Montana State’s racquetball club is heating up for another great season and they’re looking to make a mark on the MSU campus. Last year, the team placed seventh nationally, and they expect better results this season. Under the leadership of their new club president, Gavin Usher, and with the help of Matt Majxner, local nationally-ranked influential racquetball player, the club is gearing up and partnering with sponsors to bring in four top-pro players for a Bozeman tournament Nov. 10-12.
The players this year come with impressive backgrounds. Three current players qualified as All-Americans last year. Senior Grant Junghans and junior partner Tucker Schreiner placed second in number three doubles, meaning that of every school’s third-best doubles team, Junghans and Schreiner are the second best in the nation. Senior Connor Dietz took fourth in number six singles. For the first time in MSU racquetball history, players qualified as All-Americans. Gavin Usher, a sophomore who came to MSU with three high school national championships in doubles, led the team to their highest finish last year at intercollegiates in Los Angeles. The whole team is returning this year making their odds at nationals even greater.
“In March we’re looking to place even higher, and in preparation we have been amping our training” Usher said. “We will be competing in tournaments around the region.” The coaches this year are Scott Krushensky and Wayne Hollander, who have been volunteering their expertise and love of the sport to Montana State for the last few years.
This fall, the club is excited to be hosting the first pro-stop in Montana in over 10 years. Calling it the Bozeman Bobcat Pro-Am Tournament, it’s the club’s main fundraising opportunity, and they welcome everyone to come check it out. Alvaro Beltra and Jose Diaz, the third and seventh best players in the world, as well as many other world-renowned players will be flown in. All community members are invited to come and watch the pros. Usher mentioned that, in addition, the team is welcoming “over 100 amateur players coming from around the region” who will also compete in the tournament.
This club is excited about the possibility of new players, so if you or anyone you know wants to give raquetball a try, come to their open practice Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-8 p.m. in the Marga-Hosaeus Fitness Center.