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Racquetball team heads to Arby’s tournament

Setting+up+to+shoot+the+ball%2C+sophomore+Callie+Hummel+warms+up+for+the+Wednesday+varsity+practice.+Hummel+attended+the+Rolla+tournament+on+Jan.+6-7+and+played+a+total+of+five+games+at+the+Arby%E2%80%99s+tournament.+%E2%80%9CIt+helped+me+to+improve+because+I+played+a+lot+of+harder+opponents%2C%E2%80%9D+Hummel+said.+%E2%80%9CI+never+really+have+much+competition+in+the+team%E2%80%99s+regular+league.%E2%80%9D%0A
Setting up to shoot the ball, sophomore Callie Hummel warms up for the Wednesday varsity practice. Hummel attended the Rolla tournament on Jan. 6-7 and played a total of five games at the Arby’s tournament. “It helped me to improve because I played a lot of harder opponents,” Hummel said. “I never really have much competition in the team’s regular league.”

Setting up to shoot the ball, sophomore Callie Hummel warms up for the Wednesday varsity practice. Hummel attended the Rolla tournament on Jan. 6-7 and played a total of five games at the Arby’s tournament. “It helped me to improve because I played a lot of harder opponents,” Hummel said. “I never really have much competition in the team’s regular league.”

Erin Slutzky

Erin Slutzky

Setting up to shoot the ball, sophomore Callie Hummel warms up for the Wednesday varsity practice. Hummel attended the Rolla tournament on Jan. 6-7 and played a total of five games at the Arby’s tournament. “It helped me to improve because I played a lot of harder opponents,” Hummel said. “I never really have much competition in the team’s regular league.”

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On Jan. 5, the Parkway racquetball team packed up to drive to Rolla for the Arby’s tournament. The tournament, a traditional highlight competition for more than 12 years, allows the team to stays in a hotel together and room with their teammates.

“We got a better feel for each other—literally living with each other for three days instead of [only] being with each other at practice and games,” sophomore Anika Zepeda said. “We all got closer.”

Though games at the club were the focus of the weekend, the most memorable part for the team was the post-game meals each night.

“I really enjoyed the late night dinners—those were so great. All of us cramming into a car and going to Buffalo Wild Wings or Steak n’ Shake was so much fun because seeing everyone so relaxed, laughing at a table with each other, eating and sometimes throwing things,” Zepeda said. “I felt like it was something everyone got a laugh out of and everyone had a good time.”

I’m on a racquetball high. I’m just loving game after game.”

The tournament not only brought players together, but helped them experience different levels of competition since they were able to play non-high schoolers and the opposite gender.

“In doubles, we were playing people that could hit better shots than us sometimes. It helps to play different people because guys can hit it harder and you can play guys,” senior Faith Malek.

Playing and spending time with the team helped Zepeda, a rookie, understand the game and get to know her teammates.

“I had more fun than I thought I was going to. I thought I was going to be there as a loner walking around, but I totally bonded with the team and it was really fun. I felt that after having the Rolla experience I got so much more of a feel of how the game moves and I feel like I am a lot better,” Zepeda said. “I’m on a racquetball high. I’m just loving game after game, although I did want more games in Rolla. Right now I just want to keep playing.”

To the players, the tournament is not just a chance to play racquetball, it is a tradition and an experience to look forward to all season.

“It’s very good team bonding, you get to hang out with the guys team too,” junior Lizzy Calvert said. “It’s late nights and early mornings and helps the freshmen and sophomores get to know the upperclassmen.”

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Racquetball team heads to Arby’s tournament