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Club racquetball reaching for another national title

File photo from CSU-Pueblo Athletics
File photo from CSU-Pueblo Athletics

With the continuing success of the football and baseball teams getting most of the press at Colorado State University-Pueblo, the other talented sports teams on campus sometimes get overlooked. However, one of those teams has had more success than any other sport at CSU-Pueblo, and many students are completely unaware of them.

The CSU-Pueblo club racquetball team has dominated at the national level over the last couple of decades and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. Over the past 20 years, Coach Richard Krinsky and the club have put together an amazing string of 17 national titles, frequently competing against Division I opponents all over the country.

Last year, the racquetball club team won the 2014 Wilson National Intercollegiate Championship over much bigger school teams such as Brigham Young University, Arizona State, Missouri, and Oregon State.

The team is so good and plays at such a high caliber that they were invited at the beginning of the year to train at the Olympic Training Center, an opportunity that only heralds positive development for the team in the years to come.

Being a national powerhouse in any sport is no small feat, but continuing to do it again and again, year after year as generations of your athletes come and go, is even more challenging.

The racquetball team has not been phased by graduating seniors or plagued by any type of “rebuilding season”; instead, they take great pride in their freshman and underclassmen. They’ve continued their dedication to excellence and athletic prowess each year, and this season is no different.

“It’s definitely a lot more pressure. When you play against other schools, everybody expects you to win, so you got to stay focused,” freshman player Jacob Mathews said. “But most of us play on the pro tour for the racquetball team, so we have been put in a lot of pressure situations.”

Currently, the club sits at number two in the national rankings after a tournament in Arizona over spring break. This isn’t good enough for the club, as they expect greatness and will do everything to achieve it.

“One of the guys, who is also my doubles partner, was deemed ineligible the day before the tournament, so we did not get to bring our whole team. Anytime we don’t win, we aren’t happy. The ultimate goal is to win every time we play,” Matthews said.

One thing that all of the racquetball players could agree on was that they owe all of their success over the years to Krinsky.

“He recruits the best players from all over the world. He’s bringing kids that are world and national champions before they come here,” said fifth-year senior Jeremy McGlothin. “You put the best kids in the world under one roof and let them train all year together. The recipe becomes very simple for Krinsky. As long as he keeps recruiting the players here, we will keep winning.”

The team will continue its national climb at a pro stop in Denver this weekend and at another pro stop tournament in Pueblo the weekend of May 2.