North Texas Daily

UNT club squash team prepare for first season of competition

UNT club squash team prepare for first season of competition

UNT club squash team prepare for first season of competition
December 04
11:34 2018

The North Texas club squash team is in its first year of competition in the Collegiate Squash Association (CSA) and will begin their season in the winter. Squash is a racquet sport like tennis and racquetball, but it uses a smaller ball and a different type of racquet.

“A lot of people tend to confuse squash with other sports like racquetball because they think it is very similar,” said David Yue, club squash team president. “While in some ways there [are] a lot of parallels between the two games, a lot of the mechanics and everything is completely different.”

In terms of how the game is played, it is again comparable to the sport of tennis and racquetball.

“Essentially like tennis, but it’s inside of a room, so the two players that are competing against each other aren’t facing each other, but they’re actually facing a wall, but the rules are a little bit different from racquetball,” Yue said.

Squash is not an overly common sport in Texas, but Yue believes that the sport is growing in the state.

“It’s mainly a sport that’s been played in the northeast and Europe and around the world, not so much in Texas actually but recently there’s been more and more people playing it here,” Yue said.

The Mean Green club squash team will begin their first season of competition this upcoming winter and will face teams in the Ivy League and other schools in the northeast as a part of the CSA.

“The CSA is essentially like the squash equivalent of the NCAA so we’re competing in that and it’s like a winter sport, so we haven’t had our season yet, but it’s about to happen and we’ll see how it goes,” Yue said. “[We are looking to compete] against all the schools in the league. A lot of them are from the northeast, like the Ivy League’s are pretty good at squash, there [are] a bunch of schools in the northeast that usually play.”

The Sport of squash is like most racquet sports in that it requires an immense amount of hand eye coordination to be successful at.

“It definitely requires a lot of hand-eye coordination because we are in such a small space and the ball is also very small and the game itself is very fast paced in nature so you got to have quick reflexes,” sophomore Pavan Kumar Govu said.

Kumar Govu describes the sport as similar to tennis, but in a smaller space.

“I would say squash is kind of like a smaller version of tennis,” Kumar Govu said.

TAMS student Caleb Hamby had a unique way of describing squash, comparing it to the strategy game of chess.

“Squash is a very mental game of movement and strategy, almost like a game of three-dimensional chess,” Hamby said.

Practcing his serve, David Yue throws the ball at the wall. Matthew Flores

At times squash requires teamwork specifically when one is playing with a partner in such a small space.

“Teamwork is very important in this type of game, especially when you play doubles,” Kumar Govu said. “Because it’s so small you can’t get in each other’s way, but you also can’t play one versus two alone either like you can’t try to carry the team in this one because that’s just the nature of the sport.”

Conditioning is considered to be a big part of the sport of squash, but because the Mean Green club squash team has many new squash players, the team focuses on technique as they prepare for their upcoming season.

“Ideally, [preparation] would be conditioning, but for now we are just trying to focus on technique because some of the players that we have are not as conditioned so on a short term basis we can’t immediately get them to be super physical,” Kumar Govu said. “If we teach them the right form and the proper mechanics then they actually start making some progress.”

Fundamentals can be considered key to success in the sport of squash and can be a step towards winning.

“If you have the fundamentals, like there’s some really fancy stuff that you can do in the game that the high level teams do, but if you have the fundamentals and you are able to get really consistent in the basic things and not making simple mistakes, then you can definitely last out a round very well,” Kumar Govu said.

Kumar Govu has been playing squash since the beginning of high school, but this is his first year competing on a team.

“I’ve been playing since I started high school, but I never played on an actual team, it’s just been with my friends,” said Kumar Govu.

In contrast to Kumar Govu, Yue has been playing for close to eight years and describes his experience playing the sport as both mentally and physically demanding.

“A friend introduced me to the game and I thought it was really fun,” said Yue. “I think it is a game that requires a lot of physical maneuvering and like physical prowess, but at the same it’s also a sport that requires a lot of mental discipline and mental will power and strategy. It’s not a game that’s simply brute force, it takes a lot of mental strategy as well.”

Featured Image: David Yue throws the ball up to practice. Matthew Flores

About Author

Jacob Solomon

Jacob Solomon

Business student at the University of North Texas and sports writer at the North Texas Daily.

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