By Stephanie Stanavich
Nick Conti and Andy Innocenzi established the Youngstown State University racquetball team in 2014, and the club sport team is ready to get their name out there and experience success.
Rhen Weaver, captain of the team, has been playing with the team since the beginning.
“I recruit, train, start fundraisers, send the club in the right direction and make sure everyone is having a good time,” Weaver said. “Our future plans are attending tournaments, doing more fundraisers, volunteering in the community and recruiting more players.”
Weaver was voted by club members to take on the leadership role and is eager to recruit more students to play on the team. She said they want to do more fundraisers, volunteer and recruit more players in the future.
“You have to challenge players to make the top eight to go to tournaments, but we welcome any and all skill levels to come have fun!” Weaver said. “We take the top eight men and top eight women to tournaments, but we currently have 25 members.”
YSU student Andrew Zack also plays on the team. He said the team is currently participating in tournaments and plans to keep moving forward.
“Last Saturday we played in Pittsburgh against five teams, and we did extremely well,” Zack said. “Two people went undefeated at the tournament.”
Although the team focuses on having fun and making new friends, the players take the game very seriously.
“Tournaments are fun but competitive. In Pittsburgh, someone from the Pitt team got their teeth knocked out,” Zack said. “There is a drive from its players to succeed.”
Zack said one of the strengths of racquetball is that you compete one-on-one with other players.
“It’s just you and your opponent in that room,” Zack said. “Those intimate moments of competition and winning— and sometimes losing— are some of my favorite moments of college so far.”
YSU student Leah McConnell has also been playing since her freshman year.
“We will be competing in three more tournaments in the spring semester,” McConnell said. “We are hoping to just get better and better with practice and hopefully continue to do well in the tournaments.”
McConnell has made many friends playing for the YSU Racquetball team, and she said she has enjoyed her time with the team.
“It is a cool way to get to know people from all different majors,” McConnell said. “It’s a fun group to be a part of.”