The weather may not be getting warmer, but Muhlenberg’s frozen grounds have been broken nonetheless– in the spirit of spring season play. There is high potential for success across the board this spring, given the Mules started preparing for their upcoming seasons immediately following their final performances in 2022.
In the off-season, it is imperative that teams and individual athletes make the commitment to bettering themselves. It is often these offseason efforts that encourage true success when it counts. Assistant strength and conditioning coach Andrew Yasenchak lets us in on his observations, “All of the spring teams consistently showed up to lifts during the offseason and each of the teams put in the work collectively, by choice. I think this effort will go a long way in aiding their successes this season.”
Muhlenberg’s spring varsity sports consist of lacrosse, track & field, baseball, softball, tennis and golf programs. Several athletes were asked to express the outlooks, goals and or advantages that each of their programs have as they begin to face the culmination of their off-season efforts.
The 2022 Centennial Conference champions and NCAA qualifying Muhlenberg women’s softball team is one program looking to top their recent successes. Dara DiMaiolo’ 24 expresses, “It is very important for our team to focus on the now, while building upon our skills and mindset from our previous successful season. Our team prides ourselves on the amazing leadership we have all around and how well we work together, which will ultimately aid in our success. Our preseason has been amazing already, and we are so excited to take on the 2023 softball season.”
After earning a 5-1 home game record and making Centennial Conference playoffs in 2022, the Muhlenberg men’s lacrosse team has also set higher goals for 2023. Captain Max May ‘23 speaks on behalf of the program, “Our goal this year is to win the conference championship. Throughout my four years here the team has been on an upwards trajectory as we have been more competitive every year. We feel this year that with our challenging out-of conference schedule we will be adequately prepared for conference play. We return a lot of talent on both ends of the field and feel we can compete with any team.”
The Muhlenberg women’s lacrosse team is equally excited to start competing.
After a 11-5 season record last year, the Muhlenberg women’s lacrosse team is ready to be back on the turf. Sarah Duffy ‘23 states, “Our team’s biggest advantage this season is definitely our team chemistry, everyone gets along really well and is excited to have a great season. Being part of such a close, positive team is exciting because we are all working together to have the most successful season.”
The Muhlenberg tennis teams have been seen making a lot of progress in the offseason in hopes to build their program as a whole. Women’s captain Malin Hermanson ‘23 expresses, “Our goal for this season is to see improvement. We’re a fairly new team and everyday we come to practice itching to get better. I’m looking forward to seeing us secure some wins in the 50/50 matches that didn’t go our way last spring”. Sophomore captain of the men’s tennis team, Isaac Schulman ‘25 adds on, “We’ve got an exciting season ahead of us. We are looking to build on last year’s success and really turn this program around.”
One highlight of the Muhlenberg baseball team’s 2022 season was their double header win against Johns Hopkins University. The baseball program has since spent their time off getting ready to reap similar successes in 2023. Captain Jake Swerdloff ‘23 expressed, “Our goal is to win the conference and make a run after that. I think anyone who sets their goal any lower than that is selling themselves short. Our preseason is going very well. We’ve been working harder this preseason as a team than any year I’ve been a part of this program. I’ve really felt that this year I have seen a culture shift in our team’s work ethic. Guys have really been working hard in the weight room, at practice, and guys are constantly doing additional work on their own.”
Both the Muhlenberg men’s and women’s golf teams attended invitationals in the fall and spring of 2022. There is no doubt their commitment has given them an edge for their prospective spring season. Captain of the men’s golf team, Aron Gianchandani ‘24 says “Our team’s biggest advantage in aiding our success this season is that we have started team workouts. Coach Jared’s workouts are golf specific and they are really helpful to us in finding our own individual swing and becoming stronger. We have new team members joining this spring who will provide a spark to our team. We are also preparing for our Spring Break trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. In Myrtle Beach we will have quality team bonding and help each other better our golf swings and practice playing smart.”
The Muhlenberg track and field program has recorded countless achievements in the past year including multiple broken school records and several overall program placements at meets. More details on their successes can be found in the recent article “Muhlenberg track & field program breaking records” by Caiti Kinnear ‘24. Adrienne Ellison ‘23 speaks to the team’s spring season outlook, “Collectively, our team outlook is overwhelmingly positive. We have a pretty young team, so there’s fresh energy ready to fuel our season. There’s absolutely a ton of talent on the team and we’re ready to attack the season in full force. We are currently in our winter track season, which helps us figure out how to gear up for the spring season, and what events we really want to focus on. We are seeing some fantastic indoor performances that are providing us with hopes for an even more successful season in the spring. I predict that we will have many more impressive races, jumps, and throws when the spring track season rolls around.”
Throughout the year, the track and field program has noted their tight team chemistry as an advantage of theirs on multiple accounts. Jason Ivey ‘23 adds, “For this season both the men’s and women’s teams are looking to go at least top 5 in conferences and for a number of individuals – to win it. The team this year is looking better than last year in nearly every way. Pretty much everyone on our team has improved their times/distance from last year and our freshman class is really strong too. Our biggest advantage for this season is the close knit team chemistry we have. The amount of time we spend outside of practice together builds a lot of trust and that translates to better performance at meets.”
According to this forecast, there is a sunny trajectory for Muhlenberg athletic programs going into the 2023 spring season.