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Over spring break, the Hillsdale College tennis team headed to Florida to face mul­tiple col­leges, including two Division I schools, in prepa­ration for its final two home matches.

The Chargers’ first match was on Wednesday against Broward College, a DII Florida school.

The team had a couple of indi­vidual wins, but fell short of an overall win with a score of 6 – 3.

After prac­ticing indoor all off­season and spring season, head coach Nikki Wal­bright said that the team just needed to adjust to the dif­ferent weather con­di­tions of the outdoor courts as well as the dif­ference in court sur­faces.

“It was a tough adjustment at first,” Wal­bright said. “It def­i­nitely threw con­sis­tency off a little bit, but we still had really great matches and points.”

Junior Morgan Delp said that the Broward match was probably one of the toughest days due to the high tem­per­a­tures, wind, and getting used to those changes, while the other team had been playing in those con­di­tions all year.

“It was kind of a wake up call.  We didn’t come out with ‘guns firing’ as we would have liked, but we were able to work and improve for the second match.”

On Thursday, the Chargers faced DI Florida Atlantic Uni­versity, and fell 9 – 0.

Despite the loss, the team was encouraged with the quality and improvement of their playing from the first match to the second.

“The girls def­i­nitely came out with a renewed sense of energy and great footwork,” Wal­bright said. “We get used to playing the teams in this area and it’s kind of a nice reminder that there are dif­ferent styles and per­son­al­ities and ways to play the game. So I was really glad the girls had the oppor­tunity to push them­selves.”

The final match against Buffalo State College was a Charger loss, 9 – 0.

Junior Lindsay Peirce said that the team played a little tired and let some points go that they shouldn’t have allowed.

“We def­i­nitely had some oppor­tu­nities as a team to cap­i­talize on some points in games and I think that we just let it slip away unfor­tu­nately,” Peirce said. “But our com­mu­ni­cation from court to court, like the cheering and the “go, go, gos,” that was important. And I think it’s important in any match to add that team cama­raderie.”

Along with showing support for each other on the court, the team also was able to develop and strengthen team bonds off the court.

Since this was the team’s first time to be able to travel to Florida for spring break, Peirce said one of her favorite parts of the trip was the team’s free day, because it allowed the girls to spend time with team­mates off the court for a little bit.

“I think this trip was a great thing for us,” Peirce said. “Our team doesn’t have to be strictly about tennis. We are first and foremost a family.”