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Athletic Teams Traveling South for Spring Break
02.25.13 |
Spring is a great time to be a student-athlete at Lebanon Valley College overall, but it is enhanced by the opportunity to take part in spring break trips. The baseball, softball, and tennis teams will all travel south this spring to open their seasons. Each will go to a different destination, but all games and matches will count toward their regular season records.

Of equal importance is the bonding that takes place during the trips. Each team plans activities away from the fields and courts to help strengthen camaraderie among team members and to build trust that is meant to be carried into games and matches later on.

The baseball team will again make the trip to Fort Pierce, Fla., beginning March 2. Opponents this season include John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Misericordia University, Muhlenberg College, Westminster College (Pa.), Susquehanna University, Penn State Erie, and Geneva College (Pa.). Though all of these teams play within the same region as LVC, they will be able to get a much earlier start to the season in Florida.

“In Florida, we expect to see a lot of guys getting opportunities and finding out where we’re going to fit,” head coach Keith Evans said. “We’re looking to get off to a good, solid start and play the game the way it’s meant to be played with sound fundamentals. We’ll do the little things and try to pick up as many wins as we can.”

The trip is geared at tuning players up for the rest of the season, and this year that will be most important because the roster is much younger. Last year’s team graduated 11 seniors, including six starting position players and its top starting pitcher. Ten new players joined this season.

“I anticipate using several different lineups,” Evans said. “I told the kids, ‘Every night, I go home and I have three different starting outfielders in my head. Tonight, I’ll go home and probably have three different starters in my head.’”

The softball team will also return to Florida this season – to the renowned National Training Center in Clermont. Opponents include John Carroll University, Thiel College, Muhlenberg, Adrian College, Moravian College, Misericordia, Emerson College, and Finlandia University.

The team may not have been hit as hard as the baseball team in numbers, but it lost some key pieces in the four seniors that graduated last year in three impactful position players and its top starting pitcher. Softball retooled with six new players – a mix of freshmen and transfers.

“Spring break is always an interesting time for us,” head coach Stacey Hollinger said. “We definitely want to give all of our players an opportunity to play and show us what they have. Figure out lineups. Figure out some combinations. Get our pitchers in the circle and see what their strengths and weaknesses are. It’s just a time to really learn about the team when they finally get the opportunity to get outside and play.”

The men’s and women’s tennis teams open their spring seasons in Hilton Head, S.C., in a series of matches played at different area resorts. Between March 4 and 7, the men will play Catholic University, Grand Rapids Community College, and Eastern Nazarene University. The women will see York College, Eastern University, and Malone University.

The team uses its annual trip to bounce from resort to resort across Hilton Head because of the strong tennis culture of the area. Tennis plays a split season between fall and spring and uses the trip south to shake the rust of winter.

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