Quite the racquet

Meet the young Racquetball Club at UW-Eau Claire

More stories from Ryan Huling

Each Monday, a small, yet unique, club meets in McPhee to stay active and have fun.

The Racquetball Club was founded at the beginning of the school year by Ryan Dainsberg, a first-year Accounting and Spanish student.

“I started playing earlier this year with some friends,” Dainsberg said. “We found out we can rent through McPhee, and that really got us going. I noticed we didn’t have a racquetball team or club or anything here and I thought it was a really fun sport.”

The club currently has 11 members. When Dainsberg and his friends got interested in racquetball, they asked faculty about a club and found out UW-Eau Claire used to have a racquetball club. However, members weren’t as interested and it died down.

“Me and some friends really thought it was fun, so we wanted to get it back up and going,” Dainsberg said. “We asked Mr. Oslen if he’d be our advisor and he said yes and we’ve been going ever since. We’re still pretty small but we like to have fun.”

When they meet each Monday, they typically play three different game modes. The first kind is one-on-one, where the players play to 15 points, best two out of three. They’ll also play with three people, which has multiple different game modes, or doubles.

Racquetball isn’t as noteworthy at other UW schools. Only a couple of the schools in the UW System have racquetball clubs.

“I know certain other schools around the country (have a racquetball club),” Dainsberg said. “Certain schools will be involved with USA Racquetball, which is a little more expensive. If we do end up going down that path, we’d definitely want to get some more members. But, as of now, we feel pretty unique.”

While racquetball seems like a more relaxed sport, Dainsberg, along with other members of the club, said it’s much more intense than it seems.

“You have to really be on your toes,” Dainsberg said. “A perfect shot in one situation will be terribly ineffective in another situation. So it’s really intense in getting to know how to move around the court to efficiently get to the ball. People who are new members always tell me, “I did not think I would be so sweaty after my first time playing racquetball. I did not think it was that intense of a sport.”

The sport also offers up fresh perspectives because of the intimacy the sport provides.

“It’s really fun to connect with different people, see how different people play and then learn from their strategies,” Dainsberg said. “You can learn different shots from them and where you should be. It can catch you off guard and that sort of thing gives you a new perspective. It really promotes creativity in your shots compared to other sports.”

Wyatt Anklam, a first-year Accounting student and the Racquetball Club Vice President, said it’s a good way for him to stay active.

“I don’t always like going to the gym because it gets boring after a while,” Anklam said. “It’s just a good competitive way to stay active and have fun with some other guys. If it wasn’t fun, I wouldn’t be here. I definitely have a lot of other things I could do, but I make sure to make time for this.”

Anklam said the club brings clean fun to campus and is quite different from other sports he’s played.

“It’s a great opportunity to get involved on campus,” Anklam said. “It doesn’t take much thinking or commitment at all so, if you want to be involved or want a break from homework, it’s a good way to spend your time.”

Connor Schubring, a first-year business administration student, said it is a great way to get out of the dorms.

“I was there with Ryan when he started it,” Schubring said. “I played racquetball before and it’s a fun sport and gets you out of the dorms. It’s a bunch of friends and you get to meet new people. It’s just a great experience for everyone. You don’t have to be knowledgeable of the game, everyone can come.”

Schubring said it is a very active and, at times, challenging sport.

“Especially with Ryan,” Schubring said. “He watches YouTube videos of racquetball and he’s definitely the best one out of all of us so, whenever I play him, it’s definitely a battle. But, I love it and I get my exercise in for the day.”

The Racquetball Club meets in McPhee at the Racquetball courts every Monday from 8-9.


Huling can be reached at [email protected].