The Brigham Young University racquetball team kicked off their practice after successful tryouts that were held two weeks ago here on campus. The returning and new players continued with their early morning training on Wednesday and worked on basic racquetball skills.
BYU racquetball coach Paul Snyder said the team cancelled its national plans this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The national tournament was going to be at LSU in Louisiana, third week of March, and about three days when we were supposed to fly out, we got a call that said everything was shut down and we weren’t able to go,” Snyder said.
Coach Snyder added that they had prepared well to take the national title, bolstered by the returning players.
“We had five players who were gonna defend individual titles from the previous year,” the coach revealed.
The racquetball coach said they are hopeful that the upcoming season in January, 2021, will take place. Nicholas Smith, an assistant coach, was one of the players who looked forward to making a mark in the nationals.
“We were set up to possibly take nationals, and having it all cut short was really girding because all the hard work,” he said.
He is excited that they have another opportunity.
“But hopefully this year we can build off that momentum and be able to bring a strong team, if nationals are able to be held this year,” Smith added.
Claire Nickell, one of the new players that joined the team two weeks ago, is grateful to be part of the team playing a game that she has come to love.
“Well, I have always played table tennis, and I’ve really loved that sport,” she said.
But how did she learn about racquetball?
“I met, actually, my husband in December, and he is really good at racquetball, so he asked me if I wanted to play with him,” Nickell said.
She pointed out that she is focusing more on basic skills to prepare herself for the new season, which kicks off in January, 2021.
The team will practice on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to get ready for the season.