices during pre-season and will begin competing on Sept. 1. Our first conference match this fall is on Sept. 8 and we are working hard to stay at the top of the conference schools and win the fall regular season title again. After a strong season last year where we won our third ever match at the NCAA tournament, the team is setting their goals high to advance to another NCAA tournament next spring.

— Coach Paige Madara

Women’s Soccer:

Our goals are always the same: to compete for a conference title, and a conference tournament win. It’s too much work to be a student-athlete at Grinnell and NOT set your sights on the big prize. However, we are always focused on our daily actions and attitude. Each person on this squad adds value to the experience of the whole, and we have to show up for each other every day. Our senior class has set an incredible tone for the season, and so far I’ve been incredibly impressed by the competitive drive of this year’s squad.

We welcome Regan Kasprak [’19] back to the field after spending two years in goal. That is really exciting! We return offensive threats and defensive strength. We return a large portion of our starting back line from last season with Abby [Hellwig ’19], Lauren Edwards [’20], and Celeste [Kaspar ’21]. Gwen [Holtzman ’19], Jordan [Maddaus ’19], Simo [Bambi ’20] and Valencia [Alvarez ’20] were confident in front of the goal last year and are fun players to watch.

Knox has become our biggest rival, but almost every team in the MWC is on the rise right now. That includes us. Should be an exciting season!

Our new assistant coach, Hayley Wirth, is an incredible addition. We’re also very thankful to keep Connie Herchek [assistant coach] on our staff for another year.

— Coach Kirsten Koester

Men’s Tennis:

The men’s team will start their fall season Labor Day weekend with practices and their only fall competition is the ITA Regional event. The fall will be a great time for the team to set the tone for the spring season and start to develop new doubles pairings. After a successful last spring season where the team won their 15th consecutive Midwest Conference title and won only the fifth NCAA match in school history, we will look to continue our success on the conference and national level.

— Coach Paige Madara

Men’s Cross Country:

The reality is that other schools are getting better. We have had an awfully good run and our goal always is to win the conference title, and we lost it last year for the first time in many, many years. And I think that motivation stands on its own. They committed themselves to a really solid summer of training and I think we’re in a really good place right from everything I can see from this point. I know it’s early, but I feel really good about it.

The thing about distance running is that it’s an aerobic game … the people who do the miles, who do higher mileage, there tends to be kind of a linear relationship there. The more miles you do the better the performance, and they stepped up to that challenge, so I do think we are certainly in a better place than we were a year ago … they’re definitely fit.”

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