Written by Matt Trawick
The Southwestern University handball team competed in the Texas State Handball Championship earlier this month, giving yet another strong performance in intercollegiate competition. This is their first tournament since the Buc handball team won the National Division II title last spring in Canoga Park, California, which was the sixth consecutive year that the Pirates have ranked among the top 10 collegiate teams (in any division) since the team’s start in 1999.
The team brought 22 players to the UT tournament, 12 returning from last year’s team and 10 new players. Notable returning players are men Brian Kasper, Winston Pool, Juan Carreon, and team captain John Yi; and women Kelly Parmet, Casey Grier, and Jennifer Huntsman.
“I didn’t know what to expect at the beginning of the semester,” Yi said, “because we added
about 15 new players to our 13 from last year. But everyone practiced hard and I think the results speak for themselves!”
The results do speak for themselves: Rachel Gibson won in the women’s novice division; Lauren Kjolhede took second. Brian Kasper and Matt Kauffman took first and second place in the B contenders bracket, respectively, and Winston Pool won the C contender championship. Juan Carreon took second place in the Men’ C division, and Matt Trawick took second in the Men’s Novice division. The team also had several semifinalists, including Anabel Aviles, Suresh Thomas, Eamon Briggs, Clay Hillin and Kristin Kukura.
Making their presence known, six new players brought home trophies, which bodes well for the future of the program, especially since handball is such a difficult game to master. The fine motor skills and quick wits seem to come naturally to Southwestern students, however, so the Pirates might not be too far away from a National Division I Championship. The Pirate handball team will travel to College Station to compete in the Aggieland Classic handball tournament this weekend, and are looking forward to defending their title at the National Tournament this spring.