After a semester of off-season training with early morning conditioning and tough weight lifting, the spring teams are gearing up to start their 2016 season. All of the hard work put in over the past months will be put to the test as softball, lacrosse, tennis, crew and outdoor track & field start their seasons.
The lacrosse team has been hard at work the past month preparing for their home opener on March 2. Coach Lauren Schoenberger is in her first year as the head coach of the team. Schoenberger said of the team’s preseason, “the past four weeks, our team has worked in the weight room, on the field, and in team classroom sessions to strengthen and prepare our bodies, skills, and minds in preparation for our season opener.”
The Blue, who were last year 9-5, hope to have another winning season ahead of them with a strong incoming first year class to add to their arsenal. Schoenberger believes the class is a strong group saying, “they bring both a light-hearted enthusiasm and a fierce competitive spirit that elevates our play every time we step on the field.”
The goal for this season Schoenberger says is to “continuously improve”. The team’s goal is to “attack every day with a specific intention and focus to build on our accomplishments from the day before.” The team opens its season with a game against Bates College March 2 at 4 p.m.
The Wellesley tennis team is unique because they have two full seasons, one in the fall competing in the NEWMAC and one in the spring competing in the NCAA. The Blue had a strong fall season making it to the semi-finals in the NEWMAC tournament and ending the season ranked #32 nationally.
The preparation for the spring season has already begun. Three weeks into practice, they have focused on adding tactical advantages to each player’s game, working on new doubles teams and building chemistry. Brian Kuscher who is in his eighth year with the Blue is incredibly impressed with the effort and talent of this year’s team. Kuscher said that these past few weeks were “probably the best first three weeks of spring practice we have had in my eight years here.”
Kuscher emphasized that the team’s goals for the season are not about winning or losing, but about focusing on four areas. Kuscher explained, “First, enjoy every day. Second, smile every day while playing. Third compete as hard as you possibly can in each practice and match. Fourth, no free matches for your opponents make them work to win.”
Kuscher concluded, “We felt that if these four areas are consistent the winning will take care of itself, but more importantly they will improve and have a sense of accomplishment.” With four solid first-years and a tough group of upperclasswomen the tennis team is already off to a great start.
Track & Field
The Wellesley Track & Field team has been preparing for the upcoming spring season for an extensive amount of time. Distance runners began preparing for cross-country in early August and sprinters, throwers
and jumpers began preparation in October. In fact they are still competing in their winter season with the ECAC indoor championship this weekend and the NCAA’s the following week.
Head Coach Phil Jennings, who is in his third year with the Blue, is excited for what the outdoor season will bring. He said, “With regard to team goals, we had a great NEWMAC meet last year, with our highest ever team finish of 4th place and three individual event winners.” Adding that this years goals are to “to improve at NEWMAC’s this spring as well as qualify as many as possible for the championship meets that follow.”
Last year the Blue had three individuals qualify for NCAA’s. Jennings wants to see this become a frequent occurrence. He said “I would also like to see us establish a tradition of competing at the national level; all indications from this indoor season show that we’re in a better place that last year at this point.”
As for the first years Jennings thinks the spring season is a great time for them to “come into their own.” With a geographically diverse first year class most of them did not experience the winter track season in high school so it can be a hard transition. The track & field team is gearing up for their last two meets of the indoor season but after they tackle their final competitions their momentum will shift towards spring season. With a promising roster and a successful indoor season under their belts, it looks like the Blue are off on the right foot.
The Wellesley Softball team has been up early for the past few weeks working on their hitting, catching and throwing. The team had a successful season last year, 23-16 overall, with a NEWMAC championship win and a trip to NCAA’s. The team looks to maintain their postseason dominance with the addition of two talented new first years, Veronica Locher and Sydney Hopper.
The Blue hosted a scrimmage this past Sunday Feb. 28. Even so, the team will not be playing outside for about a month They open the season playing during spring break when they will travel to Cleremont, Florida and play eight different teams from all over the country in four days. Their first home game will be a doubleheader Saturday, April 2 when they host Clark University at 12 p.m.
The Blue Crew had another strong fall season taking first in the Quinsigamond Snake Regatta and the Seven Sisters Championship. The Blue saw strong performances from senior Meg Roberts, sophomore Margaret Babikiana and first year Jocelyn Reahl who each earned All-Regatta Honors at the Seven Sisters Championship. The Blue have been working hard in the offseason by lifting, erging and conditioning to prepare for their upcoming spring competitions.
The Blue will open up their season during the first week of April when they host the Wellesley Invitational on Sunday, April 3. Last year, the Blue ended its spring season by finishing third overall at the NCAA Division III Championships. We can expect another big spring from this powerhouse team.
Photo courtesy of wellesleyblue.com